In its 2012 annual report, Mars Hill Church reports that .01% out of 12,172 attendees gave over $100,000 to the church in the 2012 fiscal year. That means just one person gave that much or more. This is the same year that executive elder, Sutton Turner, stated in a recently discovered memorandum, that the church’s finances were in a “big mess” (link). Turner also said that every December, the organization commences a “Hail Mary” giving push.
The push likely does result in some additional giving from members, but there is no doubt that the real “Hail Mary” is a single donor who gives over $100,000 per year that the church relies on.
If the stats in the 2012 report from Mars Hill Church are correct, there is only a single donor who gives over $100,000 per year. The report shows the percentage of every level of giving. It gives the reader the percentages of attendees that give nothing, as well as the percentage of each giving range. The report gives the exact percentage of each category. The following tables show what the numbers look like. The first table assumes a high average giving for each category (75% above median) in order to reduce the single donor contribution. So the 0 to $500 range is assumed to average $375 (as opposed to $250 which is more likely statistically).
If the 2012 financial report is correct, and .01% of donors out of 12,162 people (which is 1) gave above $100,000, then that single donor gave $4,574,991. Total campus giving, according to the report, was $19,709,462. The giving percentage chart doesn’t specify what total is being used, so it is possible, using this high average, that the single donor gave $229,698.
Of course, the likelihood is that the numbers average out normally. In such a case, the single donor gave a lot more.
In order for the percentages given to us by Mars Hill Church to be accurate, a single giver gave as much as $8,958,432 toward the total amount given. If the pie chart from the report reflects campus giving, then that lone donor likely gave $4,613,139.
It is clear that there is a single donor who has propped up Mars Hill Church significantly. Without this donor, the burden of promoting Mark Driscoll as “the brand,” and the burdensome costs promoting Mark Driscoll’s book, Real Marriage, that Sutton Turner mentioned in his memo, would have been crushing.
This mystery donor is very vested in Mars Hill Church.
Historically, members have been aware of a single donor who has donated sound systems that are worth over $100,000 in value. There have also been revelations of a single donor who has flown elders around in private jets and hosted elder retreats that would amount to over $100,000 per year. Statistically, if there is only a single donor who gives over $100,000 per year, then the above mentioned gifts likely come from that single donor.
It would seem then that a donor, with private jets and expertise in musical equipment, has donated substantially toward the branding and success of both Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll. He or she is likely very close to Mark Driscoll and has been a significant help and influence in his life and his success.
Imagine the sense of loyalty of that donor to Mark Driscoll.
What must that donor think as the independent (according to ECFA standards) members of the Mars Hill Church Board of Advisors and Accountability (BOAA) consider whether Mark Driscoll’s days as the lead pastor and “The Brand” are over?
There is nothing more sacred when charges are made against a person then to have an impartial and independent panel of adjudicators reviewing the evidence. This safeguards the verdict and makes it fair, credible and honorable.
Let us all pray that the BOAA has the independence to render a fair and just verdict once the Board of Overseers has completed its investigation of the numerous charges against Mark Driscoll.