Oct. 8th Montana YL Regional update

Mary vs Martha: Do you miss times to sit with Jesus or hang out with kids because we are doing busy work?

 

Volunteers on Assignment

While we won’t be placing volunteers on assignment teams until November, we are now collecting information on volunteers who would like to serve on Camp Assignment for summer 2015. If you have volunteers in your Area who would like to be on Assignment, HERE is the link to the ‘Volunteers for Assignment’ google doc. We are accepting recommendations now!!

If you would like to request Assignment as part-time staff, please fill out this form. Please complete this request asap.

Summer assignments are where some of the best training is done. You get to see Young Life in action from a number of perspectives. You get to hear from other mission leaders. You get immediate feedback and opportunities for growth. Get your volunteers on an assignment. They will come back as better volunteers.

Thank for having a vision for your people and working to get them on assignment.

Work Crew Form Available Oct 9

Last week we mentioned the Work Crew area request form would be available. The official date has just been announced, and will open October 9.

Work Crew Allocation Schedule – Area requests are due to the Region on October 23. The full schedule is posted on the Work Crew page on Staff Resources.

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Area Requests – Please view the step-by-step instructions. These can also be found on the campRequests Help page. Each Area will provide two pieces of information in their work crew request:

  1. How many kids can serve – the number of guys and girls who will be trained and available to serve on work crew.
  2. Where kids can serve – the sessions where their kids can serve and the number of kids per session.

Session Dates – Click here for work crew session dates. This document is also available on Staff Resources.

Action Item: Submit your Work Crew requests before Friday, October 23.

YLHelp Blog

Have you subscribed to the Help for Young Life Leaders Now blog managed by Sean McGeaver.  You may just want to check it out for some good information.  You can see one his latest posts by clicking here.

My easy secret from Stephen Covey to skyrocket your year-end fundraising

October 8, 2015

2015 is flying by, isn’t it?

If you’re not already planning out your year-end fundraising, there’s no time like now to start.

If you’re old enough to remember when The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, you’ll love today’s tip. Seven Habits is a business and self-help book written by Stephen Covey, and back in the day it seemed like everyone was reading it. Me included.

Even today, the seven habits serve as solid reminders to all of us:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Put First Things First
  3. Think Win-Win
  4. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  5. Synergize
  6. Sharpen the Saw

But Covey’s second habit is the one I want you to focus on today: Begin with the End in Mind.

What does that mean for you as you begin (or continue) plotting out your year-end fundraising? As you’re gathering together the pieces of your direct mail campaign, your online campaign, any events you’ve got going on, your Giving Tuesday campaign (if you’re participating)…where exactly should your focus lie?

Well here’s something that I’ve been doing since my earliest days as a development director (back in 2001): before you do anything, before you write your year-end direct mail package, before you write that email campaign, write your thank you letter.

Yep. In Covey’s words: “Envision what you want in the future so that you know concretely what to make a reality.”

You’ll be amazed at how leading with gratitude helps your entire year-end fundraising campaign to flow.

And to help you get started, I’m delighted to present you with my dear friend Lisa Sargent’s newly updated Better Donation Thank You Letter Checklist (click here to download).

Lisa Sargent has been called “one of the finest fundraising copywriters on the planet.” An award-winning international donor communications specialist who is dedicated to helping her nonprofit clients raise more money and retain more donors, Sargent is most often found behind the keyboard crafting successful direct mail appeals, newsletters, and other retention-driven communications. She is also the Founder of The Thank You Letter Clinic on SOFII.

August 6th Weekly Regional update

Hello from Malibu:

We are currently finishing up week 2 at Malibu today and welcoming week 3.  Bozeman Young life has been here this week and their leaders have done a remarkable job.  We have been having an amazing time on assignment.  We get a first hand look at seeing kids lives transformed from when they step off the boat to when they step back on the boat seven days later.  It is astounding to see the way the Lord moves in the lives of our Assignment Team, Work Crew and Summer Staff.

Also, I know that the Lord has been doing some incredible work all over the State this summer and I love hearing all of the life-changing stories.  You are all doing an awesome job!!!!!! Keep up the great work of introducing kids to Christ and helping them grow in their faith.

Sincerely,

Keith Dow

Summer 2016 Camp Reservations Due August 21st

Action Item: Due Friday, August 21st, Camp Request 

Additional Step to Camp Request

untitled (18)As you are requesting the various camp trips for your Area, please list in the “Comments Box” on the right side the names of staff that will be attending that camp trip.  This information will be invaluable to us as we do Assigned Team allocation.

We understand that there may be situations where you may not know the names of the staff that will be attending each camp trip and of course the information may change.  The hope would be that you would simple give your best attempt. This will help us determine when you and your staff can/cannot go on Assignment next Summer.

Thank you in advance for your work on this!

FY16 Budget and PPL

Action Item: Due Friday, August 14, Final Budget and PPL to the Regional office.

Run Your Lapsed Donor Report

  1. Log onto Staff Resources and go to the “Giving” report
  2. In ‘Report Type Section’, choose ‘Lapsed Donor Prev Fiscal Year’
  3. Click the green arrow to create the report

Every Area should really do these three steps right now.  Run your Lapsed Donor Report and discover some of the work that needs to be done the next month.  Thanks.

Most Important Phone Call You’ll Make This August

Many of our friends recently graduated high school and are starting college this month. What happens during those first weeks of college will significantly influence, not only their next four years, but the very direction of their lives.Andy Stanley says “Direction, not intention, determines destination.” He illustrates, “If you’re going north on I-85, you’re not going to end up in Florida.”

We can have conversations with our friends about their hopes and goals for college, but those good intentions can easily be forgotten once the lures of college begin to entice.  Let’s help them be intentional with their intentions.

College Young LifeIf they desire college to be an experience leading them into deeper intimacy with God, we can help them go that direction. One practical way to do that is by making one simple phone call or sending a text message.

Odds are there’s an active Young Life ministry in the town where your friends are going to college. If so, it’s worth it to spend the time to look up the phone number/email address of the YL staff in that area. One easy way to find the number is by using the online Young Life locator.  Text or email the YL staff folks the contact information for your friends going to that college. Also, text your freshmen friends the phone numbers of the YL staff.

If there is not Young Life at that college, there most certainly are other campus ministries and healthy churches around the area. Spend some time on Google and do some research along-side your recently graduated friend. By making one simple phone call, you may help connect them with someone who can significantly impact their journey after Jesus.

Even Jesus sent out his disciples in pairs. We’re not meant to do this alone. Let’s work hard at helping our friends find someone to walk alongside of them. It just might be the most important phone call you make this August. Another way to get them connected to their new area is to encourage them to sign up on the Young Life Alumni and Friends website. 

Summer update:

Young Life Staff retreat: Moose Lake Sept. 24th-25th.

1165 Moose Lake Rd, Philipsburg, MT 59858

Our Fall staff retreat will be Sept. 24th-25th.  We will start at 1pm on the 24th and finish at 1pm on the 25th and then drive to Fairmont hot springs.  All full time staff are required to attend.  If you are on part time staff or a Volunteer AD and would like to come, please email Keith at keithdowyl@gmail.com.

Camp Allocation 2016 Opens August 1

10535822_10152562582342370_1187443885435551454_oIs summer over?  No way, but we are already planning for the summer of 2016.  The Camp Requests website will be live on August 1. Go to the website anytime between August 1 and August 15 and request your spots for 2016.

Time to start thinking about camping in the summer of 2016.

Action Item: Before August 15, go into Camp Request website and request your 2016 camping spots. 

Leader and Committee Camp:

We have created a Facebook event for the leader and committee camp.  We have also updated the costs and lowered them so that we can get as many leaders their as possible.  But we all need to keep this in font of our leaders and committee members.  Click here for the link to the facebook event.  It should be set up for you to invite all of your leaders.

 

Work Crew Opportunity

 

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We have work crew spots available for the Leader/Committee Weekend Sept. 25-27. We are providing child care during our sessions. Please fill out the work crew application provided here.

REMINDER: R1 count for Leader/Committee Weekend due now.

If you haven’t sent me your counts, please get me the number of people with kids and spouses that will be coming from your area. I have to make sure we have accommodations reserved to hold everyone:) Thanks, Shannon

Montana YL Weekly email: Pray 24/7

 

As you know, prayer has been a foundational discipline within the Young Life ministry since the day Jim Rayburn formed his first club in Gainesville, Texas. Throughout our history, everything from daily work to major decisions has been preceded with a conscious effort toward prayer and seeking God’s will for the mission. As Young Life continues to grow throughout the world, the leadership of Young Life has organized this site as part of an overall prayer strategy that we hope will lead to constant, consistent and perpetual prayer for our work of introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith.
Pray 24-7 is Young Life’s new prayer initiative with the vision of constant, consistent, perpetual  prayer for the work of introducing adolescents to Christ and helping them to grow in their faith.

Right now, over 95% of the folks signed up to pray are on staff internationally. Lets get this information in front of our staff so we can be praying for the requests on the Pray 24-7 site. I would love for all our staff to be registered by August 1st and we will give updates over these next 4 weeks.
If you have not signed up to pray, go to pray.younglife.org and click “Join the Team.”  This would also be a great place to “submit a request” as well.

Tank.

 

For a Leader

For a Leader

May you have the grace and wisdom
To act kindly, learning
To distinguish between what is
Personal and what is not.

May you be hospitable to criticism.

May you never put yourself at the center of things.

May you act not from arrogance but out of service.

May you work on yourself,
Building up and refining the ways of your mind.

May those who work for you know
You see and respect them.

May you learn to cultivate the art of presence
In order to engage with those who meet you.

When someone fails or disappoints you,
May the graciousness with which you engage
Be their stairway to renewal and refinement.

May you treasure the gifts of the mind
Through reading and creative thinking
So that you continue as a servant of the frontier
Where the new will draw its enrichment from the old,
And you never become a functionary.

May you know the wisdom of deep listening,
The healing of wholesome words,
The encouragement of the appreciative gaze,
The decorum of held dignity,
The springtime edge of the bleak question.

May you have a mind that loves frontiers
So that you can evoke the bright fields
That lie beyond the view of the regular eye.

May you have good friends
To mirror your blind spots.

May leadership be for you
A true adventure of growth.

Montana Leader and Committee Camp

Montana Young Life Leader & Committee Camp!!!!! Sep. 25th-27th.

September 25-27 at Fairmont Hot Springs, we will be getting the whole region together for a great time of fun, fellowship, idea sharing and training. All volunteers and committee members are invited and child care will be provided.  Please talk to your leader and committee and invite them to come.  We will have an R1 on July 1st and an R2 on Sept. 10th.  To download the flyer click here.

mt leadership weekend copy

Great work!!!!!!!!!

Great work getting kids signed up for camp and picking up R3 spots.  As a region, we picked up 45 more spots which means one more bus of kids will get to go to camp this summer and hear about Jesus!!!!!! Great Work!!!!!!!

I’m excited for our staff retreat next Tuesday and Wednesday.  I’m excited to talk about all of the great things that are happening in Montana/Wyoming, I’m excited to share hopes, dreams and struggles together and to pray with one another.

Thank you for all of the work you do to introduce kids to Christ and help them grow in their faith.

Keith Dow

Thank you for completing GPS!!

Action steps

  • Contact your committee chair to invite them to the call today May 14th at 7pm
  • Watch YL Access video sent by Rebecca Christ before Staff Meeting on May 19th
  • Staff Meeting at Canyon Ferry, Tuesday 1pm to Wednesday 1pm, May 19-20
  • Preliminary Budgets due May 22
  • Multi-cultural & Urban special expense forms due May 22
  • Senior contact info to region or on contacts by June 15th

MC&U Special Expense Form

Now is the time to apply for the special expense form online – you must fill this out every year.  Please note, when filling out the special expense form, total the amount of the annual subsidy you’re applying for and put this on your budget under line item 6230.  The auditing department is finding huge discrepancies between what areas apply for and the actual number on the budget; please remain consistent.

MC&U Special Expense Form
This application is due Friday 5/22 to the National Multicultural/Urban Office for the 2015-2016 fiscal year; please do in conjunction with your budget process. Some multicultural and urban areas have special programs that do not require the help of the Service Center’s administrative capacity, but do increase the area budget. This form allows multicultural and urban areas to apply for an exemption from the service charge for these programs. Click HERE to apply (please read directions thoroughly).

YL Access Committee Training

& Easy Area Launch

The number one request from areas has been “Can we use this for committee?”   Check out our new Committee Training Channel with 11 new training posts for both new and current committee members.  Topics include: Purpose of Committee, TDS: Taking Donors Seriously Made Simple, Effective Committee Meetings, The Adult Guest Program, and more!  Consider demonstrating YL Access at your next committee gathering and get your committee signed up. For more info on YL Access and easy area launch, check out this link.

Student Leadership Project

The Student Leadership Project (SLP) is a program of discipleship and leadership development for 50 committed Christian high school students who graduate in 2015 and 2016. It is aimed at students who have demonstrated leadership traits in Young Life, church, school, and community.
We are committed to diversity in the make-up of the group — race, ethnicity, geography, ability, church backgrounds, rural, urban, international, and suburban communities. The students will be chosen by staff from recommendations of local leaders. We’ll also have a variety of follow-up experiences over the next several years.
For more information, please contact Vern Hill at 651-430-1873 ,  slp@younglife.org  or Sophia Cox 443-326-4192 or refer to the detailed information below.

2015 Information

Dates: Session One: June 23 – July 3
Session Two: July 7 – July 17
Hosted By: Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.; North Park University in Chicago, Ill.; and Eastern University in Philadelphia, Pa.

Keep up the Great work

Good morning team,

I know you have heard me say this but GREAT WORK, this year.  The holy spirit has done some incredible things in Montana this year and it is all because of you and your faithfulness.  Keep trusting in the lord and introducing kids to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith.

Keith Dow

To do 

  1. May 11- GPS due
  2. Don’t forget that the address to send in all donations and payments to income processing has changed. See address below.
  3. Contact your committee chair to invite them to the call on May 14th at 7pm
  4. Watch YL Access video sent by Rebecca Christ before Staff Meeting on May 19th
  5. Send Shannon the names of your Camp trip leader for the call on May 28 at 7pm
  6. Staff Meeting at Canyon Ferry May 19-20
  7. Preliminary Budgets due May 22
  8. Senior contact info to region or on contacts by June 15th

GPS due May 11th. Every number is a face.

This is one of two times during the year that GPS is recorded and you have just 4 days left to complete this task. Please start to gather statistics and update GPS. Our mission-wide ministry statistics are drawn from this update so please verify that your numbers are accurate prior to submission. This is the most critical of updates. Please remember that these year end stats take into account the entire school year so contact list is all the kids you know and are praying for for the whole school year, etc.

One figure that we have not emphasized in the past, but that we’d like to emphasize in the Region this year is “Kids Impacted.” Please make sure you are giving a complete recording of kids impacted in your Area.

Please check your team leader, committee, and ministry support information for accuracy, as well. You may see another deadline in mission-wide mailings, but please stick with May 11, as the Region and Division have to review the numbers before the final deadline.

GPS Definitions

GPS Cheat Sheet

Call Shannon if you have any questions. Thank you.

Action Item: Before May 10, update your Area’s GPS.

Don’t loose track of your Seniors

Hi all, I know this can be a sad time of year as you say goodbye to your seniors. Let’s stay in touch with them and keep them connected as they transition to college or the work force by adding them to our Alumni list. There are several ways you can do this:

Alumni and Friends has connected thousands of incoming college freshman with local areas, which can help them acclimate better and give them a sense of belonging in this new stage of life. Thanks for helping your seniors out in this way! Blessings, Shannon

Cash Flow Budgets

This year we are doing our budgets in cash flow which is so much easier. You can see what you spent from last year right next to where you enter your projected budget. Genius!  There are recorded trainings available to you when you search “Budgets” on staff resources or call Shannon if you have questions.

Regional Calendar:

We have done a good amount of work and have most of the regional calendar done for next year.  You can view the regional calendar by clicking here. 

Committee Chair Conference call

Image result for Young Life committee

We are going to set up a committee chair conference call on Thursday May 14th at 7pm.  We will be sending out more details as we get closer.

Call in info:

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:

Please click this URL to start or join. https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1486808789
Or, go to https://meetings.ringcentral.com/join and enter meeting ID: 148 680 8789

Join from dial-in phone line:

Dial: +1 (424) 203-8420
Meeting ID: 148 680 8789

Action item: Please let you committee Chairs know about this call, we will be email them as well. 

Camp Trip Leader Conference call:

Camp is right around the corner and we need to make sure all of trip leaders have all the tools and know what to do when leading a trip.  To help with this, we are going to have a conference call for all trip leaders on Thursday May 28th at 7pm.  Area Directors please send Shannon Fair the names and email address of all your trip leaders.

Call in info:

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:

Please click this URL to start or join. https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1496797604
Or, go to https://meetings.ringcentral.com/join and enter meeting ID: 149 679 7604

Join from dial-in phone line:

Dial: +1 (424) 203-8420
Meeting ID: 149 679 7604

Action item: Send Shannon Fair the names and email address of all your trip leaders.

May 1st Income Processing Change:

Young Life is partnering with CDS Global to process donations and payments that come in the mail. The date of this transition is set to occur on May 1. Beginning on Friday, May 1, please send all Income Processing mail to the CDS Global processing facility at the appropriate address below:

Regular Mail:
Young Life
P.O. Box 70065
Prescott, AZ  86304-7065

Priority Packages:
CDS — Attn. Young Life
2286 Crosswind Drive, Suite A
Prescott, AZ  86301

1.       How do I get new envelopes?  New envelopes will be available for order on Wednesday, April 29th.  Simply order them online by clicking here.

2.       What do I do with my old envelopes?  You may still use your old envelopes, as long as a new address label is used to cover the old address.  You may use the attached document to print labels (label type: Avery 5160).

3.       What will happen to mail that is addressed to Colorado?  Mail received in Colorado will be auto-forwarded to the facility in Arizona for processing.

4.       How often will mail be forwarded to Arizona?  This will happen on a daily basis through the month of May.  In the months ahead this will likely taper off to once a week, with daily mailings toward the end of the month.

5.       How much of a delay will occur for mail received in Colorado and shipped to Arizona?  We anticipate that the forwarding procedure will add about 2 days to the processing time.  Please pay special attention to the address at the end of May, so that all donations and payments are included for month-end.

6.       Can I use the current Income Processing forms, or are there new versions?  Yes, you may continue to use the current IP forms.  There are no changes occurring to those forms at this time.

7.       Do my donors need to do anything?  Every donor who receives a paper receipt will automatically receive a return slip and envelope with the new address location already printed.  So your donors won’t need to do anything different.  Simply send their donation as always, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Keith and JC tourning the State of Montana

This week JC and I get to travel around the state and visit with most of you.  We are excited to have this time.

Year-End GPS Opens Friday

GPS statistics need to be updated by May 10.  The opening day to update statistics is May 1… this Friday.

This is one of two times during the year that GPS is recorded and you have just 10 days to complete this task. Please start to gather statistics and update GPS. Our mission-wide ministry statistics are drawn from this update so please verify that your numbers are accurate prior to submission. This is the most critical of updates. You will be able to update your Area’s GPS data from May 1 until May 10.

One figure that we have not emphasized in the past, but that we’d like to emphasize in the Region this year is “Kids Impacted.” Please make sure you are giving a complete recording of kids impacted in your Area.

Please check your team leader, committee, and ministry support information for accuracy, as well. You may see another deadline in mission-wide mailings, but please stick with May 10, as the Region and Division have to review the numbers before the final deadline.

GPS Definitions

GPS Cheat Sheet

Call Shannon if you have any questions. Thank you.

Action Item: Before May 10, update your Area’s GPS.

Regional Calendar:

We have done a good amount of work and have most of the regional calendar done for next year.  You can view the regional calendar by clicking here. 

Committee Chair Conference call

Image result for Young Life committee

We are going to set up a committee chair conference call on Thursday May 14th at 7pm.  We will be sending out more details as we get closer.

Call in info:

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:

Please click this URL to start or join. https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1486808789
Or, go to https://meetings.ringcentral.com/join and enter meeting ID: 148 680 8789

Join from dial-in phone line:

Dial: +1 (424) 203-8420
Meeting ID: 148 680 8789

Action item: Please let you committee Chairs know about this call, we will be email them as well. 

Camp Trip Leader Conference call:

Camp is right around the corner and we need to make sure all of trip leaders have all the tools and know what to do when leading a trip.  To help with this, we are going to have a conference call for all trip leaders on Thursday May 28th at 7pm.  Area Directors please send Shannon Fair the names and email address of all your trip leaders.

Call in info:

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:

Please click this URL to start or join. https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1496797604
Or, go to https://meetings.ringcentral.com/join and enter meeting ID: 149 679 7604

Join from dial-in phone line:

Dial: +1 (424) 203-8420
Meeting ID: 149 679 7604

Action item: Send Shannon Fair the names and email address of all your trip leaders.

May 1st Income Processing Change:

Young Life is partnering with CDS Global to process donations and payments that come in the mail. The date of this transition is set to occur on May 1. Beginning on Friday, May 1, please send all Income Processing mail to the CDS Global processing facility at the appropriate address below:

Regular Mail:
Young Life
P.O. Box 70065
Prescott, AZ  86304-7065

Priority Packages:
CDS — Attn. Young Life
2286 Crosswind Drive, Suite A
Prescott, AZ  86301

10 Email Marketing Tips for Cultivating Major Donors

10_Email_Marketing_Tips_for_Cultivating_Major_Donors2-01

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach potential donors and keep them interested, informed and engaged with your nonprofit’s mission. Use these 10 tips to improve your email campaign strategy and maximize your efforts.

1. Use an Email Service Provider (ESP)

ESPs are companies like ConstantContact or MailChimp who offer free or inexpensive online marketing tools for sending professional-looking branded email campaigns to your donor database. Most offer pricing models based on the size of your database, and some even offer special pricing for nonprofits. Not all ESPs offer the same features. Consider your options and take advantage of free trial periods to find the best solution for your Nonprofit’s needs.

2. Mix it up

Not every email should be a direct ask for money. While solicitation emails are important, they can annoy donors if you send them too frequently. Your goal with email marketing is to engage donors with useful content so they want to open every email from your organization. If solicitation emails were the only type of communication you sent, donors would stop opening your emails altogether.

Build email campaigns that update supporters on your mission, achievements and goals for the future. Emails are also great for sending thank-you’s, special announcements and promoting your fundraising events.

Email-timing-and-frequency3. Email Timing & Frequency

Finding the right number of emails to send is best discovered through trial and error. What works best for you usually depends on your audience and the scope of your nonprofit mission. Some organizations have so much going on that it makes sense to send out weekly correspondence, while others may only need to update their supporters once every few weeks.

At very least, try to send out two email newsletters and one solicitation email each quarter. Whatever you choose to establish as your email schedule, make sure you keep it consistent. There might be months where you don’t have as much information to share and that’s okay. Send something simple, like a statistic that relates to your cause or a link to view a photo gallery. The idea here is to stay top of mind.

Timing is also an important consideration when it comes to email marketing. There is mountains of data out there with varying recommendations for the best time and day to send an email blast. Typically though, you want to try to send email campaigns mid-week (Tuesday-Thursday) between breakfast and lunch.

4. Pay attention to analytics

After every email campaign you send you want to pay attention to your open rate and click rate. These are your best indicators of how successful your email campaign was.

Email-Analytics

  • Open Rate: Usually expressed as a percentage, this is the number of recipients who opened the email and viewed it in their inbox.  NP Industry Average: 25.71%
  • Click Rate: This is the number of recipients who opened the email and then clicked on a link or call to action within the body of the email.  NP Industry Average: 2.99%

There are industry benchmarks for average open and click rates (above) based on the billions of emails sent through ESPs each year. If you can meet or exceed these percentages, then you’re doing pretty well. If you’re not consistently meeting these averages, then consider recalibrating the frequency, timing or content of your email campaigns.

5. Keep it short and sweet

Rather than compiling all of the news and events about your organization and sending it in one big email, break up your content into multiple posts that you can send over time. With each email you send, have just one specific goal – whether it’s to get them to ready a blog post or view a photo gallery. This will help keep donors interested and prevent them from deleting your emails before they have finished reading.

Format text to make your emails skimmable. Even if your donors don’t read your emails word for word, they can pick up on the main ideas you’re trying to share as long as the content is easy to digest. Try using headlines and bullet points to break up the content and make your emails easier to read.

6. Make it mobile friendly

mobile-friendlyStarting in 2015, more than half of all emails will be opened on a mobile device. Older generations have admittedly been slower to adopt this trend, with only 31% of those 65+ years old using a phone or tablet to check their email in 2014, but these numbers will only continue to grow.

What does this mean for you? Make sure you are building emails that render nicely in a mobile inbox. That means never using static images to display your content, which unfortunately is still a common practice for many nonprofits.

Most ESPs have templates and intuitive user interfaces for building and testing mobile-friendly emails. Send yourself test email messages and check them on your phone so you get an idea for how it works.

7. Use more text than images

Visual aids can help your message, but many email clients block images until the recipient “accepts” them. If your entire message is placed within an image (argh!), many recipients will just delete the email. In fact, a whopping 80 percent of people say they delete an email if it doesn’t render correctly in their mobile device.

Make sure that at least two-thirds of your content is actual text, and then use supplementing images to support what you have written.

make-it-personal8. Make it personal

You won’t have time to sit down and write an individual email newsletter to each donor on your list. You can, however, make your messages sound more personal by writing in a conversational style and addressing recipients with their name at the beginning of the email. ESPs will give you tools for using these personalization tokens that pull the recipients first name, as long as you have it in your database.

Another important consideration is to make the “From” name and email that of an actual person, rather than your organization. Do not – I repeat – DO NOT send email campaigns from the email address “noreply@xxxx.org”. Make sure the “from” email address is an actual person or a group email that multiple people monitor, like “news@xxxx.org”. The reason is, you actually want people to reply to your email campaigns with questions or feedback. The only difficult part is you might have to sift through a couple hundred auto-reply vacation notifications – but its well worth it.

9. Send thank-you’s.

Every donation deserves a thank-you. If you’re using email to thank donors for giving money then send an email after every donation, no matter how big or small. Some ESPs will give you tools for setting up an automated thank you after donors give online.

Don’t rely too heavily on your automated thank you emails, however. Especially for larger donations, its always a best practice to follow up with a phone call or personalized (handwritten if possible!) thank-you letter.

10. Welcome new donors

Start each donor relationship right by sending a personalized welcome email. First impressions are important, and welcoming a first-time donor or an interested person can encourage more involvement or donations in the future. Design your welcome email to introduce the donor to your cause, tell them what they can expect with future emails and get them engaged by encouraging them to like or follow your organization on social media

Today’s email marketing tools are so powerful they can make it appear like you have an entire marketing team supporting you behind the scenes. With the right campaign strategies in place, you can your team can use email to cultivate stronger relationships with more donors from your existing database.

Topics: fundraising

Entering into the 4th Quarter

Entering the 4th Quarter:

As the school year is winding down in Young Life we are entering into what I always refer to as the 4th quarter.  We have done camp sign ups, we have around 3-4 clubs left to go for the year.  The temptation can be to settle in, run the clock out and take a knee. If we are using football analogies.  But I don’t want us to do that.  I want us to keep focusing on reaching lost kids.  I was reminded of this when I read the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15.  To read Luke 15 click here.

Jesus reminds us that we are not called to settle for what we have but to go after the lost.  We may be tempted just to focus on the kids that are coming to club or the kids signed up for camp.  I want us to still go after the “lost Sheep” .  I hope we’ll never stop going after the lost sheep.  Because if we play it safe in this last quarter, what is at stake is kids hearing about Jesus.

Thank you for all of the work that you do.  I’m blessed to get to serve with all of you.

Keith Dow

Regional Calendar:

We have done a good amount of work and have most of the regional calendar done for next year.  You can view the regional calendar by clicking here. 

Ring Central for video and phone conference calls:

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I am a big fan of video calls whenever possible.  We are going to start using Ring Central to help with this.  We can do a video or conference call for up to 50 people with Ring Central.  The 1st time you use it you will need to download the software.  You can do that by clicking the links below.

Mobile Apps

Desktop app

Action item: Download mobile app and desktop app

Committee Chair Conference call

Image result for Young Life committee

We are going to set up a committee chair conference call on Thursday May 14th at 7pm.  We will be sending out more details as we get closer.

Action item: Please let you committee Chairs know about this call, we will be email them as well. 

Camp Trip Leader Conference call:

Camp is right around the corner and we need to make sure all of trip leaders have all the tools and know what to do when leading a trip.  To help with this, we are going to have a conference call for all trip leaders on Thursday May 28th at 7pm.  Area Directors please send Shannon Fair the names and email address of all your trip leaders.

Action item: Send Shannon Fair the names and email address of all your trip leaders.

Budgets Process Starts Tuesday

On Tuesday the budget season will begin! As you may have seen on Monday Morning, the process is new and will be using new applications in cash flow. This new process is very exciting and will help streamline the budget process. Further information will be provided to you through the Monday Morning and direct communication from the Regional and Financial office. There will be trainings and further information and resources about how to complete this process on the Staff Site which you can view by clicking here.

WyldLife Wednesday: How To Get Kids To Camp

The Young Life Leader Blog
Posted: 18 Mar 2015 04:00 AM PDT

Your middle school friends may be excited about going to camp this summer, but unless their parents are excited too, those kids won’t be on the bus with you. That means you’ve got to get camp information in the hands of parents. Start by handing fliers to parents when they pick up their kids after club. A flier handed to a kid may never make it to his or her parents.

Another great way to communicate with parents is to host a camp phone-a-thon with your leaders. Pick a weekday evening or a weekend afternoon and gather your leaders in one location. Order pizza and have club lists ready with the names of every kid who has attended club this year, along with parent names and parent phone numbers.

Provide a script so that high school students and other young leaders can make these calls with confidence. It might start something like this:

“Hi, my name is ________________ and I’ve gotten to know your daughter ______________ at WyldLife club. I’m calling about our WyldLife camp trip this summer, and I’d love for her to come with us. Have you heard about our camp trip?”

Give your leaders a detailed Q/A sheet so they are prepared to answer questions about:

Departure and arrival dates and times
Location (distance is important to many middle school parents)
Cost (includes transportation, food, activities, housing, etc.)
Financial options (payment plans, scholarships, fundraisers, etc.)
Transportation (bus company, drivers, etc.)
Camp activities
Typical day at camp
Ratio of kids to leaders on trip
Housing

If parents are interested, leaders can tell them how to register – or even offer to pick up the deposit and registration form (a great way to meet parents they haven’t already met!) If parents say “no”, find out why. Schedule conflict? Cost? Child’s friends not going? Maybe there are ways to overcome those obstacles.

End the evening with prayer. Pray for every kid on your lists – that God will provide a way for those who need to hear the Gospel at camp to be on that trip with you.

Written by Julie Clapp.

Fun Game Idea

STAR-BUSTED

 For this game you need individually wrapped starburst fruit chews. You can buy them by the bag at a grocery store. Buy enough so that you have at least one fruit chew per student in your group. Have them each take one and tell them not to eat it. Once everyone has a starburst they may unwrap it and only put it on their tongue. The leader calls out a sequence of starburst colors. Example: 1 red 2 yellow 2 orange 1 pink The students must then make a group consisting of those colors. They will all be facing each other in a circle with their tongues sticking out forming the correct combo. There would be six people from the example above. So you should see several groups of six with that color combo. Anyone who didn’t make it to a group can eat their chew and step out of the game. Keep calling combos till one person stands.

MT Womens Weekend is Quickly approaching!!!!!!!!

I was recently reminded of why we do Young Life. And that is to share the gospel with kids. We want to see more kids hear the gospel and get in front of Jesus. Sometimes we forget that and focus on other things. Most of you probably got involved in Young Life because you were directly impacted by leaders, or because you saw other kids being impacted. I personally had a leader invest in me, take me to Malibu as a sophomore in high school, and share what Christ meant with me. That’s where my life changed. As a leader, going into high schools, sharing the Gospel with kids, having Campaigners at home:  that’s the why. We get to see kids’ lives transformed through everything we do. I want us to remember and focus on that. I want us to remember to tell the story of why. When you’re meeting with leaders, why should they be a leader? Because they’re impacting kids’ lives and being given an opportunity to share the gospel with them. When you’re meeting with your committee, why should they be involved? Because they can make an impact in the community. We will continue to talk more about this, but I want us to remember why we are involved in Young Life, and why we are called to this mission.

Keith Dow

Associate Regional Director Montana

3rd Annual Young Life Women’s Retreat April 17-19th: Each Area will get one free spot!!!!!!!

We wowomens retreat invitationuld like to invite all you Ladies to our 3rd annual Young Life Montana Women’s Retreat April 17-19 in lovely Bozeman, Montana. This event is for any women that is involeved in Young Life in some way, Below is the invite with information on the event and here is the link to register. Can’t wait to see you all there!!!

 

 

 

Dear Staff Team:
Young Life’s Pray 24-7 Initiative, announced recently in Monday Morning, is gaining momentum, and I want to make sure you consider yourself personally invited to participate in the worldwide, missionwide prayer movement!
As you know, Young Life was founded on prayer and has been committed to prayer from the time Jim Rayburn showed up on that first high school campus. Even now, this minute, there are people praying that Young Life will make a difference for kids in their communities. Even now, someone is praying for the mission’s outreach to kids on the other side of the globe. We are a praying mission. And I believe God is nudging us to more fully integrate prayer into the fabric of our daily work together.
If you would like to join YL PRAY 24-7, please go to pray.younglife.org. The prayer week is divided into 15-minute segments. Please look for an opening in the calendar and then click on “Join the Team” to add your prayer time to the calendar. If you need help selecting an opening, or have already joined but would like to change your time to an open time slot, just email your change to pray@sc.younglife.org or call Jackie Davis at (316) 258-9110.
As we get started, prayer requests are being submitted through regional, divisional, camping and service center offices. Please contact your supervisor if you have a request for the worldwide prayer team.
Whether you join the Pray 24-7 team or not, I know you are a committed person of prayer and I thank you for your faithfulness as we pray and seek to introduce more kids to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith.
In Christ,

 

We all tell stories, either at club or talking with committee and donors. This is a great article on how to tell great stories.

A Refresher on Storytelling 101
https://hbr.org/2014/10/a-refresh-on-storytelling-101/Related topics: StorytellingDigital StorytellingWritingShared from Harvard Business Review on Flipboard, your personal magazine.
Get it for free to keep up with the news you care about.

Urban Campership Scholarships

Boys Hey Curtis HighNow is the time for your Area to apply to participate in the Urban Campership Scholarship fund. The application deadline is April 15 (a strict deadline).  While that deadline is a 15 days away, it will take time to get kids identified and the forms filled out.  Plan now.  You can access the form by clicking here.  These funds are specifically designated for schools or ministries that have 60% of their kids in a free or reduced lunch plan.

Action Item: If applicable, complete the Campership Grant Application before April 15.

Montana YL Staff Meeting May:19th-20th

We have our next YL staff meeting on May 19th-20th.  We will start at 1pm on the 19th and finish at 1pm on the 20th.  Our meeting will be held at Canyon Ferry Lake outside of Helena MT.  All full time staff are required to attend and all part time staff and volunteer area directors are invited to attend.  If you are on part time staff or a volunteer area director, please RSVP to Shannon Fair by email here at montanayounglife@gmail.com.