Budget Short Fall
As of December 2021 it will be one year since I officially came on staff at GOHOP as a prayer missionary. Most GOHOP staff have an open ended fundraising model with no set rate of pay. Each month staff receive a pay cheque for the donations that came in for them that month. Some months are lean and other months are not.
When I came on staff I was willing to step into fundraising my own support but I didn’t feel comfortable with not having a predictable budget. I started fundraising 3 months before officially joining GOHOP to build up a buffer so that each month I could receive a consistent pay cheque that reflected working 25 hours a week. GOHOP was happy to let me do this to make the job more sustainable for my family.
It has been amazing to see people’s generosity and belief in what I do. Overall my fundraising efforts have been a huge success. I have often had a 3 month (or more) buffer in my budget and this first year has been very stable up until September 2021.
In my last newsletter I let people know that I had raised enough to be paid in full until the end of September. I was very surprised to find out that in reality there was a $300 shortfall. Over the next month, I leaned into fundraising, prayer and trying to find out where the discrepancy was. I felt like I was doing what needed to be done and my records showed that I had raised enough to continue to be paid in full but at the end of October the short fall was $1215. My last pay cheque was about half of what I would normally receive. Andy (the director of GOHOP) and I went back and forth on all the numbers, trying to figure out where the discrepancy was. In the end it turned out to be a monthly $192 tax called ER (employee remittance) that is charged to employers (in this case GOHOP) and that is why it doesn’t show up on my paystub. This added up to an annual hidden cost of $2300. GOHOP doesn’t take a percentage of staff fundraising (lots of charities do) but in lieu of this all costs associated with being an employee of GOHOP are paid by the staff.
I’m not going to lie, I was really upset that this deduction didn’t appear anywhere in the financial updates I received. I have also felt very overwhelmed by the stress of this financial surprise. I completely understand that GOHOP is in new territory with how I have been fundraising and I don’t begrudge raising the funds needed for my employment. Andy assures me this will no longer be a hidden cost and GOHOP will be using this as an opportunity to help staff to more accurately budget & fundraise what they need.
All that to say, I have had to increase my fundraising goal. Here are the numbers:
- $2897 is my new monthly fundraising target. This covers all the monthly costs associated with me being employed at GOHOP.
- $1300 is how much currently comes in each month from people signed up for monthly giving plans. This is the money that is predictable each month.
- $1597 is how much more I need to raise each month. Up until September 2021 this money has always come in before it was needed but is very unpredictable.
I would like to thank everyone over the last year who has contributed financially to my work at GOHOP. Even though I’m in a hard season right now, I know this is still a success story. The first 9 months of my work with GOHOP has been 100% funded by you. That is amazing! This early success has given me the confidence to keep fundraising and working to make this ministry sustainable as my primary source of income.
It is so important when talking about money and fundraising to be completely transparent, so here is my fundraising plan:
- A continued emphasis on Monthly Giving Plans.
Monthly giving plans can be set up online or mailed in with post dated cheques. People can sign up for a giving plan here: https://randellneudorf.com/gohop/donate/
- Contact one time givers to consider giving annually.
This has been a good way to catch up with people while inviting them to partner with me in my second year at GOHOP.
- Increase awareness about my work by speaking and singing more often at church gatherings and other events. Just last week I was able to be a guest speaker at Mount Hamilton Baptist Church and a guest worship leader for Redeemer Universitiy’s Act Five gap year program. I have developed hands-on teaching experiences focusing on prayer walking, imaginative gospel contemplation, art as prayer, and the practice of silence. In my music I have been experimenting with songs being sung as prayers & blessings over people. I have had the opportunity to try this and it has been well received in both church and secular community settings.
- Widen my support network by doing an online fundraising campaign through social media. I have been reluctant to do this before because I have people following my social media profiles that have no connection to the church. Some of these people might even be hostile towards the church. I don’t want to ostracise these friends but I also want to connect with people I know from church networks. I feel like I finally have the words to balance these two communities and will be starting to fundraise through my Facebook and Instagram profiles in the near future. If you see one of my fundraising posts please “like it” to help other people see it. The more likes, shares and comments a post gets the better.
The good news is that I’m already seeing progress! Through these efforts I have covered most of my budget shortfall in September and October.
This practice of fundraising also has an important prayer component.
Here is how you can be praying:
- Pray that the funds needed to finish 2020 well would come in.
- Pray that monthly giving plans would increase to 70% of my budget.
- Pray that I would meet people outside of my current network who might want to contribute financially.
- Pray for my own spiritual ethic of fundraising. Pray that I would trust the Lord and not have stress overshadowing the work I’m doing. Pray that my conversations about money would also lead to good conversations about prayer and following Jesus.
A Few Quick Updates:
- I’m over halfway through being the interim coordinator for GOHOP’s Pastors & Leaders Prayer time. Networking with pastors and leaders comes very naturally to me and I have found this opportunity to be very fulfilling. Almost every week we have met with a different leader for prayer. About half of the pastors have requested to meet in person. Many of our zoom prayer weeks have been with pastors outside of Hamilton. We have prayed for leaders as far away as Saskatchewan.
- Asah Creativity & Prayer Studio is having our next in person workshop on Wednesday November 17th at 7pm. The idea is to bend spiritual practices towards creativity, and to bend art practices towards prayer. You can check out the detail on our Facebook event page: https://fb.me/e/1EiYbjpS5
- On October 15th, GOHOP entered our 20th year of prayer. Check out our online Guest Book to send your Birthday message to GOHOP. You can also see other people’s stories, thoughts and photos.
Thanks for taking the time to read through all the financial info in this newsletter. I really appreciate you journeying along with me through this.
Grace & Peace,
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