Tuesday, 28 June 2011 10:33
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Planning for the future, whether it be for ourselves or for our business or an organization we belong to, is a very difficult assignment. While we all would like to think that we are in control of everything, the fact of the matter is we are not! No matter what we would like to accomplish at any given time, there is no certainty that it will happen as we planned. As we all know, there is a Higher Authority that controls all of our life, and He knows best what we need and when we need it.
Understanding this to be the case, how then should we plan for our tomorrows or the next school year? At Eastern Christian, much like at any other business, there are things that need to be done in advance in order to accomplish our goals and objectives. This is not only a good business decision, but also a practical one. In most cases we step out in faith, anticipating that things will work out as we planned.
Planning is a large part of our summer activities at Eastern Christian. Some of us are already planning for the new school year; some are planning for the arrival of a new high school principal; some are working on a sound financial plan for the year, and others are planning for the operational needs of the school in the immediate future. On any given day, there may be three or four separate meetings to plan—planning for today, tomorrow and beyond.
In the Foundation office we are busy planning for the fundraising needs to support the school in the coming year—not an easy task these days, but one that requires proper planning and direction. We need to be prepared to support the school budget with nearly $1,400,000 in funds raised from sources other than tuition. We have been busy analyzing some of our recent fundraising events and have decided that some of the previous year's events simply did not produce the desired results and should be dropped from our list of events. These are difficult decisions, because we need to find alternative events that will produce the desired results in support of the budget. Fortunately, we have a number of Foundation Board members who have a creative mind and are willing to work with new ideas and suggestions in order to sustain the support levels the school requires. What this means for our supporters is that you may be asked to support fewer events during the new school year; however, your support of the "EC Signature Events" will be critical to the financial health of the school.
For your information, we are listing the 2011-2012 Signature Events so that you will be aware of their existence and approximately when we will solicit your support for them. As the year progresses, you will be hearing and seeing more information about these Signature Events.
2011-201 Signature Events
- August 20, 2011 Annual Fund Drive
- October 21, 2011 Annual Sports Boosters Golf Outing
- November 4, 2011 Annual Scholarship Dinner
- January 25, 2012 Annual Sports Boosters Beefsteak
- April 19, 2012 Annual Auction Gala
- May 21, 2012 Annual EC Golf Outing
The details of these events and other fundraising initiatives will be communicated via the EC Web site, home bulletins, EC Times and any other media that reaches our supporters. We sincerely hope that we can count on your participation and support once again.
We not only covet your support, but the future financial health of our school depends on it. This is your school and mine, so please join me and many others with your strong support and above all your fervent prayers for Eastern Christian School.
Monday, 31 January 2011 17:47
Those of us who have been in the fundraising business for a while are almost afraid to ask that question these days as we may be asked to use some newly developed technology that we are still unfamiliar with. I get a kick out of the commercial showing the cook in a large commercial kitchen communicating with someone using empty soup cans connected by a string. As youngsters, we all tried that method as it seemed like such a novel and innovative idea then. Little would we know that just a few short decades later, the way we communicate would change so many times in so many ways.
Most of my generation grew up with the telephone, albeit a party line with several neighbors sharing the same line. So much for secrets and confidentiality in those days. We went from dial phones to touchtone, then to caller ID and then call waiting. The changes kept coming, but little did we know what lay ahead of us.
It wasn't too many years ago that we agonized over the expenditure of $500.00 during a Eastern Christian Finance Committee meeting to purchase a Fax Machine—the end all in the field of communication (so we were told). Today fewer and fewer fax machines are sold, giving way to the technology of scanning documents in to your computer.
The predecessor of the cell phone for many was the car phone, a bulky arrangement that essentially looked like your home telephone installed on the dashboard of your car. In addition to costing around $1200.00, it took an entire day to install this unit at a designated telephone service center. While it had some limitations you could clearly see that this was the beginning of something big in the communications arena. Little did we know how big and how soon things would change.
Just when a simple cell phone seemed to satisfy most of us, we were introduced to touch screen, email, chat, photo and even video games. Add to this the tremendous advances with the internet through DSL, cable and satellite allowing us to send messages, photos, documents and other important files via email. How about On Line Chat? What a novel idea! We should not forget the added benefits of voice and video capabilities through microphones and webcams. The list goes on and on and the technology keeps changing and improving.
How many times have you been in a meeting or in someone's company recently where people were texting or reading/sending messages on their Blackberry or similar device? And then there are the social networks of Facebook, Twitter and others as well as the surge in the business contacts obtained via Linkedin. It is truly amazing how much change has taken place during our lifetime in the field of communication, and I think it is safe to say that this trend will continue, perhaps even faster than we have witnessed so far.
What does all of this have to do with Eastern Christian and you? Very simply, a lot! We are constantly seeing that our donors are requesting less paper and more communication via the latest and the greatest means of communicating. Our dilemma is that we have a multi- generational constituency and not all have the same level of familiarity with today's technology, something we have to keep in mind as we contact you on behalf of Eastern Christian. Accordingly we still use many of the tried and true methods of contact such as letters, phone calls and visits. To date that has served us well, however we can't ignore the fact that future generations will deal with us very differently and we have to be prepared for that eventuality. Today many of us use the best technology available to do our jobs. Many of us can work from our homes or from distant locations by using the technology available to us. For all intents and purposes, many of us are easily available 24/7 allowing for the resolution of many issues without a hitch or delay. In a way it is mind boggling to think that technology has created significant amounts of efficiencies but it also has the potential to remove the personal touch we have all come to expect, especially when it comes to asking for your financial support.
Our policy at Eastern Christian has been and continues to be to respect and use the available technology where applicable but never at the expense of personal contact where that is more appropriate. We hope you agree.