Wyden Your Horizons!

The Newsletter of VanderWyden Consultants, Inc.
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Toll-free: (888)-245-5826 - Email: Bill@WydenYourHorizons.com - Web: WydenYourHorizons.com

Providing Professional Giving Counsel
for Churches & Non-profit Organizations

Capital Fund Campaigns - Operating Budget Campaigns - Planned Giving
Wyden Your Horizons and Find The Joy of Generosity

October 2008 - INSIDE THIS ISSUE. . .

1. How to Maximize Your Fund-Raising Results in Tight Financial Times Click
2. The Tax Benefit for Donors Who are 70½ Years Old Has Been Renewed Click
3. About VanderWyden Consultants, Inc. Click
4. Subscribe / Unsubscribe Instructions Click

Our Country is about to elect a new President. Millions and millions of dollars have been contributed over the last four years to the campaigns of the multitude of candidates that competed in the primaries to become the representative of their respective parties, and even more millions have been contributed to the two finalists during the last few months since the Party Conventions have occurred. This Presidential Campaign has set huge records for the amounts of funds that have been raised.  In addition many more millions of dollars have been contributed to the campaigns for thousands of other candidates throughout our country – candidates for the United States Senate and House of Representatives, State Governorships, other State Representatives and Officials, Local and State Judges, Mayors, City Council Officers, etc.

In fact in the last couple of months, in the midst of the global economic crisis, millions of dollars have been contributed for political campaigns. Even in the midst of this financial meltdown, many individuals still have a lot of money. Some of those individuals make financial contributions to political candidates who will enable them to preserve their wealth. In addition, thousands of individuals who may not be wealthy have been empowered by making small donations, which, when they are pooled together, can make a big difference. The point of citing these facts is to stress that there are still plenty of funds available for your church or non-profit organization that can be raised to enable you to provide your invaluable services, programs and ministries for your members, the citizens of your communities, and for outreach giving for individuals who are in need throughout the world.

In this issue of Wyden Your Horizons, we share some of our insights about the key strategies that can enable you to maximize the contributions to your organization, so that you can thrive in these tight financial times, and be able to continue providing the services that will be so vital since many families and individuals will be struggling as a result of this financial tumult.

At VanderWyden Consultants our mission is to enable individuals, churches, and non-profit organizations to Wyden their Horizons through faith-filled fund-raising. We find that when you start with faith in God's providing, and give in proportion to your blessings, churches and non-profit organizations are able to achieve their goals and their members find the Joy of Generosity. Our programs involve no-pressure on individuals to give, but are rather "painless and pleasant" explorations of faith. That is how we approach the privilege of making a difference in the world through joyful giving. We have found that when members and donors give because they want to, they give wholeheartedly and often give far more generously than if they had been pressured or persuaded into giving.

We believe that fund-raising through faith-raising is a truly meaningful calling. In essence, it is about nothing more complicated than sharing: enabling those who have been financially blessed to assist with the meeting of needs of others, which blesses both those who give and those who receive.

We are happy to share what we learn through our work and pray that this publication may provide helpful suggestions for your worthwhile fund-raising efforts. We also are happy to share the insights of our readers. If you have any ideas you would like to share, or if you have any questions about our services, please don't hesitate to call using our toll-free number: 888-245-5826.

How to Maximize your fund-raising Results in Tight financial times

Money is tight at this time. Not only does this statement refer to the fact that banks and lending institutions are hoarding their funds, and that individuals cannot secure loans to finance their businesses or to make large purchases, but it also refers to the fact that many individuals have less assets and/or lower incomes. It also means that money will be tighter for charitable institutions like churches and non-profit agencies. In times like this there is much more competition for fewer funds.  In a recession charitable giving usually drops around 1.1 percent according to the American Association of Fund-raising Counsel.

But this doesn't necessarily mean that your church or non-profit organization has to be without the funds you need to provide your vital services and programs. But it does mean that your church or non-profit organization needs to be more intentional about how you raise those funds. This is not a time to be complacent, saying, "Oh well, we'll just have to go without because all churches and non-profits will be struggling during these times."  This statement and state of mind is patently untrue. As we always say, there is never a shortage of funds, but rather a shortage of faith in God's providing and a shortage of creativity. We are happy to share below 5 keys that can enable your church or non-profit organization to maximize the funds that you raise so that you can continue to provide your vital services.

1. Believe that funds are available

Many churches operate with a Myth of Scarcity mentality. They misunderstand stewardship and act as if curtailing or short-changing their programs or staffing is "good stewardship" of the church's funds.  In this way, they take the focus off of the responsibility of members to give in proportion to their blessings.  Jesus said, "I have come that you may have life and life in Abundance."  This theology is incongruent with a Mythology of Scarcity. 

True stewardship is the understanding that "our funds" are really not ours, but that we are merely temporary stewards of those funds, and we are accountable for how we use and give of our resources. When give in proportion to our blessings to meet vital needs, we find that there are abundant resources. Even though many individuals have less funds than they had a few months ago, there are also many who have significant wealth, and many families who are not really struggling.  In times like these people realize that there are many who are in greater need. If you start out by believing that sufficient resources are available to meet these increased needs, and ask your members to give in proportion to their resources, you will raise far more funds than you might imagine.

2. Create a Convincing Case Statement

In such tight times, there is competition for every charitable dollar. If you are to be successful in your fund-raising, you have to convince donors that their dollars will be best used by your organization, rather than given to other organizations, or to be saved or spent.  The social service organizations that will thrive in these times will be the ones who who have a convincing, compelling Case Statement. Your Case Statement is a succinct statement of your organization's purpose, its mode of operations, the critical services that you provide, and the results that your efforts produce.

A Case Statement for a successful church or non-profit organization is much like a convincing, persuasive "legal case."  If you think of an effective closing argument, you know that it always speaks to the heart of the jury, and also provides pertinent facts and data. Facts and figures about your effectiveness in meeting the needs of your community and congregation are important to provide credibility to your "Case" for increased funding. But don't act needy. Donors are much less likely to give generously to appeals that ask them to be loyal to an institution so it can "meet the budget." Rather inspire your members and constituents to to see the vision of what your church or social service agency can do if they give generously, and how their giving makes a real difference. Sacrificial giving occurs when organizations and churches speak to the hearts of their donors, and help them to understand how essential it is to provide for the needs of their  neighbors. 

3. Dramatize the Need

You must enable your donors to understand that there are urgent needs in your congregation and community.  If you are to compete with other organizations, you must enable your potential donors to feel the crying needs of their neighbors, and to understand that it is imperative that those needs be met at this time.  People need to be needed, and they will be generous when they know that their gifts are urgently needed to help those who are in need.

4. Clarify the Vision

Donors do not give to chaos or confusion. You must be clear about your purpose, and what you intend to accomplish.  Create an exciting, uplifting vision which can inspire your potential donors to envision the wonderful possibilities that will emerge when they give sacrificially and generously. A clear vision provides illustrations of the measurable results of your members' giving, accurate statistics about the costs of providing your services, programs, or ministries. 

5. Use Pictures

Pictures can be powerful resources in helping you to Dramatize the Need, and to Clarify the Vision. Photographs of individuals who are in need are literally worth "thousands of words" to enable your donors to see, feel, and to understand the needs that your church or organization meets.  Even better are videos, or power points, which can provide thousands of pictures in a very short amount of time. They can be sometimes worth millions of dollars. Your video can tell your story and show your donors who is in need, how urgent is their need, and how effective your church or social service agency is in meeting those needs.

If you use these approaches consistently with integrity to help individuals to understand the urgent needs in our world, and that their giving can make a real difference in the world, you will Wyden their Horizons, and in the process Wyden the Horizons of your organization in terms of how many people you can help. Next month we'll look at 5 more key approaches to maximize the giving of your donors, and their enjoyment of their lives, through the Joy of Generosity. Top

 The tax benefit for donors who are 70½ years old has been renewed

A portion of the recent $700 billion dollar stimulus package could actually stimulate increased charitable giving for non-profit organizations and churches. The new legislation (H.R. 1424, The Financial Rescue Package) includes a two-year extension of the IRA Rollover provision. The provision will be made retroactive to Jan. 1, 2008, and will apply to gifts made from that date through Dec. 31, 2009.

The provision exempts from taxable income any funds transferred (“rolled over”) from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to a charitable organization. The following limitations apply:
bulletThe donor must be age 70½ or older.
bulletThe cap on annual IRA rollovers is $100,000.
bulletThe contribution must be a direct gift to a charity (no planned gifts).

This means that individuals may continue to be able to donate up to $100,000 per year to churches and other charitable institutions from their required IRA distributions and have these funds be exempt from taxes as long as the donors are 70½ years old. It also means that couples may donate up to $200,000 tax free from these funds. Be sure to consult with a professional financial advisor before making such a transfer, to make sure that your gift can provide you with this tax advantage, and provide the assistance to your church or charitable organization that you desire.  Top


VanderWyden Consultants provide professional fund-raising guidance to non-profit organizations and churches throughout the United States who require assistance with their fund-raising. We provide professional guidance for Capital Fund Campaigns, Stewardship Operating Budget Campaigns, Planned Giving Campaigns, Comprehensive Financial Feasibility Studies, and Workshops on the dynamics of stimulating growth in membership. If you would like to meet with us, since we provide our services throughout the United States, we can be available to meet with your leadership. If your church would like to host one of our Professional Workshops for churches or non-profit organizations in your area, we can provide a discount in our services for your church.

Our staff has conducted over 350 successful campaigns throughout the United States. Our "Joy of Generosity" Capital Fund Campaign program enables churches to raise as much as 13 times existing giving levels, and our "Wyden Your Horizons" Operating Budget Stewardship program results in increases of 15 - 45%. Top


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Bill VanderWyden

Rev. P. William VanderWyden, CFRE
President VanderWyden Consultants, Inc.
Headquarters -118 Westchester Drive, Amherst, Ohio 44001
Toll-Free Phone: 888-245-5826 (888-Bill-Van)
E-mail: Bill@WydenYourHorizons. com
Web: www. WydenYourHorizons. com