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News and Press Releases

TMF COVID-19 Response

March 13, 2020 - August 4, 2020

TMF COVID-19 Response


During the month of March, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed our normal way of life and will likely continue to impact us for several more months. As churches and non-profit organizations seek to serve their communities in creative ways in the midst of this pandemic, TMF is walking alongside them. Throughout the last several months, we have released several press statements highlighting the new ways in which we will serve our constituents. A brief summary of those statements is listed here and the full statements are below this message:

  • COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund Grants - TMF has awarded two rounds of COVID-19 Response and Recovery Grants.
  • $100,000 Matching Gift Secured - Thanks to your outpouring of support, we have surpassed our matching gift goal of $100,000 by the July 4 deadline and unlocked the full $100,000 matching gift from a compassionate donor. Through your generosity, we've raised more than $200,000 to continue funding organizations on the front lines of providing assistance to families and individuals most brutalized by the economic, health, and education inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund Grants - TMF opens Request for Proposal (RFP) Application for the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund that was started on March 31, 2020. With this fund, 27 nonprofit organizations received a COVID-19 Response Grant.
  • Microloan Program - TMF announces a one-time $1 Million Microloan Program to assist United Methodist churches and nonprofit organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • TMF Spring Grants Funded Early - TMF releases $1,537,000 in grant funding early to assist nonprofit organizations.
  • TMF Sponsored Webinars - Partnering with Horizons Stewardship, TMF is sponsoring two online giving webinars that will help church leaders address gaps in giving they may experience during the pandemic. The first webinar focuses on maximizing recurring giving options and the second webinar focuses on effective offering talks during live streaming. Learn more here.
  • COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund - This $250,000 fund will enable TMF to partner with churches and non-profits. as they experience new challenges and opportunities emerging from the global pandemic. We invite you to respond with us by making a gift today to the TMF COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund.
  • Investor Message - TMF is grateful to our investors, who make our work possible and enable us to empower the church to achieve its God-appointed mission. We have a strong financial position, which will allow us to assist churches during this pandemic and current market volatility.
  • CARES Act Payroll Protection Loans - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has passed, allocating $350 billion to help small businesses make sure their workers stay employed. This relief also applies to nonprofit organizations.
  • Being the [Virtual] Church - TMF launched a new website full of resources for church leaders who are trying to stay connected in a time of social distancing, learning to use new technology, and exploring creative ways to do ministry.
  • Borrower Assistance Programs - During the COVID-19 crisis, TMF is offering two ways for current borrowers to ease any short-term financial burdens they might be experiencing as a result of the pandemic. Current borrowers can opt to make interest only payments for 6 months or defer all payments for 3 months.
  • TMF COVID-19 Response - TMF has suspended non-essential travel and meetings to reduce transmission of this illness; we have a thorough plan to continue serving our constituents by making our employees available remotely; we have eliminated all non-essential expenses in order to provide assistance to churches and ministries that are responding to their communities.


During this crisis, we commit to providing the high-quality service you have come to expect and we promise to walk with you through this storm. We encourage you to continue your generous support of your church and outreach ministries that provide help and hope to those in need. It is through abundant generosity that we believe we will weather this crisis and remember the power of the church to bring about the world of God's imagination.


COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund

August 4, 2020

TMF announces second round of grants awarded from COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund

TMF recently awarded $345,000 to 33 not-for-profits and churches providing assistance to people most brutalized by the economic, health, and education inequities exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. This includes organizations that support individuals and families to: improve access to food and healthcare; supplement lost wages and/or housing costs; serve vulnerable populations, such as seniors and the homeless; and provide resources for academic and distance learning for low-income, low-access students.

Since the COVID-19 global pandemic struck our nation, TMF has awarded over $1,902,456 in grants to 103 not-for-profits and churches in every annual conference across Texas and New Mexico. This includes an early release of $1,537,000 in spring grant funding in April ($250,000 of this funding provided the seed money for the TMF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund); $270,570 to 27 organizations from the TMF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund in June; and the most recent distribution of $345,000, also from TMF’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

“We have been amazed at how nonprofits and church ministries immediately mobilized to put the needs of the most marginalized, vulnerable people at the center of their decision-making about resources,” observed Jacki Lammert, director of TMF’s Grants Ministry. “Through the generosity of our donors and investors, TMF has been able to help our network of trusted grantees, as well as form new relationships with organizations who are responding to this pandemic as an invitation to expand and deepen their practice of interdependent community.”

TMF is profoundly grateful to the anonymous donor whose $100,000 matching challenge gift inspired others to respond with an outpouring of support that surpassed the challenge and grew this latest award to $345,000.

The following 33 organizations received the latest funding from TMF’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund:

Abide Women's Health Services

Amarillo Wesley Community Center, Inc.

Arlington Heights United Methodist Church

Bering Memorial United Methodist Church

Cafe Momentum

Christ's Foundry United Methodist Mission

CitySquare Dallas

CitySquare Paris

Ciudad Nueva Community Outreach

El Calvario United Methodist Church

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank

FAM Houston

First United Methodist Church of Vidor

First United Methodist Church Prairie View

Houston: reVision

Hugs Cafe Inc

Kelly Center for Hunger Relief

Lakeway UMC

McCurdy Ministries Community Center

Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM)

Neighbors in Action

Oak Lawn United Methodist Church

Open Gate Homeless Young Adult Ministry

Project Curate

Santa Maria Hostel, Inc.

Sharing Life

Some Other Place, Inc.

The Center for Integrative Counseling and Psychology

The Gleaning Network of Texas dba GROW North Texas

Union Coffeehouse Ministry Inc.

Welsey-Rankin Community Center

Wesley Community Center

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We invite you to put your compassion into action and invest in organizations like these who are responding with collaborative strategies for addressing new economic, health, education, and social crises brought about by COVID-19. Make a gift today to the TMF COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund. If you have questions about your gift, please contact TMF’s VP of Foundation Relations, Justin Gould, at jgould@tmf-fdn.org or by phone at 512-583-1944.

Give Now


July 1, 2020

$100,000 Matching Gift Secured

“What glorious news! Wonderful, hopeful light during these dark, uncertain times. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for your continued support. It has had such a grand impact on our operations. We promise we will put it to good use. It will help ease the pain for many of our residents and enable us to better serve those who find themselves homeless from COVID-19.” – Nicole Cassier-Mason, New Hope Housing, Houston (TMF Grant Recipient)

We have incredible news to share! Thanks to your outpouring of support, we have surpassed our matching gift goal of $100,000 by the July 4 deadline and unlocked the full $100,000 matching gift from a compassionate donor. Through your generosity, we've raised more than $200,000 to continue funding organizations on the front lines of providing assistance to families and individuals most brutalized by the economic, health, and education inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the COVID-19 global pandemic struck our nation, TMF has awarded over $1.8 million in grants to 72 not-for-profits and churches in every annual conference across Texas and New Mexico. This includes an early release of $1,537,000 in spring grant funding and an additional $270,570 to 27 not-for-profits and churches from TMF’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund created to provide support to churches and non-profits who are already collaborating with people and communities most affected by COVID-19.

Organizations like El Pasoans Fighting Hunger who is creatively collaborating with schools, restaurants, and other food banks to feed 8,500 families a day. See the difference they are making in the video above.

Already donated? Then YOU are the reason we can now award another $200,000 in grant assistance to not-for-profits and churches who are providing tangible help and hope to our most vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Standing with us but haven’t donated yet? We would be grateful if you would. Now more than ever, those communities need your support to forge new paths forward.

Give Now


TMF announces grants awarded for COVID-19 emergency assistance

June 3, 2020:

TMF announces grants awarded for COVID-19 emergency assistance

TMF has awarded $270,570 to 27 not-for-profits and churches providing assistance to people most brutalized by the economic, health, and education inequities exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. This includes organizations that support individuals and families to: improve access to food and healthcare; supplement lost wages and/or housing costs; serve vulnerable populations such as seniors and the homeless; provide resources for academic learning and distance learning for low-income, low-access students while schools are closed.

The following organizations received the funding from TMF’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund created to provide support to churches and non-profits who are already collaborating with people and communities most affected by COVID-19:

Morgan Mill United Methodist Church - Morgan Mill, TX

Rancho Brazos Community Centers - Granbury, TX

El Calvario United Methodist Church - Las Cruces, NM

Kelly Center for Hunger Relief - El Paso, TX

St John's UMC - Albuquerque, NM

Agape Resource & Assistance Center, Inc. - Plano, TX

Cafe Momentum - Dallas, TX

CitySquare - Paris, TX

Dallas Bethlehem Center - Dallas, TX

Holy Covenant United Methodist Church - Carrollton, TX

Oak Lawn United Methodist Church - Dallas, TX

Union Coffeehouse Ministry Inc. - Dallas, TX

Aldersgate Church - Lubbock, TX

Amarillo Wesley Community Center, Inc. - Amarillo, TX

Corazon Ministries, Inc. - San Antonio, TX

First United Methodist Church - McAllen, TX

First United Methodist Church - Boerne, TX

Holding Institute - Laredo, TX

Manor United Methodist Church - Manor, TX

San Antonio Clubhouse, Inc. - San Antonio, TX

Youth and Family Alliance dba LifeWorks - Austin, TX

Bering Memorial United Methodist Church - Houston, TX

Change Happens - Houston, TX

Christ's Hope and Reconciliation Ministry - Houston, TX

Memorial Assistance Ministries - Houston, TX

Project Curate - Houston, TX

Syndeo Ministries - Elkhart, TX

We invite you to join us in partnering with organizations like these by making a gift today to the TMF COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund. If you have questions about your gift, please contact TMF’s VP of Foundation Relations, Justin Gould, at jgould@tmf-fdn.org or by phone at 512-583-1944.


TMF opens Request for Proposal (RFP) Application for the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund

May 11, 2020

TMF opens Request for Proposal (RFP) Application for the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund


TMF has funded a $250,000 COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to provide support to churches and non-profits who are already collaborating with people and communities who may be most affected by COVID-19. This includes agencies that: support individuals and families to improve access to food and/or healthcare; supplement lost wages and/or housing costs; serve vulnerable populations such as seniors and/or homeless; provide resources for academic learning and distance learning for low-income, low-access students while schools are closed. We want to understand your ministry and work resulting from the impacts of COVID-19. Our hope is that others will join TMF in investing in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

The TMF RFP will open on Monday, May 11, and will remain open until 5:00 pm on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Our intent is to release approved funding the week of May 25, 2020. A one-time award will range from $5,000 to $25,000.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • Must be a 501c3 organization
  • Must provide services in Texas and/or New Mexico
  • Must provide services that address critical immediate relief or long-term recovery efforts in response to COVID-19
  • Requests need to focus on learnings from working with first responders and/or support for vulnerable populations

Some Examples of Activities or Services, but Not Limited to, Funded Through this Opportunity are Listed Below:

  • New ministries or initiatives emerging from the crisis
  • Ensuring access to nutritious food to high-risk and vulnerable groups
  • Ensuring safety for high-risk and vulnerable groups
  • Ensuring safe shelter and/or housing opportunities for persons experiencing homelessness or domestic violence
  • Providing mental health support and telehealth access for community members, especially for first responders and others whose work is considered essential
    Supporting academic learning and distance learning for low-income, low-access students while schools are closed
  • Providing support to displaced workers, including connecting displaced workers with jobs that are open for immediate hire
  • Large system supports that could including improving food distribution systems, supporting schools/districts with kids/youth for mentoring and connection, or expanding meal delivery services for seniors and home-bound populations

Priority will be given to proposals demonstrating collaborative work with others in the community.

Questions about the RFP?

Contact Jacki Lammert at jlammert@tmf-fdn.org.

Apply Now



TMF Announces Microloan Program

April 21, 2020:

TMF Announces Microloan Program


Purpose


The one-time $1 million TMF Microloan Program was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is designed to efficiently serve the growing needs within United Methodist churches and nonprofit organizations by quickly providing access to funding for the unique and changing circumstances ministry leaders are facing at this time. Special consideration will be given to ministries serving under-resourced communities.

Thanks to a generous endowment distribution approved by the TMF Executive Committee, TMF is able to launch this new program.

Guidelines


The TMF Microloan Program will make small ($5,000 - $25,000), short-term (24-month) microloans at a rate of 2% interest. Repayment of these loans is deferred for 6 months based on date of approval. Churches and nonprofits must meet these guidelines to apply:

For churches:


(1) Open to qualified 501(c)(3) United Methodist churches in TX and NM (individuals, private foundations, etc. are ineligible).
(2) Microloan amount may not be more than 5% of total regular giving for 2019 (Example: To get the minimum $5,000 loan, a church would need to have at least $100,000 in offerings/donations in 2019).
(3) Percentage of apportionments collected for 2018 and 2019 will be reviewed.

For nonprofits:

(1) Open to qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in TX and NM (individuals, private foundations, etc. are ineligible).
(2) Microloan amount may not be more than 5% of total regular giving for 2019 (Example: To get the minimum $5,000 loan, a nonprofit would need to have at least $100,000 in offerings/donations in 2019).

Funding:

TMF reserves the right to request additional information or follow-up as needed.

While merit is evident in nearly every application received, not all applications will qualify to receive a TMF microloan. Once a TMF microloan application has been declined, related materials will not be carried over for future consideration.

Apply:


If you have questions, contact Krystol Wheeler kwheeler@tmf-fdn.org | 512-583-1952. All applications and supporting documentation will be submitted online through the TMF website. You will be prompted to set up an account in order to apply, if you do not already have an account. Interested ministries should apply as soon as possible.

Apply Now



TMF releases $1,537,000 in grant funding early to assist nonprofit organizations.

April 14, 2020

TMF releases $1,537,000 in grant funding early to assist nonprofit organizations.

The bulk of the nonprofit organizations benefiting from these funds are serving vulnerable populations who have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, First UMC Mart has stepped into a role normally served by the Central Texas Food bank, which had to stop their service in Mart due to the pandemic. In response, the church has partnered with the local school district to feed families.

Of course, as a result of the current crisis, all nonprofit organizations have been impacted, so TMF determined it would be essential to release our grant funds early. This decision will provide much needed funds to organizations who are continuing to serve their communities, even if other funding streams have slowed at this time.

These funds will assist 35 organizations as part of our COVID-19 Response and Relief grants and 11 other organizations will benefit from our early granting process as well. To see our full list of 2020 Spring grant recipients, please click here.


TMF Sponsors Online Giving Webinars with Horizons Stewardship

April 8, 2020:

TMF Sponsors Online Giving Webinars with Horizons Stewardship


On April 15th at 2 pm, TMF President Tom Locke will welcome Horizons Stewardship’s Joe Park, CEO and Richard Rogers, Senior Vice President and author of The e-Giving Guide for Every Church. Together, Joe and Richard will share steps every church should take to ensure your website and donation landing pages are pointing persons to recurring giving using your preferred method of e-Giving.

On April 16th at 2 pm, TMF VP of Area Staff Rev. John Thornburg will welcome Horizons Stewardship’s Joe Park, CEO and SVP Tom Melzoni as they guide you though practical tips and ideas about asking for gifts while live streaming.

Learn more and register here.


TMF announces a $250,000 COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund

March 31, 2020:

TMF announces a $250,000 COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund


Leveraging decades of relationships and experience in TX and NM, TMF is launching the COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund to partner with churches and non-profits as they experience new challenges and opportunities emerging from the global pandemic.

Whether it be for new technology platforms to facilitate mentor-mentee relationships and distance learning, addressing social challenges amplified by the pandemic, or funding new ministries emerging from this crisis, gifts to TMF’s COVID-19 Fund will empower church and non-profit leaders to demonstrate the individual and collective resilience required to thrive in these extraordinary circumstances.

We invite you to respond with us by making a gift today to the TMF COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund. If you have questions about your gift, please contact TMF’s VP of Foundation Relations, Justin Gould, at jgould@tmf-fdn.org or by phone at 512-583-1944.

For questions about eligibility for funding, please contact TMF’s Director of Grants, Jacki Lammert, at jlammert@tmf-fdn.org or by phone at 800-933-5502.


TMF announces COVID-19 Response for Investors

March 26, 2020:

TMF announces COVID-19 Response for Investors


(Watch President Tom Locke's video message)

Now that we are well into executing our preparedness plans related to the COVID-19 virus, I wanted to be in touch particularly with you, our investors, to update you, check-in on how you are holding up, and ask if there is anything we can do for you. I want to stress to you, again, that your investment into our Methodist Loan Fund is literally the lifeblood of everything we do at TMF, whether it be our ability to make grants, conduct our leadership ministry, or do purpose work with congregations. And so to you, our investors, we are enormously grateful for your partnership with us.

Here at TMF we have:

  • Established a safe and adequate staffing level at the office ensuring the efficient running of the day-to-day business of the Foundation. Your checks are being deposited, your withdrawal requests honored, and all staff members now have a new way of working remotely to stay in touch with those we serve and each other.
    We are in the process of contacting each of our borrowers to inform them of our willingness to provide alternative payment plans, should they need them, including payments of interest only for a period of time or the short-term deferral of payments.
  • We have responded to a number of churches asking to have their market-based investments moved to the fixed-interest Methodist Loan Fund. We have not seen an unusual number of withdrawal requests.
  • Maintaining adequate liquidity is always of paramount importance to us but no more so than now. In this period of market volatility and uncertainty, we understand that maintaining liquidity is crucial and have both a strong cash position and prudent bank lines of credit.
  • Earlier today we held a conference call with our executive committee and I am pleased to let you know that TMF will soon be announcing the establishment of a COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund. The purpose of the fund is to partner with ministries across Texas and New Mexico as they experience new challenges and opportunities emerging from this global pandemic. We are also creating a microloan program funded by our own endowment funds. Details on both of these will be coming soon.

Our ability to establish initiatives like these – and our overall strong financial health – are a witness to the generosity of you, our investors, as well as our donors. We would not be able to respond to the needs of the Church without your partnership. So thank you and know that for however long this uneasy environment continues, we will do our best to maintain our strong financial performance so that you may always trust TMF to be a safe harbor for your financial needs.


CARES Act Payroll Protection Loans

April 3, 2020:

CARES Act Payroll Protection Loans

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has passed, allocating $350 billion to help small businesses make sure their workers stay employed. This relief also applies to nonprofit organizations.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides federally guaranteed loans to small businesses, if they maintain their payroll. You can apply here.

You need to start with this information:

  • Select an authorized signer, such as a Trustee Chair or another trustee.
  • Have the church’s legal name and EIN (9 digits).
  • Include sum total of employee expenses for 2019, including benefits, employment taxes, paid time off, housing allowance, etc.

Application completion guide from the Mountain Sky Foundation Executive Director, Kristi Kinnison:

  • Calculate the maximum loan amount: 2019 total payroll (including all salary, taxes, paid time off, and any benefits). Then divide by 12 – this is your Average Monthly Payroll. Then multiply by 2.5 – this is the Loan Amount (maximum).
  • Fill out application, print and sign.
  • Scan, fax, or email to your SBA7(a) lender ASAP. Then the lender will have documentation that they require.

TMF cannot guarantee that a church or other nonprofit organizations will qualify for one of these loans, but we understand that applying early is critical and the application process begins April 3, 2020. Since the funds are limited, you should apply early if you are considering this option.

Keep in mind that the recently enacted CARES Act, and related provisions, will be implemented in part through a regulatory process which may limit eligibility requirements, or impose additional burdens on the church or non-profit entity that applies for benefits under the Act. These are rapidly developing federal programs and TMF can make no representation to your church or entity as to whether or how these federal benefits may be applied.

If additional resources would be helpful in your application process or in determining if this is a good option for your organization, these are some resources we recommend:

Horizons Stewardship Webinar

US Chamber of Commerce PDF Overview

Loan Summary Information

Wespath Summary of Potential for the UMC

US Department of the Treasury


TMF launched new resource website to assist churches during the COVID-19 pandemic

March 25, 2020:

TMF launched new resource website to assist churches during the COVID-19 pandemic


During this time of uncertainty, the COVID-19 virus gives us an opportunity to deepen our understanding of what it means to practice Being the Church. We want to equip you with practical resources, information, and inspiration to help you find innovative ways to weave the fabric of community, mending its torn edges and creating new vibrant patterns of life together in Christ. Please visit it here: virtual-church.org

We will be sending out an update on Wednesday of each week but will be adding new resources, ideas, and stories as we receive them so please check the site daily for new content. Please share what is working for you or needs where we can help you find solutions.


TMF announces COVID-19 Response for Borrowers

March 20, 2020:

TMF announces COVID-19 Response for Borrowers


At TMF, we understand the financial and spiritual challenges churches are already facing from the COVID-19 pandemic. We see how you are finding new, creative ways to minister to your communities and to be a voice of support and hope during this difficult time.

TMF is here to support and encourage you as you respond to the increased needs of your communities and deal with the economic impact to your budgets. One way we can ease some of the financial burden is by offering the following assistance program for churches with existing loans with TMF:

  • Upon request, your church may change your payment from principal and interest to interest only for up to 6 months.
  • Upon request, your church may defer all payments for 3 months – interest will continue to accrue but will be held and be payable at a later date.

Please contact your TMF loan officer by phone at 800-933-5502 or at their email below if you would like to participate in this assistance program:

David McCaskill: dmccaskill@tmf-fdn.org

Robert Hoppe: rhoppe@tmf-fdn.org

Paula Sini: psini@tmf-fdn.org

Cheryl Westbrook: cwestbrook@tmf-fdn.org


TMF's COVID-19 Response

March 13, 2020

TMF's COVID-19 Response


(Watch President Tom Locke's video message)

I want to wrote to you today about TMF’s core purpose – to empower the Church in the achievement of its God-appointed missions – and, specifically about what that purpose means to us in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Obviously, our work of managing loans and investments that bolster the mission of the church will continue; our work of supporting grant recipients, who are on the front lines of helping those most vulnerable, will continue as will all of our other ministries. And, of course, we encourage you to continue your generous support of your church and outreach ministries that provide help and hope to those in need.

At TMF, we doing our part to limit the spread of the coronavirus and prepare for any adverse consequences. In order to be able to serve you at the maximum level, we have undertaken the following steps:

  • First, we are doing our best to minimize transmission of this virus by suspending nonessential staff travel and meetings.
  • Second, we have a thorough plan to provide remote working options, so our staff will always be accessible to respond to your needs and questions.
  • Last, we are eliminating non-essential expenses from our operating budget for the sake of responding to unanticipated needs in our community that will surely arise. The urgency that we feel in this response is built upon our core values of servanthood, competence, and integrity. It is vitally important to us that we be able to provide you with the resources you need to minister to your communities. At TMF, our financial integrity is strong. For this, we especially want to thank our investors, borrowers, and donors, all of whom allow us to have the resources to respond during this time of increased need.

Friends, we have walked together through these crises before – such as the financial crisis of 2008 or seeing neighbors stranded on rooftops from Hurricane Harvey flooding. Though the circumstances may be different, the values that bring us together through these times are consistent – namely, that we will be smart, creative, transparently honest, and compassionate. This is an opportunity, in this uncertain time, for us to bear witness to a God of abundance.