2012 Budget Special Appeal
In early September we reported that we were projecting a deficit of $15,000 due to a number of unanticipated factors. In response to our appeal we have received to date$6,375. To those who have given, a heartfelt thank you for your support for this parish. If you have not yet given, it is not too late, and we have another opportunity. On the recommendation of the Fundraising Brainstorming Committee we have added a 13th month to the calendar, the “Month of Thanksgiving,” inviting all to make an additional monthly pledge. (See Nan’s note below). This gift may be made in thanksgiving for someone or something, designated in the memo line of the check or an accompanying note. This much-needed donation is a powerful way to express your thanksgiving for the life of this parish. We will be reporting on progress regularly via a “thermometer” in the Parish Hall.
Eight of us met Sunday evening to share suggestions and opinions about fundraising. We came up with both good ideas and serious concerns. We don’t want to face shortfalls like we are now. We want to live within our means and address money issues before reaching “crisis time.” We want more transparency and reporting about our finances and spending. Some of us prefer fundraising be reserved only for outreach projects. Others would support doing fundraising in support of the budget every year. We all agreed that we must find a way to bring in additional money now to meet our current shortfall. We want whatever we do to engage everyone in the congregation. We don’t want “the usual folks” to be over-burdened to the point of resentment.
Judith Cox came up with a great idea: “A month of Thanksgiving.” Her suggestion may solve our immediate dilemma. It works like this: We ask every pledger (and those who give as they can without pledging) to give the amount they normally give in one month as if there were a 13th month this year. We are going to call it the Thanksgiving Month. Each of those donations may be made “in Thanksgiving” for someone or something. We want to record those “thanksgivings” on a chart in the Parish Hall right next to the thermometer graphic showing how much is coming in. Donor’s names may remain private, of course, but their “thanksgivings” may be listed if they want them to be. We ask that checks be accompanied by a note detailing your “thanksgiving” and whether you want it to be published or not. We hope to receive them before Thanksgiving.
The group came up with almost a dozen other clever ideas for fundraising in the future. A few are listed below. We welcome your responses to these ideas and want to hear your own.
An annual lobster roll lunch. We visit each local business, talk to employees and take orders and payment for lobster rolls that we will make and deliver on a particular Monday noon (when many restaurants are closed).
Selling special food (like gazpacho, or strawberry shortcake) at major town events such as Arts in the Park in July or Belfast by the Bay on New Year’s Eve.
Inviting Episcopalians from other areas to come visit Belfast and mid-coast Maine for a special weekend, the Celtic Festival, for instance, or for a leaf-peeping weekend in October. Each family with a guest room could offer it and breakfast for $100 a night. (20 families taking guests for 2 nights each would bring in $4,000 in one weekend).
Silent auctions of quality donations
Food and music events
An ice cream social
Personal service offerings (house cleaning, dog walking, leaf raking, meal prep) at $20 per hour with money going to St. Margaret’s.
To comment or share an idea, contact one of the four volunteers who signed up to look into fundraising: Chris Urick (firstname.lastname@example.org), John Gregory (email@example.com); Judith Cox (firstname.lastname@example.org); Nan Cobbey (email@example.com).