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The form has been taken down for this year’s auction. We hope you can make it out to the event Saturday! If not, plan to join us September 27, 2014 for next year’s event!
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Greetings friends. The below blog post was written by a friend and consultant, Mark Vincent. He has been working closely with me (Tuna) on our campaign to rebuild the pavilion. This summer we are entering the “Public Phase” of this effort and so I thought I’d share it with you this “Tuna Tuesday”.
Capital campaign communication: 2 awesome examples
We learn so much from our clients. Occasionally we can pass the benefits along.
I have been privileged to work with Bethany Birches Camp as they ready themselves for their first big capital campaign. Their Executive Director, still in the early stages of his career, is an outstanding example of someone who knows he doesn’t know and is therefore able to learn and grow and put a lot of long-timers to shame at the excellence he is already achieving.
Most noticeable is the way he, the board and volunteers have been able to inject the organizational culture of the camp into all their campaign communication. Whenever the constituency interacts with them they are having a camp experience, not just a communication from the camp. Here are two awesome examples:
1. Their video that introduces the campaign and makes the case provides an excellent standard other organizations can aspire to reach:
2. A recent update on an unanticipated project that could have harmed momentum conveys a non-anxious, thankful, yet light-heartedly determined way forward. Anyone who participated can find themselves in the blogs/photos etc. that are linked in the note. It provides a great personal touch mixed with the benefits of social media and web. Here is the text:
Greetings friends. I’m writing with deep joy in my heart for each of you. As you probably remember about a year ago we received some tough news from the fire marshal: that the Bethany Birches Cabin would be shut down April 1, 2012 until we complied with numerous requirements.
One of my biggest concerns was how we’d pay for the upgrades to the building. My second concern related to how to get the work done. Because of you, the work was finished and paid for! THANK YOU!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support of this effort and for your ongoing help in Bethany Birches’ mission to help young people develop their relationship with God. Without you we would still be without the use of the cabin!
And here is one more idea. Why not take these examples to your development and/or communications team to view and then ask what is one step we might take to better inject our organization’s culture into our communication–especially in a capital campaign? How might our constituency have an ongoing experience and not just another communications piece?
For years the wonderful staff and campers at camp have been creating many videos (hundreds!). A lot of those (less than two hundred) made their way to Youtube. It was such a shame to let them sit there, lonely and unwatched so we decided to create BBC TV. There are currently four channels: Summer, Winter, Staff and Everything (clever title, we know). You’ll find them here: BBC TV
The annual board retreat was held in January at Jeff Rosenberger’s Springfield Apple Orchard. Phil Bergey was the facilitator. The Pavilion Project is foremost for the director and the board along with the continuing energy needed to carry on the mission of BBC. Mission Possible: The Pavilion Project has been launched to make this dream become a reality in 2014 after the camping season is completed. Building plans, site location, timetables, contractors, current finances, and prospective donors are on the minds of many. A comprehensive director’s review has also been undertaken. Recommendations and compensation have been updated. The board is very pleased with the leadership and vision provided by Brandon Bergey and the program director (and wife!), Amber. Public Social Media Policies are also being formulated to keep abreast with modern technologies and social media. The organization continues to seek ways and opportunities to help shape youth and young adults to be productive Kingdom citizens.
A lot of snow + campers + BBC= SNOW CAMP!! Undoubtedly campers love going to camp: to see friends, to see the staff, and at BBC- to learn more about God. We (a group of volunteers) had a great time with the campers in a non-stop action packed weekend, but the focus wasn’t necessarily on snow – It was on God.
Something that stands out in my mind from the weekend was a conversation that a couple of us (volunteers and campers) were having. I remembered one of the campers – he has a brilliant mind but had a hard time processing the existence of one almighty God. He and his family tended to be polytheistic and as we talked about the story of Elijah found in 1 Kings in the Bible, he asked some really good questions – like, “Why did Elijah call upon Baal to bring fire down when that wasn’t Baals ‘gift’ or ‘power’? He wasn’t the god of fire so of course he won’t be able to send fire down on the altar.” Hmm, good point. We continued to go deeper, yet at some point he seemed to reach an impasse, to which he said, “I’m a skeptic…” as if he thought that by saying that I would stop asking questions. We pressed on. He said that it would take a REALLY BIG miracle to prove to him that the God of Abraham is real.
It was a blessing to be a part of that discussion. He was processing the Christian story. He was asking good questions. He has a deeper knowledge now than he had before – whether that translates into a trust in Jesus and eventual service of God’s Kingdom is yet to be seen. At least a weekend at camp filled his heart and mind with knowledge of the truth. Sometimes these conversations can be a challenge, but they’re the ones that can also bring about the most change and can give us the most encouragement to keep going, to keep proclaiming the message of the gospel to a world that so desperately needs to hear it, see it, feel it, experience it – and Bethany Birches IS all of those things to EVERY camper!
Intel is on a need to know basis. Here’s what you need to know. The effort to replace the old pavilion with a new one is under way.
We’ve been hard at work raising money since October 2012. Some of camp’s faithful supporters have given generously to achieve nearly $700,000 in commitments already. The project total is $1,800,000. This will pay for the new pavilion and subsidize program for 4 years (we wanted to consolidate all our fundraising needs for the length of the campaign into one effort).
Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to make a gift (or at least a commitment) by August 15, 2013. If you complete your mission you will receive a couple free gifts.
Why I love Goodro Lumber: Today, I called and got Steve. I asked him if he could pick out a grout that was the same color as the tile I bought from them but slightly lighter in shade/color. He said, “yup, no problem.” He called me back a little later and said that he thinks he found the right one. On top of that, he called the manufacturer to clarify a detail to be sure he gave me the right one.
Now, get this. Cheeks drives by Goodro some days when she teaches class. I asked Steve if he could have the grout ready for her to pick up. She stopped in and picked it up. She said she was in there for about 2.5 minutes. Talk about convenience!
Last night I had a very fun experience. I had a 3 hour meeting with a bunch of cool people. Here’s the thing – it was all via Google Hangout (a free video conferencing tool). There were 7 of us on the conference in 4 locations. What makes this more interesting to me is that the meeting was about and for Bethany Birches – a wilderness camp in a rural location. On top of that, the age range of people in the conference was 25-50. I was surprised that it felt relatively easy to engage with each other and in the content of the meeting.
While this is a non-traditional way for a Christian, wilderness camp to operate, let’s think about some benefits:
7 people representing 3 different states would have to travel a LOT to get together physically
That travel costs:
A lot of money (auto or plane expenses plus lost time at work)
A lot time (1 day instead of only 3 hours)
A lot of carbon (we still haven’t main-streamed travel without fossil fuel)
Everyone got to finish out the evening in a way they chose rather than driving home.
In short, I’d say it was a worth while way to have this meeting, even for a camp!
I love when an organization invites me to volunteer in a way that maximizes my time and includes me in the right part of a process. I have a hard time when an organization invites me to give my time before there is an effective way to use it or before there is clarity around the objective.
Our hope here at BBC is that everyone will consider volunteering here in some capacity and that we will find meaningful ways to plug you in. It’s not too late to make plans to volunteer this summer!
It’s true. Occupancy for the Bethany Birches Cabin has been granted. Here’s the proof, in fact.
This post is about the people who made it happen and what happened. THANK YOU!
About a year ago we were informed we’d need to stop using the cabin April 1, 2012
The board and I struggled to find a way forward – including how to pay for the upgrades
Many people gave of their financial resource generously. Without these folks, we couldn’t have done it: First Congregational Church of Woodstock, Doug and Becky Clemens, Dave and Beth Anders, Blooming Glen Mennonite Church, Bernard Sippin and many others.
$75,000 poured in over just a few months.
$65,000 has been spent and we’re done meeting the requirements! We expect to use the “extra” toward a few details in the cabin and any additional toward the upcoming Pavilion replacement. Please do write to me (Brandon) if you’d prefer your gift to be allocated differently.
The fire marshals were kind and flexible and helped us create a building that is much safer in case of fire.
Some of the people: (THANK YOU)
Robert Buchan – helping with permitting and lending knowledge
Paul Derksen & Dave Beidler – carpenters working at a discount seeing the project through