As he watched the COVID-19 pandemic spread, Zachary Kester knew that trouble was coming.
He could see that the relief efforts would require work from many faith-based nonprofits.
But those nonprofits weren’t prepared for the crisis.
Thankfully, Kester knew just how to help them.
“There is so much to consider due to COVID-19, and most faith-based, charity, and community organization don’t realize the scope of the risk that they’re facing right now,” Kester shares.
Kester is the Executive Director and Managing Attorney with Charitable Allies, a nonprofit law firm dedicated to helping other nonprofits survive, thrive, and provide crucial aid in crisis scenarios.
Charitable Allies provides legal, educational, and administrative support to nonprofits, as well as training and consulting services. The organization has committed to providing these services at reduced rates throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Charitable Allies recognized that many nonprofits were drastically unprepared for the financial and social strain of a global pandemic.
“Unfortunately, many boards and executive leadership fail to think through these kinds of scenarios in advance,” Kester noted.
“In the midst of a crisis, it’s important for boards to identify their tripwires, and what necessary steps they need to take,” he continued.
“If they decide now, when they’re slightly less emotional, less harried, and less stressed, it will make a tremendous difference in the long run.”
Kester knew that in order for Christian ministry organizations to effectively provide aid to those affected by COVID-19, a lot of support was in order.
So Kester and the rest of the Charitable Allies staff stepped up to provide that support to as many ministries as possible.
And their work has brought some much-needed normalcy to ministries working amidst the pandemic.
Kester and his coworkers have already identified issues that nonprofits are facing and they’re working to resolve them as quickly as possible.
“It’s incredibly common, especially in the midst of a crisis [like this], for clients to come to us with one particular issue, and as we dive in, we find there were actually one or two larger issues that cause the symptoms we’re seeing,” Kester said.
“[We really just try to] identify the problems we need to address: What are the long-term fixes, and what are the truly urgent needs we need to deal with now?”
Kester and his staff have done their best to streamline legal and administrative processes for Christian nonprofits so they can best address the needs of their communities.
“We’re really good at prioritizing those issues in a nonjudgmental way,” Kester added.
“We understand how ministry works, so we are able to help identify a path through a crisis and prioritize needs in an efficient way to nonprofit leaders can do what they do best.”
It’s a critical service in this time of uncertainty.
Kester, himself a committed Christian, chose to found Charitable Allies because he saw the need for this service in today’s culture.
“As a young man, I saw that Christians and Christianity were falling out of favor with mainstream culture,” he shared. “I saw that culture was becoming a very hostile place for Christianity.”
“I became very interested in the…religious liberty and protections for Christians to allow them to be the hands and feet of Jesus when they feel called to do so.”
Charitable Allies began as a legal organization that helped Christian ministries understand how to operate in an increasingly hostile culture, but it has grown into much more.
“I became fascinated with the intersection of creating an organization or a ministry that does Gospel work and helping people do that well,” Kester said.
“There’s an element of faith and calling in everything I do, yet I’m extraordinarily realistic. There is absolutely an element of faith in the sense [that] God will meet the needs of ministries as they go along, yet we can’t be imprudent [in planning ahead].”
Kester and the staff of Charitable Allies have helped many faith-based charities and nonprofits navigate the storm of COVID-19, and they’re helping many communities in the process.
“God is still in control,” Kester reminded his staff. “He was in control when Daniel was taken…to Babylon, He was in control when Esther became a consort to the King, and He is still in control today.”
“As we go about our ministry work, it can seem scary and it can seem bigger than us. But we partner with someone who is bigger than even this problem.”
Pray for the work of Charitable Allies as they support Christian ministries across the country.