At a time when churches and charities need it most, NCF givers have stepped up with critical support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March and April alone, they mobilized more than $196 million in grants from their Giving Funds (donor-advised funds) – $50 million more than the same timeframe last year, a 31 percent increase.
Nearly 3,500 churches received the largest amount, $42,510,000, showing that NCF givers believe that the work of the local church is critically important in times like these. NCF is also administering grants for the Churches Helping Churches Challenge, as large, financially stable churches support smaller, struggling churches in low-income areas. Through the program, 112 churches have received $3,000 grants through the challenge, with another 60 in process.
Giving to disaster relief jumped by 400 percent, and combined giving to disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and development topped $17 million, representing an approximate $10 million increase over last year’s giving. “Disaster relief dollars went to household names like American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Convoy of Hope, Catholic Relief Services,” according to Brian Grable, Senior Executive Vice President of Donor Services for NCF.
Providing for basic human needs also became very important during this time. More than $10.5 million (250 percent more than last year) went to food, shelter, and aid for the homeless and the hungry. Last year, givers supported 161 food banks; this year, that number jumped to 406 served … and that doesn’t include personal efforts to get food to the hungry.
Giving to medical research also jumped 239 percent, and $5,012,679 went to helping orphans, a 63 percent increase over last year.
Another category of giving has become necessary since the outset of the pandemic: Generous business owners who want to provide for their employees and communities have found creative ways to give. One example is More Than Baseball, a new charity that provided a platform for Major League baseball players to grant toward the salaries of minor-league players. Other NCF business owners found help from an NCF-supported ministry and corporate-assistance program, Helping Hands / Provision Bridge. In March alone, 17 specific COVID-19 relief funds were established to provide $950,000 in relief for 750 employees.
All of these amazing statistics show, yet again, NCF givers meeting the challenge. Their mindset of generosity and stewardship – matched with NCF’s solutions that simplify the process of giving – have been more than evident when disaster hit.
And they are nowhere near finished giving yet.