It’s not uncommon for many schools to host multiple fundraisers throughout the year whenever a “new” need occurs and to fund the tuition gap. But is that really the best way to utilize your pool of donors and fundraise for Christian schools? We propose another way: centralized fundraising.
What Is Centralized Fundraising for Christian Schools?
Before you can utilize centralized fundraising to put your school in a better financial position, you need to have a few things in working order. These include a supportive Board that is laser-focused, a strategic plan for your school (know your WHY), and a personal relationship with your (major) donor base. If you don’t have these, subscribe and visit our previous blogs to learn how to accomplish them. If you do have these, keep reading.
Plan your finances and budget. Finalize your annual funding plan for the year before it begins. An annual funding plan is a yearly plan designed to produce the revenue needed to help your school meet budgetary needs year over year and advance your primary objective.
You should already know what needs to be fixed, replaced, or bought and how much it will cost to plan accordingly. If you can’t fit it into this year’s budget, it will have to wait until next year. This is where prioritizing school needs is paramount.
Construct a plan. Start looking at which fundraising campaigns will best be able to help you raise the money you need—in addition to enhancing your mission and vision. We can help you pinpoint what campaign that may be after going over your budget, goals, and timeline.
What Is Decentralized Fundraising?
In short, decentralized fundraising for your Christian school is when an organization conducts fundraisers without a strategic goal or plan. Need new basketball uniforms? Host a fundraiser. Need new equipment for the science lab? Host a fundraiser. Gym floor need to be replaced? Host a fundraiser.
This method cripples your school’s ability to fundraise, as you are constantly reaching into the donor well of money—resulting in disgruntled parents and donors, as well as stakeholder fatigue.
You should fundraise to accomplish your WHY, but reactive fundraising only undercuts your ability to finance what’s most important. As a rule of thumb, we recommend hosting no more than two fundraisers a year, not counting an End of Year appeal. A Feed the Need campaign in the fall with a Night of Impact gala in the spring flow together nicely, as they utilize both inside and outside money.
If you’re ready to centralize the fundraising for your Christian school, we would love to partner with you. Contact us today!