Frequently Asked Questions
How severe is the financial need for camp?
A loss of two-thirds of our income in one calendar year has created an intense need. Further, things we are learning about safely operating will affect the way we deliver our ministry in the future. Our vision is to move forward with innovative programs for ministry. The loss of income combined with new challenges, have placed our vision in jeopardy. During the pandemic we have cut staffing (full-time staff on a 40% pay reduction, hourly staff on a 50% reduction). This has been painful and we cannot currently move forward without generous help. This appeal seeks to address the need to meet current fixed costs, provide for limited staffing, and begin preparing for the future. The “Building Love” special appeal is an immediate bridge to fulfilling our vision.
Since summer camp has been suspended, what are the costs that A†KBM has to pay?
We have worked to reduce many expenses and believe we are doing both challenging and practical things to reduce costs. While A+KBM is unique in its ministry offerings, even non-profit “businesses” must address certain on-going (essential) fixed costs. Our fixed costs include debt service, utilities, communications service, insurance, maintenance of buildings and equipment, and more. Further, we have retained a skeletal level staff to perform administrative functions, to maintain connection with partners in ministry, and serve those who we can serve.
What work will the staff do between now and the 2021 Camper season?
The limited staff we have retained are doing more work than ever, and most of it is in new areas. We are developing program content which may be used by our ministry partners in their own locations. We foresee that some of our traditional methods of being camp must change given ever-changing circumstances and the public health response. We are working now to adapt our materials for a new reality. Our goal is to do that work now, build in agile new ideas, and be ready for a return to our services & facilities as soon as we are able.
Have we taken advantage of the Federal PPP loans for pandemic response?
Yes, and this has been a real blessing early in 2020. Properly managing this allows us to provide salaries for some staffing, make some mortgage payments, and reduce the fixed expenses of utilities during the period of 24 weeks allocated in new legislation.
Why is the internet solution so expensive?
The Faith Center at Kure Beach is served by typical consumer broadband, much like any business or home. Camp Agapé is in a remote area, and the cost of inducing a provider to serve the site is remarkably high, even for limited service. After much discussion and examination of alternatives we determined that building a tower on-site is our best option. As the area near Camp Agapé continues to develop, we may have options to improve this situation. Those options will be years in the making and we must respond to having better connectivity for daily operations, guest services, and the new normal of remote (often video) communication.
Why has A†KBM chosen to target June 2021 for this appeal?
This appeal seeks to bridge between now and mid-2021 when we envision that our operations can once again support themselves. The end of the second quarter of 2021 seems to be a reasonable planning horizon for our cash flow needs based on current health professional’s projections.
A Challenge Goal of $100,000 has been listed as a contingency. Is that really needed?
We believe good planning demands that we prepare for contingencies. Like many others, we are planning that medical solutions for COVID-19 will support a return to normal for our country in early 2021. This appeal seeks to bridge between now and mid-2021 when operations may once again support themselves. We are seeking the challenge goal as additional funding to allow us to appropriately buffer the unknown.
What happens if we only raise a portion of the money identified in the appeal?
The short answer; we have a framework of response steps we can still take, and believe we will rise to the challenge. The longer answer; the Board and staff continue to meet frequently, considering multiple options for maintaining operations, even with diminished income. We have brainstormed ideas and multiple additional steps to help assure survival of the ministry. The outcome of some of those steps, if they are ever employed, are increasingly severe. Nonetheless, the thought process has led to the current special appeal for COVID-19 relief which will help us prepare to address even more unknowns.
What happens if 2021 is just as bad as 2020 and we are not able to fully open again?
Much like the contingency thinking, mentioned above, we have considered further short-term belt-tightening. We believe we have a framework of ideas that may be considered if we experience prolonged reduced or limited operation into 2021 or even longer. Some assets of A+KBM are precious, irreplaceable, and have value to us all. Some assets can be considered to help provide funds (possible timber harvesting for example). In the event that more extreme measures are needed into 2021, the board and staff will be communicating well in advance with donors and ministry partners before such decisions are finalized.
I’ve heard there are other things that need attention; are other costs being deferred or are they part of this appeal?
This appeal is only for the items listed. Candidly, there are always things we could do to improve A+KBM. Each year we consider and budget for those as best we can. Already in 2020, we have decided we cannot afford some things based simply on prioritizing expenses. So, yes, we have chosen to defer some big-ticket costs.
A couple examples include a successful negotiation with Harnett County to allow us to delay replacement of the Camp Agapé pool until 2025. Formerly, we were under an order to do this no later than 2022. We know that we have some significant maintenance costs for basic upkeep at the Kure Beach Faith Center. Those have been delayed and we are looking for lower-cost alternatives which may buy us some time before making upgrades.
A†KBM has a Strategic Plan that was recently approved. How does this affect that plan?
Likely, some elements of the Strategic Plan will be delayed. The board and staff, using good stewardship of resources, will choose not to take on major programmatic capital expenses while there is so much uncertainty. The one major exception is the IT improvements required for better internet connectivity at Camp Agapé. Connectivity continues to be an “Achilles-heel” even for basic operation. This priority of the strategic plan has been accelerated by the COVID pandemic, knowing we need to respond in new ways to current changes.
Have we asked our creditors for some grace in repayment of monies owed?
Yes. We have met with our bank and have sought relief from others where possible. We have received generous accommodations from our local bank that are helping to manage expenses in 2020. We do, however, have debt. These recent conversations serve to highlight the need to address the weight of our debt and the need to reduce and eliminate it to create more agility in the future.
What can I do to help Sustain the Future?
- Become a regular monthly donor with an on-going electronic giving.
- Make a gift or pledge to the “Go Camp! Building Love” Special COVID Appeal.
- Continue your regular giving.
- Contact us about making A†KBM a part of your legacy giving, wills, estate planning. We can put you in touch with a planned giving professional at NO cost to you.