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Annual Fund: The 5 W’s, 1 H, & 1 TY

Posted by on December 21, 2018

Annual Fund: The 5 W’s, 1 H, and 1 TY

Ann Higgins, Director of Development

 

For this week’s Friday Blog I thought I would use this familiar journalistic device to talk about camp’s Annual Fund. I hope the information is helpful and answers some questions you might have about supporting camp.

What?

As in “What’s the Annual Fund, anyway?” As a non-profit organization, Christian Camps and Conferences, Inc. (Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost) is allowed to accept tax deductible donations from those wishing to support the work. The Annual Fund is an ongoing opportunity for the extended camp family to partner with us in the ministry through their financial support. Our theme is “Join the Journey” because we believe that everyone at camp is on their own faith journey to learn more about themselves, who they were created to be in Christ, and how to best serve the Kingdom. When you give, you come alongside the many campers and staff who are encouraged along their way at camp.

Why?

Camp’s Annual Fund is made up of two parts, General and Scholarship giving. General (undesignated) giving helps with those unexpected expenses. As you would predict, appliances wear out, recreational equipment breaks, and camp often experiences weather-related and other damage to facilities. Undesignated gifts allow us to use the funds where they are needed most. The Scholarship Fund is used to make camp a possibility for those who could not attend without financial assistance. Currently, about 25% of our campers require some assistance to attend. This equates to about $220,000 each year. Recently, our camp family has been faithfully fulfilling this need, which also helps us keep our tuition costs within reach for more families. Put simply, a strong Annual Fund makes an organization stronger and insures its longevity.

Who/Where?

The Annual Fund benefits all of our campers: Camp Brookwoods and Deer Run in New Hampshire, and Moose River Outpost in Maine.

When?

A goal is set annually by the Board of Directors for the Annual Fund for our fiscal year, January 1st through December 31st. This year, Scholarship giving has been strong as the Weekend of Giving in July boosted the fund by $59,000 in just three days! There are still a few more days left in 2018 to help us reach our overall giving goals. As a reminder, to qualify for a 2018 tax deduction, online gifts must be made by midnight on the 31st and checks must be dated and postmarked on or before the 31st as well.

How?

There are many ways to support camp. The most direct and familiar way is by donating via check or credit card. The year-end mailer can be viewed here and you can give online here.

Camp is also able to accept gifts of stocks and securities, transfers from an IRA, gifts through life insurance, and real estate. For more information on those types of gifts, please check out this section of our website.

There is also an option for scheduled, automatic giving through our monthly donor program, the Campfire Circle. Circle members receive special communications and a small welcome gift upon joining. You can find more information here.

So, that’s the 4 W’s and that one H. Last but not least, the most important thing is the TY—that’s for a great big Thank You! to everyone who supports camp through their prayers, or gifts of time, or financial support. It takes all of you to make our camps the special gospel-centered communities we desire them to be. May God bless us in the New Year as we seek to serve Him and witness more lives being transformed for Christ. Thanks be to God and Merry Christmas!

Ann Higgins is the Director of Development for Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost where the best part of her job is interacting with the thankful and generous camp family that supports our mission. You can reach her at ann@christiancamps.net

Generosity, Happiness, Thankfulness… Which comes first?

Posted by on November 20, 2018


Ann Higgins,  Director of Development

It’s the season of Thanksgiving, complete with feasting and family gatherings and football. It’s also a time when many of us give of our time and resources to help those less fortunate in our communities. All of these things are good. And all of them make us feel good too (unless your sports team loses!). Being happy and content is a good thing, but it’s also something that is elusive for many of us, evidenced by the plethora of books and articles that have been published recently on the subject.  Just google “how to be happy” and you’ll see what I mean!

There have even been scientific studies on the subject and many of them have shown a link between generosity and happiness, specifically, that generous people are happier people. One study, conducted at the University of Zurich and quoted in Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meditation-modern-life/201712/study-shows-generous-behavior-leads-increased-happiness, even makes a biological connection between being kind or generous and feeling better about yourself:

“The study shows that generosity truly is enough to boost personal happiness, and that generosity doesn’t need to border on martyrdom to be effective. Helping others, in any way that we can, is enough to lead us toward a brighter tomorrow.” 

This should be no surprise to believers in Jesus. We know the one who made us, and we are intimately joined to him. We also know that we are made in his image. This creator God of ours is a generous God, giving us all we need for light and life. He provides for our physical needs and also surrounds us with His beautiful creation for us to enjoy. In addition to that, he gives us himself in the person and work of Jesus. Jesus reveals to us the true nature of our generous God when he heals the sick, gives sight to the blind, welcomes the little children, and feeds the five thousand. And then ultimately, he gives of himself on the cross to redeem a people for himself. Of course, our only response is to give thanks and rejoice in this wonderful reality. And then, to go on to model God’s generosity to others!

At Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost, we are certainly thankful for these things and for many other blessings we have witnessed at camp this year. More campers than ever came through our gates in 2018, and we are especially grateful for the 215 campers who made the trek up to Moose River Outpost, our beautiful property in Jackman, ME. We are also giving thanks for the generosity of everyone who boosted the Scholarship Fund by $59,000 during our Weekend of Giving. We were (and still are!) amazed and humbled at this outpouring of love and support. We know that nothing happens at camp without the prayers and support of the camp family.  It is only with this ongoing support that we can fulfill our mission of seeing lives transformed for Christ.

When I think about how many campers and families have come through our gates over the past 75 years, I am amazed at how often we have had the privilege of sharing the good news of the gospel and inviting campers to commune with God amidst his magnificent creation. It’s mind boggling! My only response is thankfulness to our generous Father in heaven. That kind of thankfulness results in something even better than happiness, it results in a deep sense of joy and awe at this wonderful God whom we serve.

At this time of year, let’s remember to not just be thankful in general, but to be thankful to, and for, our generous God! As believers, let’s remember that our responses of happiness, joy, and generosity reflect the nature of our loving heavenly Father, the one who made us to be like him.

References

Soyoung Q. Park, Thorsten Kahnt, Azade Dogan, Sabrina Strang, Ernst Fehr, Philippe N. Tobler. A neural link between generosity and happiness. Nature Communications, 2017; 8: 15964 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15964

Ann Higgins is the Director of Development for Camp Brookwoods, Deer Run, and Moose River Outpost where the best part of her job is interacting with the thankful and generous camp family that supports our mission. You can reach her at ann@christiancamps.net