What a super busy day today, I just had an opportunity to sit in on a presentation with Suzanne Yowell – Partners for Sacred Places …. This was just absolutely brilliant organization focused on the financial management of sacred places particularly churches, and paring these churches with nonprofit organizations for space share partnerships to help that are having financial difficulties sustaining themselves.
They typically work with historic churches or churches 50 years or older
They typically pare the churches with other non profit organisations, non profit business, medical offices ect.
Congregations are typically reluctant to open their doors to non related organizations or non profit business, This is normally do to the church needing to maintain their reputation. Even though any visitor to the Church is a potential member, and these partnerships can lead to positive marketing for churches in financial crisis.
Seeking new ways to utilize underused space, First Christian Church in downtown Fort Worth will open an eye clinic this spring to aid the homeless and others who can’t afford vision care.
Workers are converting the second floor of Fort Worth’s oldest church into a state-of-the-art clinic to be staffed by medical students from University of Houston School of Optometry and the optometry school of University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.
The two universities are sharing construction and operational costs. Major financing also comes from the Alcon Foundation of Fort Worth and several manufacturers who are donating or offering low prices for the clinic’s testing equipment.
Dr. Jennifer Deakins, a faculty member at the University of Houston who will be director of the clinic, said the facility will mirror a vision clinic in Dallas operated since 2000 in a facility provided by the Dallas housing authority.
Last summer, a University of Pennsylvania professor and a national secular research group based in Center City took up that seemingly unanswerable question. With a list they devised of 54 value categories, they attempted to calculate the economic “halo effect” of a dozen religious congregations in Philadelphia – 10 Protestant churches, a Catholic parish, and a synagogue.
They added up the money generated by weddings and funerals, festivals, counseling programs, preschools, elder care. They tallied the salaries of staff and the wages of roofers, plumbers, even snow shovelers. They put dollar signs on intangibles, too, such as helping people find work and teaching children to be socially responsible.
They even measured the diameter of trees on church campuses.
The grand total for the 12 congregations: $50,577,098 in annual economic benefits.