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!