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Networking ideas for Pathfinder Ministry
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 9:14 am 
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Location: Shreveport, LA (USA)
I wonder how many Pathfinder Staff members there would be if fundraising was not required for the day to day operation of a Pathfinder Club :?:
I know of several churches in my area that do not have Pathfinder Clubs because they can not find leadership. I have wondered what the major obstacle is.
I was lucky enough to have a church that financially supported the day to day operation of the club from the church budget. I know this is not the norm.

I would like feedback from the forum members. If this is an issue, the next time I have an opportunity to promote the formation of a new club in a church, I will have some basis for asking them to put their money on the line.

Note, fundraising for major Camporees will always be required. The Pathfinders need to work towards that goal and not have it handed to them.



Mr. Mike

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 7:44 pm 
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In my experience if a church is not interested enough in their young people to put money in a budget item for them will not have a successful Pathfinder club long term. Fundraising for special events is fun. Fundraising for survival is drudgery, at least in my experience.

Mark O'Ffill

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 8:39 pm 
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The fortune of a large church was that certain members with a passion for us who lead and those who were members would donate freely offerings, especially with a simple request. The church never subsidized us more than $80.00 per month in my life, the board is just that way often. Lately my church has had a significant down turn in attendance and stewardship, so I have gained first -hand experience as to just how hard it can be to exist with no $.

I had not thought before that fundraising would be an obstical for the descision of a potential leader to lead or not. It is though a valid concern and I would be curious to see a survey from any conference of local board members and their feelings on funding the various youth ministries.

Chris Fishell
Xtreme Youth Resources International


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 7:09 am 
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$80.00 per month would be nice.
I know of a lot of clubs that get $50 to $100 per year subsidy and they have to beg for that.
I am lucky that I belong to a church that has taken children ministry as their mission.
We run a daycare, preschool, 8 grade academy, and subsidize the Adventurer and Pathfinder Clubs.
The church is full of kids six days a week.

I still wonder if fundraising is keeping leadership away, but none of those people are likely to answer directly on this forum.


Mr. Mike

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 12:27 pm 
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I think that fundraising is a huge issue. I believe that churches should fund there Pathfinder Clubs because it gives the church ownership in the club, and reminds them that they exist. The subsidy should be an amount in keeping with the number of Pathfinders and availabliity of funds, even a $20 monthly contribution is acceptable for small club.That being said, I also believe that clubs should be as self sufficicent as possible. Pathfinder find more value in what is provided when they have the responsibility in helping to cover the costs.

I believe that fundraising could stand in the way of some people becoming leaders, however, with good fundraisers available to them, that could be minimized.
Signs of a good fundraiser are:
1) high profitability
2) minimal after the fact staff work
ex. sorting, delivering, making returns,
3) items highly disposable and in demand
ex. calendars, candles, greeting cards, plants, wrapping paper, baked goods
4) something you believe in and your church stands behind
5) a good product for a good price (not a good product for a competitive price)

Other things to remember are that when you are fundraising, you are not offering the best product for the best price, you want to give a good product for a fair price and still make good profit. I know some people that say, " but I would never pay that amount for that item" This is a good time to remind them that the most important thing is that they are donating to a youth group and receiving a gift in exchange. Another idea is to find a church member to be in charge of fundraising.

Personally I have never know anyone to turn down leadership because of fundraising, it's more of the whole picture, lack of time, that I have seen as reasons.

Chelly


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 7:02 am 
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How many clubs have a staff person that does nothing but fund raising?
That would be nice, but most of the time I think it falls to the Director.

I do think that a church should support their younger members with activities that will promote the youth's relationship with God.
Adventurers and Pathfinders are proven programs and should be supported finiancally by the church for the day to day operation of the club.

When I was director, I hated the fund raising part of my duties.
I did them and raised a lot of money over the years, but I could see how it might keep staff/directors away from mentoring the youth.

Mr. Mike

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 1:45 pm 
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I have often thought that it would be beneficial for a church to elect a Fundraising Coordinator on a biannual basis. This is intended to help all departments raise money. One complaint I have been hearing more and more is that the kids (and other ministries) are trying to raise money for the school, Pathfinders, social events, +++ and there is not enough to go around. In addition these efforts not being well coordinated at times overlap in time and sometimes product or service. A church Fundraising Coordinator would help all departments to plan, execute and not overlap their efforts.

This will keep members more willing to donate to the cause of the moment. It is not an exceptionally difficult job, using some basic guidelines a person can learn to coordinate these efforts and even mentor the department leaders conducting them. With the inside track of the next series of appeals comming from the Pastor and/or board further problems can be avoided. This is not unlike the carefully planned giving calendars from NAD or your conference.

Still I feel it is very important for not stressing the financial stewardship of your congregation to take any reasonable opportunity to expand fundraising beyond them and the parents. It also keeps your club in the eye of the community to have them in the community. As important as we have professed it to be that your Pathfinders be in the eye of the church for their support it is equally important to put them in the eye of the commmunity as well through a variety of actions including service and fundraising.

God Bless,

Chris Fishell
Xtreme Youth Resources International


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 5:08 pm 
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"Still I feel it is very important for not stressing the financial stewardship of your congregation to take any reasonable opportunity to expand fundraising beyond them and the parents. It also keeps your club in the eye of the community to have them in the community. As important as we have professed it to be that your Pathfinders be in the eye of the church for their support it is equally important to put them in the eye of the commmunity as well through a variety of actions including service and fundraising. "(clipped from Chris Fishell)

I believe this is very true. I know that between can collecting, fundraising, and literature distribution, our club has generally covered most of the population of our town. We try to rotate the areas, so that those areas where we did can collecting would in the next year either be givien literature or recieve the opportunity to purchase from us. We also give literature and sharing books when fundraising, that way you can use the time for your Share your Faith activity.

Chelly


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 7:39 am 
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For Friendship Camporee, the combined forces of School and Pathfinders sold the book "He Taught Love" (Chirst Object Lessons) to the community around the school. This was very successful.
The book was setup by EGW to fund education, but it is rarely used for that purpose.
The Pathfinder portion of the funds raised was about $1400.
This fundraiser took the project outside the congregation while spreading the love of Jesus.

Mr. Mike

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 12:05 pm 
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Talk to your local Literature Evangelist, the mega books program is a great fundraiser for kids for School, Pathfinders or Mission trips.

Chelly


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 Post subject: Fundraising
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:19 am 
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Location: Kalamazoo, MI
in a word BLAH! :P

As a Director this is what I least like doing. It is part of the consideration of leadership. I don't want to talk about this long. I would love for someone in my chruch to volenteer to do this part.

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