Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Non-Profit Funding

Working for two non-profits, the Mell Baptist Association and the Pregnancy Care Center of Tiftarea, I understand the importance of relying on funds of donors. They are both ministries, so we walk by faith, not by sight. However in the world we live in, it is hard for boards or teams to look at a previous year's income and not become overly cautious (this is coming from the one that is happy to spend and spend, just ask those I work with).

This diagram fits the situation of the PCC more so than the Mell. It shows all the places that we anticipate that funding might come from each year. It's a diagram I copied off the web, so it is not completely the way we operate, but close. One of the components is "special events." Many non-profits have them, and we are no different. We are doing the preparations right now for our third of three that we usually do each year. We raise a good deal of our budget through special events. We are grateful to every giver who comes and gives. However, if we rely on events to carry us through the year, it is hard to plan long-term. Good ministries should plan long-term. It is so we will not have to live simply year to year.

One of the BIG components missing from the diagram is our monthly supporters. Churches and individuals who are monthly or quarterly sponsors for us keep us going in between events. Long-term planning needs long-term funding. The best way to have long-term funding is to find people with a passion for your organization or you cause, and give them an outlet for their passion. Sometimes it will be financial, but sometimes it will take on other forms. The former model is event based, but sooner or later people get tired of it, or just come back each year without bringing new people. So at the PCC, we are trying to move toward our operating budget being generated by monthly giving, and our larger needs being done with event money. That's the goal, but after several years, we are not doing so well with our paradigm shift.

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