Ensuring Adequate Financial Support

Guaranteeing the Local Budget

Whilst the committee plays many vital roles in supporting the local Young Life program, perhaps one of the most crucial responsibilities is to prepare a local budget and then create and implement a fundraising plan to guarantee that budget. This responsibility is carried out in partnership with local staff and support from the National Office:

  • Develop a vision statement for the Area
  • Establish an annual budget that supports the vision
  • Create and implement a Financial Master Plan that will help achieve the budget
  • Make your own personal financial commitment to support the Area

Each of this topics are covered in greater depth in the Taking Donors Seriously (TDS) Manual . Each Area has a copy of this manual and should work to implement a TDS plan for your local  program. However, we include some of the highlights in this manual.

To be effective in raising funds, it is important to consider a wide variety of activities available to you in a total fundraising mix. Many Areas find they are good at events, but rarely consider grant submissions, local newsletters or personal donor visits. Others might find it easy to approach churches for church partnerships and may even try their hand at a local appeal, but they lack events that attract potential new donors and they rarely contact the donors they do have.


Local Events (ideally, two per year) – this might include an event you host and then perhaps the sale of Krispy Kremes or other at a local event or festival.

Grant submissions – local, State or National (we will provide training and a toolkit to help you in this Area).

Church partnership opportunities – consider hosting lunches for pastors or inviting some pastors along to summer camp!

Local newsletters – Whilst the national office will send out four national newsletters a year on behalf of all Areas, you may consider sending one or two newsletters with a local focus. Include a give slip and a response envelope.

Local Appeals – The National Office also puts together and distributes four all-area appeals per year, with all money going back to the local Area it’s received from. You may also want to consider sending out a local appeal for a specific purpose. Please consult the National Office for assistance and to ensure that your mail out or electronic direct marketing does not clash with
the National Office communications calendar.

Taking Donors Seriously – keep in regular contact! Have a list of all donors and consider how you will keep in touch with them. Who needs a handwritten note just to say thanks? Who needs a phone call? Who should you visit? At the very least, we recommend an annual visit to monthly donors just to say thanks and share your local Vision Statement so they can see where you are
headed. Frequency will vary from Area to Area and depend very much on the donor, but we encourage all committees to carefully examine their current donor list and discuss, as a group, a plan for making personal contact with all donors over the course of the year.


We would like to challenge all Areas to implement a healthy balance of the fundraising mix in their Financial Master Plan. We have provided a template in the TDS Manual that allows you to consider how each of these activities might fit into your annual plan.

Like the Vision Statement, the National Office will work with each Area to develop a Financial Master Plan that challenges you to incorporate every aspect of the fundraising mix. This will possibly be a challenge for some Areas, but we believe it will have a dramatic impact on your fundraising for the year.

A member of the National or Regional Staff will also visit your Area at least three times a year to monitor your progress on your activity plan and to lend assistance with any changes that should be made. They will also be happy to join you for meetings, events or presentations where you feel a National Office presence would be beneficial.


The National Office will endeavour to equip you in running a thriving committee and in achieving fundraising success. Our services include annual training summits (with outside expertise on relevant topics); tools and templates for grants and presentations; updated Young Life materials; hosting of the Adult Guest program at summer camp; templates and assistance in developing Vision Statements; budgets and Financial Master Plans; assistance and input on local events; input and editing of all local appeals, newsletters, press releases, grant submissions etc; and a national Communications and Events Calendar to help you consider your own local communication plan along with regular visits to your Area. Most importantly, we are always available to chat, brainstorm or offer advice. Just give us a call; we’d love to hear from you!

Campership Coordinator

Jim Rayburn, founder of Young Life, understood the power of camping. When kids are at camp, the Gospel can more effectively be communicated to them because they are having fun with friends and Young Life leaders and are away from the pressures of everyday life. 


Job Description

Working with the Area Manager, the campership coordinator will:

  • Keep the committee informed about the needs of the campership program.
  • Raise funds to help send more young people to camp.
  • Work with the Church Liaison Coordinator for opportunities to speak in local churches about the need for camp sponsorship in the lead up to camps.
  • Be available to assist with (and coordinate a team of volunteers to help with) the paperwork that must be done before young people go to camp.
  • Work with the prayer coordinator to develop strategies: to pray for young people to sign up for camp, to pray for the campers and leaders during the week of camp and to pray for all the campers after they return home.
  • Work with the leader/staff care coordinator to ensure care packages are given to leaders prior to boarding the bus for camp.
  • Ensure that donors are thanked for camp sponsorships in liaison with the donor care specialist.

Basic Strategies to Develop

  • Create a subcommittee to assist with raising funds and other support activities.

Qualifications

  • Understands the huge impact a camp experience can have on a young person’s life.
  • Enjoys fundraising.
  • Is an encourager.
  • Has good organizational skills.
  • Possesses the gift of helping.

Time Requirement: 8-12 hours per month during the sign-up and camping season

Communications Coordinator

The members of the local community should be aware of and informed about the ministry of Young Life. By utilizing the local media, Young Life’s mission can be more fully communicated to the general public. Hopefully, by having a clear understanding of the ministry and its activities, Young Life will be more positively received by the local community.


Job Description

The coordinator will work closely with the area director to ensure that all significant Young Life activities and events are publicized in a timely manner. The coordinator will:

  • Ensure that events are publicized in area newspapers, print and radio (as appropriate).
  • Ensure that the Young Life area is represented at community events.
  • Ensure that activities (eg. clubs, new programs) are publicized.
  • Work with the Prayer Coordinator to maintain secular database on Mail Chimp and communicate regularly with them.
  • Liaison with Young Life Australia’s Communications Department as required.

Qualifications

  • Experienced in journalism.
  • Has good verbal and written skills.
  • Is creative.
  • Has good organizational skills.
  • Able to set priorities and timetables.

Time Requirement: 2 hours per month

So What Makes a Great Team?

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all others. We have different gifts according to the grace given us.”

Romans 12:4-6


A key element of a ‘team’ is that each member recognises his or her unique value and importance to the overall team. Paul uses the illustration of the body more than 30 times in his letters, and this analogy for the church can be applied to teams as well. Each person has a role to play according to the gifts they have been given. Not one gift is more important than the other, but instead, all gifts work together so the overall body (team) functions effectively. And importantly, the gifts committee members bring complement the abilities found on staff, in volunteer leaders and donors, bringing balance to the larger Young Life team.

Taking this basic principle from Paul, we have organised this book into sections that illustrate what makes a great team, each giving practical suggestions on how to be an effective committee.

Great Teams . . .

  1. Have a common purpose
  2. Have a clear vision, goals and action plan
  3. Have a structure with solid leadership
  4. Recruit and motivate the right people
  5. Use their time together effectively
  6. Appreciate and Celebrate
  7. Evaluate performance
  8. Have fun together!

To see more about each of these elements, go to the Committee Manual Course.


See why Susan & Jenna serve on their local Young Life committees.

Church Liaison Coordinator

Many areas are looking for additional ways to involve non-committee adults, and to develop stronger support from local church congregations. This role helps bring those two things together in a way that, when done effectively, can truly bless an area.


Job Description

The coordinator develops a network of friends of Young Life who are willing to go to their church once or twice a year with a request on behalf of Young Life.


Basic Strategies to Develop

  • Find out what churches are represented among the Young Life community. Places to look:
    • Committee members
    • Volunteer leaders
    • Staff members
    • The church-going parents of young people who Young Life has significantly impacted
  • Recruit these friends to undertake one or two annual tasks.
    • Request a meeting with the pastor or missions committee for the staff/committee representative to attend.
    • Request a Young Life announcement or presence at a missions Sunday or similar event.
  • Equip the team to make their asks.
  • Connect the staff (or trained volunteer/committee rep) with churches when a door opens.
  • Record what progress we make with each church annually.
  • Write yearly to churches to update them of Young Life work in their community, and to thank them for their support.

Qualifications

  • Can organize.
  • Communicates well with a group of people.
  • Is actively involved in their own church.

Time Requirement: 2 – 4 hours per month

Donor Care Specialist

The donor care specialist job is to ensure the area’s donors are cared for and thanked.

Specifically he or she:

  • Assists Young Life staff with formulizing strategy that is appropriate to say thank you and care for donors.
  • Communicates the vision and mission to donors and the community.
  • Serves as an ambassador to donors and to youth within the community.
  • Is attentive to donors’ spiritual needs.

Job Description

  • Call donors who have made donations to say thank you.
    • Seek help from other committee members, or friends of Young Life, during busier seasons.
  • Assist staff with writing thank you letters for monthly donations.
  • Work with the Area Manager to determine who will be the primary caller for specific donors. Get to know the donors assigned to you and “earn the right to be heard.”
  • Assist Area Manager with touch points throughout the year (suggestions):
    • Invitation to club (attend with them).
    • Phone call to give update on ministry.
    • Encourage them to pray for kids at camp.
    • Personal handwritten note.
    • Be creative!
    • Invite them to be an adult guest at camp.
  • Events – you are a host, a “greeter,” the face of Young Life.

Basic Strategies to Develop

  • A thank you calendar for the entire year.
  • A written process of what steps to take when the financial month closes to:
    • Identify lapsed donors and a strategy for communicating with them.
    • Know how each one will be thanked.
  • You should work closely with the Treasurer and TDS Chair to ensure tracking and giving reports for donors are created.
  • Have a plan to include staff, committee and kids in several thank yous throughout the year.
  • Record all communications with donors in eTapestry.

Qualifications

  • Take the online TDS Course.
  • Is organized.
  • Is proactive.
  • Possesses the gifts of exhortation and encouragement.

Time Requirement: Eight hours per month

Go to TDS Course

Events Coordinator

Young Life exists in an area because the community is willing to financially support the ministry.  It is an important to hold a major fundraising event each year in your local area. Major events serve to celebrate, inform, proclaim the Gospel, affirm, give thanks and raise financial support. Generally, the primary purpose for a major event is to raise funds. The major event should be an important part of the area’s overall Taking Donors Seriously (TDS) strategy.

In addition to a major fundraising event, additional events such as Bunnings BBQ’s and Work-for-Reward (camp fundraising with our teens) may also be placed into the Events Coordinators Role.  


Job Description

The events coordinator oversees the entire event by providing leadership and direction.  They will develop a sub-committee (which may or may not have members of the Area Committee) to ensure all aspects of the event are catered for.  Roles on the sub-committee could include:

  • prayer team
  • allocating & following up table hosts
  • finding corporate sponsors
  • food
  • decorations
  • registration

Depending on the event, additional roles may be added.

The Events Coordinator should work closely with the Alumni and Friends Coordinator, as they should have an up to date list of people willing to assist with major and other local area events.


Basic Strategies to Develop

Young Life has developed “The 10 Essentials” for planning and implementing a successful event. These 10 requirements are to:

  1. Determine the right type of event.
  2. Set date, time and place of event.
  3. Reserve event location.
  4. Delegate committee assignments.
  5. Recruit table hosts.
  6. Generate a guest list.
  7. Invite guests.
  8. Make table seating assignments.
  9. Plan program.
  10. Conduct event follow up.

Qualifications

  • Can organize.
  • Is comfortable with multi-tasking.
  • Can delegate and hold others accountable.
  • Possesses the gifts of hospitality and leadership.

Time Requirement: 4-16 hours per month, depending on the timing of your event

Go to Committee Resources to find Event Suggestions & Guides

Leader / Staff Care Coordinator

Being a Young Life staff person or a volunteer leader is a rewarding responsibility! However, building friendships with kids in order to earn the right to tell them about Jesus and helping them grow in their faith can be taxing. Therefore, staff and leaders need extra care and support. The local committee can have a major role in providing this care.


Job Description

The care coordinator is responsible for planning and organizing the care of the local staff and volunteer leaders. The coordinator may want to develop a subcommittee to assist in this effort. This planning should involve having the committee members care for the staff and volunteer leaders in a variety of ways: prayer, befriending, mentoring, spiritual support, office work and assisting with fundraising.

Reminder: The committee is primarily responsible for the care of the Area Manager and any other staff. The staff is primarily responsible for the care of the volunteer leaders. If the committee has the time and ability to take care of the staff person(s) and also help take care of the volunteer leaders that would be great.


Basic Strategies to Develop

Area-Wide Leader Care: The coordinator should plan and organize area-wide events to care for the staff and volunteer leaders. Possibilities might include a beginning-of-the-year welcome/appreciation picnic, a Christmas meal with a white elephant exchange and an end-of-year thank you dinner with an appreciation gift. Committee members should attend all of these activities.

Individual Leader Care: The area leader/staff care coordinator or a subcommittee member COLLECTS information from the area staff and volunteer leaders about their needs and DISTRIBUTES that information to a committee member. The person is responsible for communicating with the staff member or volunteer leader and providing personal support throughout the year. Periodically, the coordinator should monitor the committee members to ensure that each member is caring for his or her staff member or volunteer leader; and should liaise with the Area Manager regularly in regards to committee care.

Hoyt Jackson has some great tips below for caring for Young Life Staff.  Have a listen to what he has to say.


Qualifications

  • Has good organizational skills.
  • Is creative.
  • Is proactive.
  • Possesses the gifts of exhortation and encouragement.

Time Requirement: 8 hours per month

Alumni and Friends Coordinator

In any given area there are numerous adults, young and old, who would be considered alumni and/or friends of Young Life. 

Recognizing this reality, we desire to be proactive in reaching out to these people. We desire to connect with these people, encourage them in their faith, and expose them to ways in which they can be involved in the local ministry.


Job Description

The coordinator will:

  • Take the lead in connecting with Young Life alumni and friends, ensuring that their details are provided to the Prayer Coordinator and that they are in eTapestry (the YLA Database) where appropriate.
  • Keep a local database of friends willing to assist with fundraising activities, assist at camps etc.
  • Work with the committee and area director to strategize about events and activities for alumni and friends.
  • Periodically communicate with alumni and friends by e-mail, phone and / or newsletters as appropriate.

Basic Strategies to Develop

The coordinator, working together with the Area Manager and Committee, should:

  • Develop a process to consistently review the Young Life Alumni and Friends database.
  • Create an on-going communication about the local ministry with all alumni and friends who live in or near the area.  This should be done in liaison with the Prayer Coordinator.
  • Develop a process done at least once a year to provide opportunities for alumni and friends to become involved in the local Young Life ministry as: volunteer leaders, committee members, prayer supporters, friends of Young Life and/or donors.
  • Communicate as needed with the Office of Alumni and Friends by posting alumni and friends events, sharing stories and receiving database assistance.

Qualifications

  • Has the gifts of leadership and administration.
  • Can develop a team of people to assist in alumni and friends communication and involvement.
  • Is passionate about involving alumni and friends in the local ministry.
  • Computer literate.

Time Requirement: 4 hours per month

NOTE: Different areas will have different time requirements, and this should be used as a guide only.  Different times of year as well will have different time pressures.