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Annual Fund

Annual Fund Development for Christian Schools Funding for Christian Schools has changed, is changing and will continue to change! “We now live in permanent white water, and nobody has shot this river before.” The right path through the financial maze can be found, but it takes an attitude change and a willingness to try methods that your school has not previously attempted. Holding a major fundraising project does produce needed income. However, raising substantial operating funds requires additional streams of income. An effective fund development program is rarely accidental. Success occurs when planning is paired with a focused, skillful, long-term effort. What is an Annual Fund? An Annual Fund is a coordinated effort by your school's Development Team to plan an annual fund that provides an average of $40,000 - $200,000 (or more) for your Christian school. Properly structured, after the first year, raising annual funds gets easier because donors “get in the habit of giving” to your school. How is the Annual Fund Used? The Annual Fund can be used for budget support or special programs, scholarships, salaries, facilities upgrades or needed equipment – generally in the same school year. Your school sets the goal, which may change from year by year. Who Does All the Work? You will be happy to know that the Administrator is NOT in charge. Instead, the Administrator and/or Development Director recruits a Development Team that is given a job description and trained at the Annual Fund Seminar. AMAZing Benefits: Prior to the campaign, your school completes the Parent Satisfaction and Referral Survey (PSRS) that o Identifies volunteers willing to help on the campaign o Provides authentic testimonials for use in the campaign o Lists what your parents think are your school’s most urgent needs o Summarizes ways to improve your parent satisfaction scores More people are asked to support the school “instead of the same old few.” Funds can be used to implement new programs, purchase equipment, upgrade facilities, increase tuition assistance or help with operating costs. The development program coordinates with a congregation’s stewardship program. A mission-oriented approach to generate school support is established. Added publicity generated by the Annual Fund compliments an endowment program. The sponsoring church(es) appreciates other sources of income instead of relaying so heavily on the church members. People are trained to think of development and not just “fundraising.” Alumni, grandparents, and other “friends” of the school become involved and bring other resources to the school. The Annual Fund lays a foundation for a future capital campaign. Future financial security through estate planning is initiated or becomes stronger. Local businesses can become partners in school support. Coaching for 1 year (2 hours or 4 hours per month, depending upon program level selected) through the entire process, to make sure your campaign stays on target. You can compare GraceWorks' two annual fund programs here. Or, request free: "Ten Tips to Increase Your School's Annual Fund" . The GraceWorks Difference GraceWorks’ Annual Fund Development program uses the most successful development strategies in the industry and accomplishes one thing that other programs cannot: our process fundamentally improves your school. Not only do you obtain much-needed funds, you have more satisfied parents and a sustainable annual fund development process. Every school is different! We tailor your annual fund process to the uniqueness of your school. No cookie-cutter work! The Annual Fund Importance Does this sound familiar: “Is it in the budget?” “Do we raise tuition again?” “Staff salaries can only be increased if tuition goes up.” “Let’s see, this is October and already we have had two candy drives, a beef jerky sale, a bazaar, a carnival, a garage sale, and the truck of fresh grapefruit we ordered from Florida will be here tomorrow.” Are these questions, or similar financial concerns, expressed at your board meetings? What are your future plans and provisions for increasing staff salaries and benefits…for expanding the curriculum…for upgrading and adding to the facilities… for the addition of new programs and staffing needs? What’s ahead for your school in three, five, or ten years? Will the school’s current base of support continue? Are you in the process of planning new recognizable streams of income to strengthen your school and remove some of the burden from supporting individuals or churches? More and more Christian schools are initiating an Annual Fund or Annual Development Program. The purpose of this program is to raise annual funds for current year needs. Many schools are raise 5% to 15% of their operating budget. This is a major amount of income that can happen on a yearly basis once the program is properly installed. Let us say it again: this income will continue year after year, once the program starts. The annual appeal is a bread and butter foundation for a development program that can produce significant income for the school. Why Start an Annual Fund Now? WHY NOT? Every Christian school has potential donors who would be most happy to give, if only they knew your situation. The Annual Fund provides these donors the opportunity to support Christian education. A Closer Look at GraceWorks' Annual Fund Process Your job is not only to ask people for money, but to ask the right prospect for the right gift by the right solicitor at the right time and in the right way. All schools have potential supporters who have only to hear of your mission and they will support it. It’s very simple find those who believe in you and you ask them for financial support. So, what is the best way to ask? We answer the question with an onsite workshop, "The AMAZing Annual Fund." GraceWorks comes to you! The AMAZing Annual Fund Seminar is a 2-day seminar, at your school or other facility in your community, that focuses on the essential details to start (or expand) annual fund income from $40,000 to $200,000 or more, depending on the size of the school. The seminar trains a core leadership team to implement the program. A case statement, telling the story of the school and how the school is worthy of support is finalized. Plans are developed to communicate with potential donors through special mailings and newsletters. Specifically, The AMAZing Annual Fund Seminar includes: Annual Fund -- What Is An Annual Fund? How Is the Annual Fund Used? Who Supports the Annual Fund? How Do You Generate Annual Fund Gifts? How Do You Ask? Strategy Decisions, Setting the Goal, Table of Gifts, Gift Clubs, Matching Gifts, Memorials, Annual Fund Checklist Leadership -- Annual Fund Chairperson, Spiritual Leader, Secretarial, Cultivation, Major Gifts, Phonathon, Recognition, Volunteers, Calendar of Events, Development Team Checklist Case Statement -- Reasons for a Case Statement, The 5 Parts of the Case Statement, The 4 “Don'ts” of the Case Statement, Case Statement Checklist Direct Mail Appeal -- What Is Direct Mail?, Segments of the Mail Appeal: Mailer, Cover Letter, Brochure, Reply Card and Return Envelope, Direct Mail Checklist Donors -- Whom Do You Ask? Donor Target Circle, Prospective Donor's Checklist Phonathon -- Whom Do You Call? Who Does the Calling? Location, Date and Time, Material Needed, The Night of the Phonathon, Phonathon Checklist Major Gift Prospects -- Prospects, Finding Them! Cultivation of Prospects, Process of Obtaining Gifts, Donor Life Cycle, Major Gift Checklist Asking -- One-on-One Asking, Dealing with Fear, How to Ask, Asking for the Lead Gift, Tips on Asking, Asking Checklist Recognition -- Showing Appreciation through: Correspondence, Gifts, Special Events and Annual Reports, Tips on Expressing Recognition, Recognition Checklist Record Keeping – Prospect/Donor Reference Card, Donor's Permanent Record Card, Phonathon Call Record Form, Computers, Record Keeping Checklist Your school will have everything you need for a successful Annual Fund program.
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