Archive for the ‘Donors’ Category

Giving Creates Happiness (and more money)

This post is about money and time.  These are two scarce resources.  By the end of the post, I hope to have made a great case for why you might like to accept my invitation to come and give time to camp, or give money, or both.  In the giving of these two scarce resources, you will be happier!

I stumbled upon two blog posts this past week, both dealing with the data that shows giving things away (especially money and time) make people happier.

One post was sent to me by my brother (thanks Bryce).  It’s here.  In it, author Arthur Brooks writes:

In 2003, while working on a book about charitable giving, I stumbled across a strange pattern in my data. Paradoxically, I was finding that donors ended up with more income after making their gifts. This was more than correlation; I found solid evidence that giving stimulated prosperity.

He’s not talking about tax loop holes… he’s talking about the way that giving stimulates us.  He goes on to explain:

Psychologists, I learned, have long found that donating and volunteering bring a host of benefits to those who give. In one typical study, researchers from Harvard and the University of British Columbia confirmed that, in terms of quantifying “happiness,” spending money on oneself barely moves the needle, but spending on others causes a significant increase.

I have seen this over and over again. I’ve been working for Bethany Birches for 10 years now.  One of my primary responsibilities is to reach out to supporters and would-be supporters and share the power of camp with them.  It’s amazing. When people are here, at camp, they meet and impact young people.  Often they catch a vision of a better world.  They are inspired to adjust aspects of their own lives, encourage young people and give to the camp.  It’s magical… or perhaps a better word is mystical.  Mystical is a better word, I think, because it makes room for the possibility that in this process of relationships and service (giving of ourselves and our resources), God enters.

The second post is from a blog I subscribe to called Generous Matters.  In her post, Rebekah Basinger references Brooks’ post and adds some of her own words.

Here’s the problem with all this.  It sounds suspicious.  Until you experience the joy that comes from giving your time and money away, especially to those who need it (like young people at camp), you can’t quite believe that it can provide meaning and happiness.

Won’t you give it a try?

Give Money     Give Time

Tuna

(aka Brandon Bergey)

Pavi Virtual Tour

Check this out!  Architect Robert Buchan created this short video tour through the building for the recent Camp Association Meeting. We suspect the building to look something like this:
 

BBC’s Year End Report (2013)

This past Saturday night, we had our annual meeting at the First Congregational Church of Woodstock (thanks for that FCCW!).

It was a good turnout as seen in the picture above.

The agenda included reporting, visioning and a pot luck meal.  One thing we wanted to show but didn’t have time for was Robert’s fly through of the new pavi.  You can watch it over here.

During reporting, we covered much of the annual report.  You can read it for yourself right here.

For those of you association members who missed Sandy’s song, here it is:

 

Want more info on joining the BBC Association? Check it out.

The Benefits of Breakfast

On February 8, we hosted a Women’s Breakfast at Blooming Glen Mennonite Church. When planning began last year, the committee decided to ask Amber to share, and she said yes! The committee also decided that donations raised at the breakfast would go to Camp.

The Women’s Breakfast was a huge success! Amber shared stories from the Hill about “Meeting God in Unexpected Places”. She talked about there being room for conflicting feelings in our lives – like strength & weakness, confidence & fear, when we have Jesus. That sometimes both are present, but the love of Jesus allows us to acknowledge and understand the differences in the highs and lows in our lives, without allowing them to define who we are.

This happens to me every year when we come to shepherd for a week at camp. I love the opportunity to be with the kids, getting to know them better in a one-to-one setting. But I am not so comfortable standing before them and speaking during daily Jump Start’s and Fireside’s. The benefits that come from the relationships developed with campers definitely outweighs my public speaking fears, and the grace of God allows me to have enough confidence to get through the hard part of FEAR so that I can enjoy the LOVE of being with kids at camp.

I was privileged to be a part of the planning committee for this Women’s Breakfast. It is a lot of work, but seeing 115 women, spanning several generations, come together for a morning of fellowship, food and rejuvenation through the words shared is such a blessing! And while fund-raising is not the main focus of our breakfast, we are continually amazed at the wonderful ways in which God works. We had several different donors come forward willing to give $5,000 in “matching donations”! This means that they will match all donations given at the breakfast, up to $5,000. In turn, this encourages people to give generously at the breakfast, because then basically every dollar they give is doubled! I am always amazed by the strength of a community when they work together. Who would think that a breakfast could generate this much funding?

And guess what? We collected over $4,500 on that Saturday morning! Praise God! There are expenses to cover and we are still collecting donations this week. Our goal is to raise as close to $5,000, which will then turn in to $10,000 for camp! As of today (Valentine’s day), we are at $9,000! So I challenge you to think of new, fun ways that you can raise money for the new pavilion. To you campers who ski a lot – what about selling hot chocolate slope-side? What about hosting a pancake breakfast before school one morning? Think about it, and don’t let your fears stop you from doing something that will give back to you and your community… YOU CAN DO IT!!

Flo

(aka Beth Goshow)

 

Click here to listen to Amber’s sharing!

Click here for photos from the morning.

Get a New Perspective

God is on the move at camp! I write this because there is so much happening and a lot of it seems very good.

As I reflect on this, I think about how we experience things we like, we can easily attribute those feelings to God’s goodness and gifts. Similarly, when we experience things we don’t like, we can easily attribute our feelings to God and say God is against us (sometimes this may be but often, we simply need to re-calibrate our understanding of what is good, or rather, who is good).I really like the fundraising that’s happening at Bethany Birches Camp (BBC) right now. For example, the 11th Annual Benefit Auction that happened at camp in late September raised $60,000. It’s easy to feel a sense of blessing in the wake of that fundraiser. Or, consider the current status of Mission Possible: The Pavilion Project. $1.2 million has been committed to date. These two numbers are historical for BBC.On the other hand, this coming weekend we’re hosting a teen connect. Only 15 are signed up right now. On a bad day, it’s easy for me to feel like God has not blessed this event.

It helps me in the face of what I perceive as wild success and annoying failure to remember a couple things from Scripture. First, in Isaiah 55, God exclaims “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” Second, from Paul in Philippians 4 we learn that it’s possible to be content whatever our circumstances. And third, from Jesus, we come to understand that God’s blessings pour out on the righteous and unrighteous and that often things are reversed (the beatitudes illustrate blessing in tough situations and it’s hard for wealthy people to enter the Kingdom).

Join me in praying for the camp and the many people it serves. Pray for blessing, for effectiveness in ministry, for those of us in leadership to stay near to Jesus and for many campers to experience God’s love.

When you’re done praying, check out a few of these interesting webpages:
All about the Pavilion Project
All about the Auction
Winter camps coming up
Sign up for MP campaign text updates
Sign up for camp update emails

Thanks-Giving

Below is a guest post from Chad Yoder:

Thankful for Gifts of all Sizes

Fundraising is a funny thing.  A need arises out of the blue or a vision is put into action, both of which require a capital investment.  So where does this money come from?  A single donor?  A few select individuals?  Or a village ready and willing to raise a barn?  And why are some people intimidated by a call from someone asking for financial help?  Do they think “someone else will cover the cost” or “my gifts are not significant enough to make a difference”?

I have a growing appreciation for people who do development work.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been on the other side of the phone making excuses why I cannot give to a certain project.  Or maybe because each time I agree to help with fundraising, the job is just as difficult as I remembered it.  Or because of influences that are out of my control can stifle the joy of people who have typically considered giving as an act of worship and an example of Jubilee.  So why do I raise money for BBC?

I had my first taste of fundraising success a few years ago when I recognized the need for BBC to purchase some equipment so maintaining the camp property would be more efficient.  A friend of mine, Herb Wenger, had shared a story of raising money to purchase a tractor for BBC years earlier.  He was at breakfast with some friends and happened to mention the need for a tractor at BBC.  One friend spoke up and said “raise the money Herb and we’ll all pitch in”.  And so he did just that, and with the encouragement of some friends, he soon had the money to purchase the tractor.

I was encouraged when I found similar success to that of Herb.  I was surprised to hear people say “thanks for asking me Chad” and “we’re happy to pitch in for this cause”.  Soon enough I had the money needed to purchase most of the equipment on our wish list.  What a wonderful feeling it is to raise money without feeling intrusive or burdensome.

So why does fundraising for BBC feel so different to me?  PASSION!  I can’t remember a time that I’ve been so excited about a project and I think that my passion makes all the difference.  It get’s others excited for both BBC and for me.  People want to help BBC build a new pavi, but they also want to support me in my efforts because they see how important this project is to me.

The fall of 2012 was the beginning of the Mission Possible campaign, the Pavi Project.  An estimated building cost of $1,400,000 plus another $400,000 (includes three years of programming needs) makes the total amount needed for this project $1,800,000.  For some organizations, this may not seem like a big deal, but for BBC it is a major financial mountain to climb.  The passion of Brandon and Amber, the BBC board, the staff, campers, and the development resource committee could not be more evident.  This is why we named our project “Mission Possible”, because with God, all things are possible.

I am pleased to announce that we have surpassed $1,200,000 in committed dollars to the campaign so far.  This is only possible from a wide variety of gifts and we are thankful for gifts of all sizes.  Like the gift from the Clemens Family Corporation (shown in the picture), the unique auction match from Glen and Diane Moyer, the many creative auction donors and generous bidders this year, and offering projects like that of the Blooming Glen Mennonite Youth Fellowship.  It’s so cool to know that BBC has made an impact on all of those who choose to support the mission of the Camp.  This empowers me to keep pressing forward with the Mission Possible campaign with energy and PASSION!

Chad Yoder

Co-chair

Resource Development Team

 

 

Goals

Flo here again… have you ever set a goal? Camp has a goal… to raise $1.8 million for a new pavi so that campers can keep coming to camp for many years. When I was first asked to help that seemed like such a big number… and it is! But we’ve already raised $1.2 million!

What kind of goal would you like to achieve? Is there something you’d like to challenge yourself with? Last weekend, I had the pleasure of running with Sparkles and Benjamine in their first ever race. It was awesome! They both set a goal and reached it. Make a decision today to challenge yourself and set a goal… YOU CAN DO IT!!

– Flo