The process used to raise money is the same no matter where I have been. The only difference is the number of zeros before the decimal point.
Just prior to my arrival in June 2011, the Jayhawk Area Council was notified that its largest United Way was changing their funding strategy from agency funding to impact area funding. At that time, the United Way of Greater Topeka accounted for approximately 20% of the council’s operating budget and funded the council’s outreach programs and staff. While this was a great challenge, it caused us to re-tool our direct support efforts to shift our funding strategies without reducing services. During my interview, the selection committee specifically identified Friends of Scouting both in dollars raised and manpower as areas of great need.
Friends of Scouting: 12% Growth from 2011 – 2016 in Jayhawk Area Council*
- Promoted campaign discipline with organized kick-off, report meetings, and victory celebration.
- Implemented Finance Workshop Seminar for staff to plan annual campaigns.
- Initiated Community Friends of Scouting Kick-off Breakfasts in population centers.
- Initiated a “Give or Get” expectation for executive board members raising the average gift of board members 260% and increased total board fundraising 197%.
- Created a focus on manpower increasing number of campaign volunteers at the district and council level in family, community and board campaigns.
- Introduced recognition program to encourage families to pay pledges up front thus reducing billing time and costs.
*Approximately 30% of the funds booked in Friends of Scouting prior to 2012 were moved to foundations or project sales. This was a more appropriate reflection of the type of gift.
Special Events: 219% Growth in Net from 2011-2016 in Jayhawk Area Council
- Supervised numerous special events including Distinguished Citizen/Eagle Dinners, Golf Tournaments and Outreach Luncheons ranging from $10,000 to $200,000 in revenues.
- Built an event to recognize the top 20 individuals under the age of 40 in the Shawnee County area. This 20 Under 40 event has become a signature community event in Topeka with over 600 in attendance annually. It has also created a pipeline of young up and coming talent to recruit for council committees and the executive board.
- Developed a new Tribute to Heroes event in DeKalb County, Illinois to replace funding lost by an area United Way. In first year, quadrupled amount allocated by United Way (from $5,000 to $20,000).
- Converted Eagle Dinners in two councils into fundraisers attracting new corporate support. Secured high profile community leaders as class honorees.
- Handled all support related to special events including upgrading overall presentation with technology, audio-visual (project sold), materials, etc.
Project Sales: 480% Growth from 2011-2016 in Jayhawk Area Council
- Secured food for summer camp in three councils ($10,000 for Jayhawk Area Council).
- Leveraged over $20,000 annually in media support to enhance special event and membership campaigns.
- Secured numerous sponsorships for Special Events and past Scout Shows.
- Secured $35,000 in funding and in kind support for Centennial Tower –built in conjunction with the Salina Family YMCA as a part of our centennial celebration and to be jointly used for programming.
- Developed Board Project Sales Guidebook and brochures to be used to solicit support.
Foundations: 540% Increase in Foundation Support in Jayhawk Area Council
- Shifted some foundation gifts that were previously booked into Friends of Scouting based on the type of relationship or the process used to request funds.
- Identified and researched prospective foundations to increase the number of proposals submitted.
- Personally met with foundation directors determine how best to match the council’s needs with the foundation’s interests.
In prior assignments, responsibilities have included special events, foundation giving, project sales, and staff advisor to the fifth largest popcorn sale in the country in St. Charles, Illinois breaking $3 million in sales.