The pledge-based budget is a limited tool for getting things done. It can probably pay for what we got done last year, what groups like ours normally get done, but it’s not great when we want to get new things done. New projects probably need new money and new ways of getting it.
When a church group launched a project to make 20 Mothers’ Day gift baskets for residents of a domestic violence shelter, they bought all the items themselves and were reimbursed out of a special mission fund. They then made worship announcements to invite contributions to pay back that special fund. They got it done.
A group has built a mission partnership with Peruvian churches for five years without once putting it in the budget. They sell hamburgers on one Sunday and trinkets at an alternative gift market on another, and that pays a share of airfare to Lima at least once a year. It’s getting done.
Several colleagues and I are building a regional youth ministry organization that can’t depend on our respective youth ministry budgets for funding. Students have to pay towards the costs of our retreats and mission trips. That’s a blunt funding instrument that limits participation by default to those who can pay. Or, in our case, it doesn’t limit participation and instead racks up a deficit.
We need a strategy to support our new project. Sponsorship? Could we invite churches and mission committees and individuals to sponsor our projects in the coming year to enable broader participation from all students?
If your church didn’t have its own youth involved, would it sponsor a project like this?
How else do new projects find the new resources they need to get done?