Fundraising is NOT a Spectator Sport

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The 2015 Superbowl game was one of the most exciting EVER!

Even for someone like me, who knows very little about the rules of football and rarely watches, I got swept up in the spectacle of the amazing plays that culminated in the Patriots’ magnificent win.

Football is one of those bigger-than-life spectator sports that has the power to capture the attention of a nation and much of the world. Like football and apple pie, philanthropy is a part of the fabric of the United States. Charitable giving in the United States totaled $335.17 billion in 2013, with seventy-two percent (72%) given by individuals. Over 95% of American households give to charity. The average household contribution is $2,974. Just over thirty percent (31%) of charitable contributions are to religious organizations.

It’s common for congregations and smaller charitable organizations to focus their fundraising efforts on big fundraising events and seeking grant funding. While fundraising events bring in chunks of funding, they are time- and energy-consuming and subject to the variables in today’s world—weather, timing, competing events, volunteer involvement, and the economy. Applying for grants can be large investment of time for the return and the field is filled with aggressive competitors.a-group-of-people-having-a-good-time-on-music_My4L080d

As members of your congregation, you might imagine yourselves as a part of the Team of 72%–the individuals engaged in funding their organization, together. Rather than being spectators or attendees, you actively engage in the sport.

You and your peers are valued players, making the difference in the outcome for the betterment of the whole. You train and practice and challenge yourselves to new levels of success.

Go, team!

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Resources for further exploration of this topic:

  • Atlas of Giving (USA) 2014 and 2015 forecast:  http://www.atlasofgiving.com/atlas/9564728G/9564728G_12_14.pdf
  • Giving USA 2013: http://givingusa.org/product/giving-usa-2014-report-highlights/     Giving-USA-2014-Highlights-final-secured
  • Ahern, Tom. Seeing Through a Donor’s Eyes. Emerson & Church. 2009.
  • Burnett, Ken. Relationship Fundraising. Jossey-Bass. 2002.
  • Christopher, J. Clif. Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship. Abingdon Press. 2008.
  • Durall, Michael. Beyond the Collection Plate. Abingdon Press. 2003.
  • Warwick, Mal. Fundraising When Money Is Tight. Jossey-Bass. 2009.

 

Stewardship Leaders—A Valentine for You!

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Dear Ones Who Raise and Steward the Funds~

We may not tell you every day how much we appreciate all that you do to raise (and give!) the money to sustain us. We realize that much of what you do is for our success and benefit, but it often goes unnoticed with everything else going on around our faith community.

We know that you put your heart into your effort, because you love this congregation–what we believe in and value and stand for in this world. And, you have formed meaningful relationships with the givers among us—those who choose to generously support our ministries and programs.

On this occasion of Valentine’s Day, we take the time to express our admiration and affection to you, for you enable our congregation to make a difference. We can remember that the very origin of the word Valentine means strong and healthy. This is what you do for us: keep our community strong and healthy.

Your efforts are worthy and we thank you!

To express our love and gratitude on this occasion of Valentine’s Day, we pledge our generous financial support and partnership in the venture and responsibility of stewardship.

With grateful hearts,    

                Your Congregation

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Giving Speaks Consulting is Here for You!

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As an independent consultant, I am pleased to offer a menu of consultation services for your congregation, community organization, or small nonprofit entity, customized to suit your organization’s unique mission, goals, priorities and needs.

If your organization has not recently clarified its strategic vision and/or mission, priorities, short- and long-term goals, you may benefit from having an assessment process conducted. This type of in-depth review of the organization and its funding programs is often a good place to start.

The charitable giving and fundraising landscapes are changing!

  • With the changes in the economy that are affecting charitable giving, it is more important than ever for organization leaders to follow best practices in their stewardship and know the most current strategies for effective fundraising programs.
  • Fundraising has changed dramatically in recent years with the increasing availability and social-networking and online media. Organization leaders must gain familiarity and comfort with these new fundraising opportunities.
  • Donors are more sophisticated and selective than ever before.  It is essential that you know how to relate to your donors effectively to maximize giving to your organization.

So, what does Giving Speaks Consulting have to offer?

  • Assessments of fund development programs and stewardship practices
  • Strategic visioning and mission clarification processes
  • Planning for short-term, mid-range, or long-range goals
  • Coaching for professional and board leadership
  • Training for stewardship and fundraising volunteers
  • Campaign planning
  • Preaching, worship planning, faith development, and workshop presentations

Workshops can be conducted as webinars for your congregation or organization using Skype, Google Hangouts, Go To Meeting, or Fuze.  This is an affordable and easily accessible means of providing your staff and volunteers with focused training in these vital areas of organizational health and well-being without the added costs.

Phone consultation is also available, in addition to onsite training and facilitation. Contact Laurel Amabile, Giving Speaks Consulting, for more information:

I look forward to hearing from you!  

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Ways to communicate with Laurel and for more information about Giving Speaks Resources and services:

Email: givingspeaks@gmail.com                                                                                         Linked In:  Laurel Amabile                                                                                                         Twitter:  Giving Speaks                                                                                                           Facebook page: Giving Speaks                                                                                               Laurel’s Facebook: Laurel Amabile

For more information about Laurel’s professional history and qualifications:  http://wp.me/P1xUUk-o1