Development Committee Annual Reports

Every spring, each Committee of the Yearly Meeting is requested to prepare a report of their activities over the prior 12 months. These reports are gathered and shared during Annual Session, and then are printed in the Yearbook for that year.

2011 Report 2012 Report 2013 Report 2014 Report 2015 Report
2016 Report  

2016 Annual Report

As stated in last year's report, the Development Committee sees itself as a catalyst for enabling Baltimore Yearly Meeting to be not merely a collection of individual Monthly Meetings but rather a cohesive, vibrant structure where, as the BYM Mission Statement says, “Friends can meet together and know one another in that which is eternal.”

To this end the committee staff and members over the past year visited Monthly Meetings and attended other gatherings such as the Women's Retreat, Quarterly Meetings and spring apportionment meetings. The committee also organized several gatherings in Friends' homes to share information about the programs and services BYM offers Monthly Meetings and Friends. A particular focus at these events this year was the new Catoctin Quaker Camp bath house – an environmentally-friendly, single structure that will replace the two well-used, 56-year-old buildings. As of late June more than $214,564 had been raised in cash and pledges from individuals and Monthly Meetings toward the $297,000 projected cost of the new building. Construction is set to begin in the fall and the facility is expected to be ready for use for the 2017 camping season next June.

The new Catoctin bath house is part of the five-year BYM Greening Campaign for which funds are being raised to support ongoing capital improvements to the Yearly Meeting properties, primarily the three residential summer camps. On the list for upgrades or replacements in the coming years are new cabins at all three camps, a new bath house at Opequon Camp, renewable energy installations at Shiloh and Opequon, and a new Shiloh art pavilion. The BYM office in Sandy Spring also benefited from the Greening Campaign this spring when a solar array was installed adjacent to the building. The installation already it is providing a reduction in electrical costs.

Following the receipt in early 2015 of the first installment of the three-year, $225,000 grant from the Shoemaker Foundation, Development Director Ann Venable worked with the Camp Program staff and committee, the Working Group on Diversity at Catoctin Camp and others in developing the job description for an Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator to lead BYM toward its goal of being a more welcoming and inclusive community. Dyresha Harris was hired for the position in late 2015 and hit the ground running. Thanks to Dyresha’ s efforts and those of the Supporting Transformative Relationships in Diverse Environments (STRIDE) Working Groups, enrollments this summer at all three camps show new high levels of campers of color.

In April, 2016, the Yearly Meeting received the second $75,000 installment from the Shoemaker Foundation's original grant. We are now gearing up through the ad hoc Growing Diverse Leadership Committee to bring the next generation of younger Friends and Friends of color into leadership positions within both the Yearly Meeting itself and in Monthly Meetings.

At the 2015 Annual Session, Development hosted an “appreciation luncheon” attended by about 70 BYM supporters where staff shared information about the Greening Campaign. Another luncheon is planned during this year's session at Hood College. Development is seeing a steady growth in donors. Committee members will be making thank-you calls over the summer to some 100 “auto-donors” who make monthly automatic payments of support either from their bank account or a credit card. The “Supporting BYM” page on the Yearly Meeting website has easy to follow directions on how to become an auto-donor as well as information on other ways Friends can support BYM and more details about its camps and other programs made possible through the support of the wider Friends community. Another entirely painless way of supporting BYM is by on-line shopping at Amazon. If you do any of your shopping on Amazon, consider going through AmazonSmile to make your purchases. It's easy. When you first sign on you will be prompted to name your charity. Then, you simply select Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. For each of your qualified purchases the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% to BYM.

2015 Budget: Development had set a revenue goal for FY2015 of $309,500 and, thanks to the generosity of Friends and others, exceeded that goal. Year-end income was $327,827. This compares to revenue of $308,569 in 2014. In the fall, a committee prepared the annual year-end appeal which was mailed to 5,600 households in early December as well as an electronic appeal. Use of new software allowed for the "segmentation" of the electronic mail list, permitting some variation of the message based on the recipients’ involvement with the Camping Program. The committee continues to make monthly thank you calls to donors for their support of the Yearly Meeting. The calls also offer an opportunity to chat about BYM programs and receive valuable feedback.

2015 Development Budget

Revenues

2015 Actual

2015 Budget

% Raised / Expended

General Fund
78,328
100,000
78.33%
       
BYM Camps      
Camp Program/Property Operating
146,816
63,000
233.04%
Cabin Fund; Camp Capital Projects*
93,754
140,000
66.97%
Barry Morley Endowment
4,775
   
       
All Other Gifts
4,155
6,500
63.92%
Total
327,827
309,500
105.92%
Pledges
41,059
   
Total gifts and pledges
368,886
   
Expenditures
119,246
127,230
Cost to raise $1=$0.32
       
*Does not include $41,059 in pledges

This spring, an appeal went out focusing on the Camping Program with the segmented mail list again allowing messages to be directed to differing audiences, including camp alumni and the families of current campers. As of June 2016, the Development Program had raised $176,738, (including ‌the $75,000 second year grant from the Shoemaker Foundation.) This compares to $132,280 in the same six-month period in 2015.

Liz Hofmeister (Bethesda), clerk


2015 Annual Report

The Development Committee recognizes that its task is much more that merely raising money to help support the array of programs and services that the Yearly Meeting provides to Friends and their Monthly Meetings. It sees its charge as development in the broader sense of helping to create a more cohesive, vibrant structure that, as the BYM Vision Statement says in part, “knit[s] Friends from the Chesapeake to the Appalachians into the larger Society of Friends [and]... expand[s] opportunities for Friends to meet together and know each other in that which is eternal."

The Committee knows this effort extends well beyond its own members and staff and involves working closely with other Yearly Meeting committees and officers. Part of these efforts in the last year has included visits by Development Director Ann Venable and General Secretary Riley Robinson to Monthly Meetings on First Day and to events in the Friends' homes. These visits have resulted in valuable feedback that has helped shape the Development Program going forward. Committee staff and the clerk also have participated in monthly financial conference phone calls other committee clerks and staff, including Trustees, Camp Program and Property Management and Stewardship and Finance. We see this regular exchange is invaluable in helping the many parts of the Yearly Meeting pull as a team.

In its annual report last year the Development Committee stated that it sees its work as community building work. Over the past year, the committee has focused on laying a more solid foundation for community building. Some of the major planks in this ongoing construction have included:

Shoemaker Grant: Early this year the Yearly Meeting learned it had been awarded a $225,000 grant from the Philadelphia-based Shoemaker Fund, the largest single grant BYM has received to date. The three-year grant will support the "Growing Diverse Leadership in BYM" initiative, enabling the Yearly Meeting to employ an Outreach Inclusion Coordinator (OIC). The OIC will work closely with the Camp Diversity Working Group as well as several other BYM committees, the Camps, and Monthly Meetings to enhancing the already considerable strides the Camping Program has made in attracting and retaining campers of varied racial and economic backgrounds. This grant will also focus on growing new leadership in Yearly Meeting and Monthly Meetings among young adults who have participated in the Camping Program.

Grants Policy Approved: In October, Interim Meeting approved a new Grants Application and Management Policy which gives oversight and responsibility to the Development Program for any grant application to an outside funding source. The policy outlines the process for research, application, acceptance and management of such grants. Interim Meeting session Friends also authorized the use of grant funds to employ staff.

Warren Gift Received: In the fall, the Yearly Meeting received a $96,000 gift from the estate of Roberta Warren, a DC-area non-Friend, who during her life had provided money to send several youth to Catoctin Quaker Camp. Half of her gift will be used for Catoctin scholarships, as her will directed. The remaining portion will go toward construction of new Catoctin bath houses.

Greening Campaign Gains Transaction: Working closely with Camp Program and Property Management and others, Development has set a goal to raise the necessary funds to replace or substantially upgrade all of the 30 cabins at the three camp sites and make other infrastructure improvements to ensure our camps are safe, attractive and environmentally sustainable. Currently, 16 of cabins are new with 14 still to be replaced over the next several years.

  • "Little Cabin" Project, which generated excitement at last year's Annual Session, ultimately reached its contributions goal of $25,000 for the construction of a "real" cabin at one of the camps and finally was sold on E-bay to a local Friend
  • New Catoctin Bath Houses will become a reality over the next year, thanks in part to Roberta Warren's bequest. Architectural plans have been approved and this spring Development has sought the additional gifts needed to replace the 50- plus year old structures with new facilities that will include composting toilets and other environmentally friendly features.
  • BYM Office Heating/AC Upgrade: Thanks to a Friend's anonymous gift last fall, the Yearly Meeting was able to accelerate plans to replace the 17-year-old heating and air conditioning system at our office. The new system already is generating savings through lower electric bills. Further electric savings are expected from a ground solar array system being installed adjacent to the office.

2014 Budget: Development had set a revenue goal for FY2014 of $226,102 and thanks to the generosity of Friends and others exceeded that goal. Year-end income was $308,569, including the Warren bequest. This compares to revenue of $188,605 in 2013. In the fall, a committee prepared the annual year-end appeal which was mailed to 5,600 households in early December as well as an electronic appeal. Use of new software allowed for the "segmentation" of the electronic mail list, permitting some variation of the message based on the recipients’ involvement with the Camping Program. The committee followed up with a phon-a-thon to thank donors for their support of the Yearly Meeting. The calls also offered the committee an opportunity to chat with donors about BYM programs and receive valuable feedback.

Beginning in January, Committee members have been making thank you calls each month to recent donors as their gifts arrive.

2014 Development Budget
Revenues 2014 Actual 2014 Budget % Raised / Expended
General Fund
100,111
106,000
94.4%
 
BYM Camps  
Camp Program/Property Operating
115,353
60,000
192.3%
Cabin Fund; Camp Capital Projects
75,919
53,602
141.6%
Barry Morley Endowment
11,835
 
 
 
All Other Gifts
5,351
6,500
82.3%
Total
308,569
226,102
136.5%
Expenditures
100,700
132,641
Cost to raise $1=$0.33

This spring, an email appeal went out focusing on the Camping Program with the segmented mail list again allowing messages to be directed to differing audiences, including camp alumni and the families of current campers. As of early June 2015, the Development Program had raised $155,202. This compares to $64,000 in the same six-month period in 2014.

January-June 2014-2015 Fundraising Comparison Summary

Director Visits Now well into her second year as Development Director Ann Venable has become a familiar face at many BYM meetings and events. Following an initial round of Meet the Director "teas" at a number of Monthly Meetings and Friends' homes in early 2014, Ann has continued to make herself available to those who want to learn more about the Yearly Meeting, its programs and hopes for the future. If your Monthly Meeting has yet to meet Ann, please call her at the office to arrange a visit. Interim General Secretary, Bob Rhudy is also glad to visit Friends or take part in events you may be planning, as are members of the Development Committee.


2014 Annual Report

Development work is community building work, and over the last year this was more clear than ever to the Development Committee. The Committee has been tasked with the creation and oversight of a comprehensive development plan for the Yearly Meeting. But for that to be successful it must not just be numbers. The Committee needs to make clear to Meetings and individuals the role of apportionment funds as well as individual gifts in BYM's annual budget. Beyond raising needed funds, the Development Committee has an important role in empowering others so their good works come to fruition through a stronger, more vibrant Yearly Meeting.

The Yearly Meeting was without a full-time development director for more than seven months -- from mid-June 2013, when former Director Robinne Gray resigned, until the beginning of February 2014, when our new Director Ann Venable joined the staff. During this period, the Yearly Meeting took time in October for a “listening session” at which some 40 Friends considered the need for a full-fledged BYM development program. The thoughtful consideration of a series of queries, offered by Development Clerk J.E. McNeil, led those assembled to reach unity that such a program indeed was necessary to assure the financial health and stability of our growing Yearly Meeting, and that having a full-time staff person to lead the program was a necessity. The position then was posted and three candidates were interviewed. In December the Interview Committee, which included representatives from Supervisory, Stewardship & Finance, Trustees, the two camp committees, and General Secretary Riley Robinson came to unity on the selection of Ann Venable as our new Development Director.

2013 Budget: Better Than Expected

While the process of discernment was going on, the Committee had plenty of other work. In the fall, it prepared the annual year-end appeal letter, mailed in November to some 6,310 Yearly Meeting households. The Committee followed up in early December with a phonathon allowing us to talk to those in our community who have made significant gifts in the past to thank them and ask for their continued support. At year-end the Committee also sent an email appeal which got a good response from a number of younger, more tech-comfortable Friends. For fiscal year 2013, Development revenues totaled $188,605, compared to $171,842 in 2012. While higher than the prior year, 2013 income was less than the budget goal of $222,875. However, YM expenditures for the year were lower than budgeted since the director position was vacant for six months.

As of early June 2014, the Development Program had raised $51,435, including a $5,000 unrestricted gift and more than $4,000 from a special personal appeal for camper tuition assistance. This compares to $37,099 in individual and Monthly Meeting gifts in the same five-month period in 2013. For 2014, the program has a budget revenue goal of $226,102.
2013 Development Budget

Revenues

2013 Actual

2013 Budget

%Raised/

Expended

General Fund

93,560

101,375

92.3%

BYM Camps

Camp Operating

76,726

55,000

139.5%

Morley Endowment

2,690

NA

NA

Camp Capital

10,640

60,000

17.7%

All Other Gifts

4,990

6,500

76.8%

Total

188,605

222,875

84.6%

Expenditures

73, 670

128, 541

Cost to raise $1= $0.39

New Director Strengthens Program

The Committee feels that the Development Program has been substantially strengthened with Ann Venable's appointment as its new Director. Ann has a strong background in development, having worked for eight years at Wilmington College, a small Quaker liberal arts college in Ohio, first as director of advancement services and then as director of planned giving. Joining the staff at the beginning of February, Ann hit the ground running, tackling needed upgrades to the BYM website's “giving” pages, developing a new planned giving brochure and other development materials and leading Committee members in a tutorial on planned giving. She has visited all three camps, including on work weekends. In March, she also went with other BYM staff to the American Camp Association's regional convention.

In an effort to introduce Ann to the wider BYM community, individual Committee members this spring hosted a series of “Meet the Director” events in their homes or Monthly Meetings. These “teas” were held with Friends from Bethesda, Stony Run (including Homewood and Gunpower Friends), Adelphi, and Charlottesville and additional ones are planned for Friends Meeting of Washington, and Herndon, and another in Baltimore. Conversations ranged from general fundraising advice to “what does BYM do for me?” And people seemed to enjoy meeting Ann.

This year's spring email appeal was “segmented,” focusing on the separate constituents of each of the three camps with the theme of purchasing the needed construction components for a new camp cabin for “their” camp. A separate email appeal also went to the wider Yearly Meeting membership featuring the various services and support that BYM provides to its Monthly Meetings and members.

Planned Giving: Many Options

The Development Program rolled out new “planned giving” pages on the BYM website in late June. The site now offers easy-to-follow information on creative ways that donors can support the Yearly Meeting with a substantial gift while preserving resources for their own financial security and for their heirs. Check out ways of using your Individual Retirement Account (IRA), gifts of stock or other appreciated securities, or an annuity plan to both benefit the Yearly Meeting and you and your family at www.bymrsf.plannedgiving.org. Contact Ann Venable if you have questions about these various options, or want to make such a planned gift.

Capital Campaign Looks Promising

An exciting new campaign is on the horizon which will make it easier for us to bring witness to our stewardship of the Earth. The Development Committee is coordinating closely with Camp Property Management Committee and Camp Program Committee and their respective staff on a multi-year capital plan to maintain and upgrade all the camp properties as well as the BYM office building. The plan, first unveiled in 2013, incorporates a number of “green” features, including solar power for the Yearly Meeting office and structures at Opequon and Catoctin. The plan is projected to cost between $760,000 and $1 million, more than half of which will be used for green elements. The needed funds are to be raised over the next five years. In January, Development Committee members for the first time participated in a joint meeting of CPC and CPMC where moving forward with the plan was discussed. Ann attended that meeting by phone, although she had not yet officially joined BYM. Refinement of the capital plan are now well underway.

As stewards of the Earth, timely maintenance of all of our properties must be a priority for the Yearly Meeting and green features need to be a part of that in future maintenance and upgrades. This is not only environmentally responsible but will save us money over the long term. Through this capital campaign the Committee, working with CPMC and others, expects to create by 2021 a camp infrastructure that is safe, attractive and sustainable and which demonstrates environmental stewardship. Our camp properties will be venues in which campers can receive an educational experience in being good stewards of limited natural resources. The committee will be sharing more information about the campaign as well as opportunities for Friends to join in supporting it during Annual Session. Stay tuned.

Grants Policy Forthcoming

In 2013, the Yearly Meeting received, through the efforts of Youth Programs Manager Alison Duncan, more than $11,000 in grants for the Camp Diversity Program. In 2014, Alison and members of the Camp Diversity Working Group worked with Ann on the submission of a grant proposal to the Shoemaker Foundation for a $225,000, three-year grant to expand and strengthen the Camp Diversity Program. The Yearly Meeting learned in early June that the proposal had not been accepted. Ann and Alison will be meeting with a Shoemaker official to review the grant application and how it can be strengthened for re-application in the fall.

In line with its responsibilities as delineated in the Manual of Procedure, the Development Grants Policy Subcommittee also is preparing a grants policy to be followed in preparation and submission of future grant proposals. The Committee expects to review and approve the final draft of this policy in the near future and to present it for consideration at fall Interim Meeting.

If you have any questions about BYM Development, please contact Director Ann Venable or any member of the Committee. We look forward to seeing you at Annual Session in August. And as always, we are very grateful for your continuing support of BYM!


2013 Annual Report

Toward a Stronger Program
The BYM Development Committee was directed at last Annual Session to have an outside evaluation of our program. The result of this evaluation was an insightful report by Helen Colson of Development Associates. She is the author of papers and a book on philanthropy, and has performed evaluations of Friends schools. She interviewed 17 persons, including people who had been openly critical of the development program or the Development Director. This report was presented to Third Month Interim Meeting, and it is posted on the BYM website with the minutes from that meeting for any who are interested in it.

The gist of this report was that the development program is clearly in its beginning stages, and while it needs to continue to grow, on the whole, it is headed in the right direction. In addition, some specific recommendations were made: BYM needs at least a full-time Development Director; the Development Director should be focused on major donors and planned giving; other fundraising work such as mail and email campaigns should be handled primarily by other staff or volunteers if staff are not available; and, BYM needs to develop a case statement, that is, a concise document that communicates the Yearly Meeting’s programs, current needs and plans, and why BYM both needs and merits contributions from individual Friends.

The Development Committee seeks to strengthen the development program through our ongoing efforts to implement recommended practices and techniques and to improve the ways we measure program effectiveness.

BYM Gift History
The BYM development program was created in 2008 as a response to the interest of BYM in exploring options other than relying solely on the apportionment system in the face of economic stress and several years of painful cuts to the operating budget. A basic goal of the program is to make personal giving a routine for BYM members so that BYM can make a reliable estimate of what its income will be in any given year. It is challenging to interpret BYM’s historic gift data at this point because gift income has varied considerably year to year. In some years, unanticipated bequests or large gifts increased gift income substantially. It is also important to note that the effort put forth to solicit funds has been uneven; in some years prior to this program not a single direct mail appeal was sent.

Overall gift revenue for BYM did decline by $72,000 from 2009 to 2010, primarily due to the $50,000 challenge grant received in 2009 not being repeated in 2010; however, we are pleased to note the increases in key giving areas and in comparative giving for 2011 and 2012.

Recession Giving: There is no question that the nonprofit sector has been hit in the recent economic recession; however, the experience of individual organizations, including faith groups, varies so widely that it can be difficult to draw useful conclusions or comparisons. We do know that within the “Quaker sector” many organizations laid off staff and cut programs, sometimes dramatically; several did not make their annual or campaign goals. Other Yearly Meetings still appear to be planning for reduced contributions.

The Development Committee takes the view that there is a silver lining to having started the BYM development program in a challenging economic climate: we are able to grow our program intentionally and steadily, with expectations right-sized to our organizational capacity.

Capital Giving: It is important to include capital giving when assessing BYM’s development efforts. On the Development Committee we view capital gifts as customary, ongoing, and a substantial piece of the formal development program. In our efforts to make sure we are comparing “apples to apples”, we exclude capital gifts when we are projecting goals for the next year’s budget. But when we are looking at what was raised over the years, it makes sense to include capital giving. This is especially true for Camp Properties. BYM needs to become more skilled at balancing fundraising for operating expenses with planning and raising money for critical capital expenses. In 2010-11, over $90,000 in gift support for the Shiloh Pond project was raised in an effort coordinated through the Development Committee and staff. It included writing proposals for support from Monthly Meetings and a Virginia-based foundation, organizing a phonathon, and creating special mail appeals. In 2012 there was no intensive capital campaign. We have looked at that process and realized that one of the things most needed is a longer vision of BYM’s capital needs. Because the capital budget (mostly for Camp Properties, but also for the BYM office building) does not appear in the operating budget, even though it is a fundamental part of the overall fundraising efforts of the Committee and staff, we have begun discussing with the Stewardship and Finance Committee how to ensure that this aspect of our work is consistently visible to the BYM community in the future.

Upward Trends: Recognizing the uneven nature of BYM development efforts before the formal development program began, we have taken a “start where we are” approach, focusing our attention on building the program from the ground up. Only when we know each year’s development activities as well as the annual gift results can we make an “apples to apples” comparison; this comparison is not possible using pre-2008 gift data. (The BYM gift database begins in 2007, and early gift recording was inconsistent; 2008 was a partial program year, with the Development Director coming on staff in September).

Gift metrics from the program’s first four full years, however, show encouraging, if uneven, trends, as can be seen in the tables below: an increase in total donor households and organizations; growing donor renewal; increases in donors from the beginning of the program; an increase in average gift size; and a number of larger gifts.

Table 1: Donor Participation - Detail

YearTotal # of Donors# Donor Households# MM Donors# Fndtn DonorsRetained (prev. FY)First-Time DonorsLapsed (LYBUNT)Renewing Donors*
201251649517414185290431
2011615589233309212162403
2010477463140227154145323
200939738314016414898249

* Renewing donors = Total Donors – First Time donors

Table 2: Donor Participation - Summary

>

YearAverage GiftLargest GiftMedian (midpoint)Mode (common)
2012$326.07$7,533$100.00$50.00
2011$377.74$11,315$100.00$100.00
2010$262.41$5,027$100.00$100.00
2009$243.40$50,000$100.00$50.00

Table 3: Large Gift Distribution

Year$250 - $500$500.01 - $1,000$1,000.01 - $2,500$2,500.01 - $5,000$5,000.01 - $10,000$10,000.01 +TOTAL
2012643216650123
2011783621982154
2010652211820108
20094915745282

The Role of Development within BYM
The most obvious role of development is to raise funds. As a committee we continue to perform activities to do just that. As a result of our continued work to paint a more accurate picture of the Yearly Meeting and its needs, the Development Committee plan submitted to Stewardship and Finance for 2014 identifies 19 fundraising activities and cash flows that contribute to the financial wellbeing of the Yearly Meeting, over and above what BYM receives through the more familiar funding sources of apportionment, program fees, camp fees, and the camp scholarships that monthly meetings provide for campers from their own meetings.

We have focused on making sure that those who are in a position to support BYM in a substantial way are given that opportunity with personal solicitations. It is critical to increase our repeat donors, and we have been focusing on that. There is axiom in fundraising: An initial gift is good, but if you get a second gift you have a giver for life. The phonathons this year focused on helping make givers for life by promoting the monthly donor program.

But our work is not just about money. In a faith community, relationships are everything: all parties need to feel informed, included, accepted, and respected. It follows that a yearly meeting is only as strong as its relationships: between individuals, among monthly meetings, between monthly meetings and the yearly meeting, and between the yearly meeting and the wider world of Friends. All of these elements are “insiders.”

Development is more than a synonym for fund raising; it is a means to articulate the value of an organization, developing relationships so as to obtain support in the immediate and long term. In the years before BYM began its development program, it became clear that our Yearly Meeting had an “image problem.” Most Friends and many Monthly Meetings had little or no concept of what the Yearly Meeting is and what it offers – or even that it exists. One signal that our relationships are still in need of tending is the continuing resistance BYM receives from some Monthly Meetings regarding their apportionment support. Many were asking some version of the question, “What is the value we receive as a result of the money we send to BYM every year?” These are questions that the development program continues to answer.

We believe that the development program—and Robinne Gray, our former Development Director, in particular—has played an important role in building a culture of giving among BYM Friends. We are doing this by helping Friends understand the Yearly Meeting better, and by addressing the silence and discomfort many Friends and Meetings have around money issues. As other denominations have done, we seek to “sow seeds” for long-term support of BYM through helping Friends consider their personal finances and financial choices in the context of their faith. We anticipate this approach will result in improved finances for both the Yearly Meeting and its constituent Monthly Meetings. If our Monthly Meetings do better financially, BYM will do better financially. Recognizing how essential relationship-building is to our ongoing work, the Development Committee has supported a range of activities to help raise the profile of the Yearly Meeting: informational brochures, regular visitation, stewardship education workshops, more frequent financial reporting to the BYM body, and establishing sound policies and procedures. Such activities may not be subject to quantitative metrics, but we believe they are essential to generating trust and goodwill and they will bear fruit as part of a long-term development strategy.

Resignation of Development Director
Robinne Gray resigned effective June 15 as Development Director. The loss just prior to Annual Session of our hardworking Development Director has been a blow to the ambitious plans of the Development Committee. Nevertheless, the Development Committee is determined to move forward expeditiously to support the hiring of a new Director and, in the meantime, to try to fill some of the gaps created by the resignation. Riley Robinson was able to obtain the part-time services of the Youth Director, Alison Duncan, to keep the data updated—a critical piece of the work. But for now the committee must put on hold many of its plans, such as developing a case statement as recommended in the Colson report, in order to support efforts required to hire a new director and carry on some of the tasks that Robinne so ably did.

Conclusion
All in all, we are feeling reasonably pleased with the results of our work so far. We believe that our program has played an essential role in supporting our community of Friends and that is the most important work that we do.

2012 Annual Report

The 2011 fiscal year was the third full year of the Development Program, and it was an eventful one. The year 2012 has continued to draw on both our creativity and our sense of discipline. We are grateful to the many Friends, Monthly Meetings, and camp families who so generously support the BYM general operating budget, the operation of the BYM Quaker Camps, and the capital needs of the camp properties and the BYM office building. We want you to know about all of the good things the BYM does, and there’s plenty of news to share.

Gift Activity
The Development Committee meets monthly by phone. Because we believe it is important for us, interpersonally and spiritually, to meet in person we also schedule half-day “retreats” twice a year. Between meetings, both staff and committee members work actively on reaching our goals. The more that we speak and listen with BYM members, the more we appreciate the great strengths that are present in our community.

Highlights of our work over the past 12 months include:

• Raising over $231,600 in fiscal year 2011, including over $81,000 in general operating support. This is the second time the Yearly Meeting has topped the $200,000 mark in gift income; the first time was in 2006, when BYM received a large bequest from the Turner estate.
• Increases of over 84 percent in total gift revenue; and nearly 29 percent in donor participation. We also exceeded our year-end challenge goal, with gifts received in excess of $70,000 in the months of November and December. Committee members reached out by phone as part of this effort. It’s a pleasure to talk with Friends!
• We are seeing increases in first-time donors, average gift size, and donor retention and renewal (see attached Preliminary Evaluation).
• The successful completion of the $90,000 capital campaign for the Shiloh Pond. Pond fundraising included proposals requesting support from Monthly Meetings and a Virginia-based foundation; a volunteer phonathon; the online auction of a donated handmade Quaker quilt; sales of the newly created BYM Cookbook of Camp Recipes; sale of tickets on the Teen Adventure bus; and special mail and online appeals. If you are reading this, you were very likely a part of this success – thank you!
• Construction of the pond began after the close of the 2011 camping season, and was completed in spring 2012. On June 9, 2012 we hosted a celebration commemorating the 20th “birthday” of Shiloh Quaker Camp and the opening of the beautiful new pond.
• Development director Robinne Gray has continued to visit Meetings and to host workshops, alone and with committee members, to help build understanding of the role of Friends as donors in the 21st Century.
• Thus far in 2012, we have sought to encourage “early” giving (in the first half of the year) by conducting a phonathon to contact consistent BYM donors, inviting them to become monthly donors. If you are one of the people we have called, we’re grateful for your time and your sharing.
• Because the need for camper financial assistance is greater than expected this year, we are also formulating appeals and proposals regarding campership aid.

Gift Policy
Our work raising money goes hand-in-hand with creating, and collaborating on, sound policies relating to gift income.

• In February 2012 the Development Committee made a response to the June 2011 report of the Camp Finance Working Group. Our report contained five recommendations pertaining to camp operations, including coordinated planning for camp capital expenses; and allocating administrative costs to all BYM programs.
• We are currently at work on a policy related to the soliciting and accepting of restricted gifts. We need to discern how the Yearly Meeting might craft a policy that meets the ongoing need for unrestricted funds while fully engaging the interests of donors and potential donors.

Development Program Evaluation
Recognizing that it is good practice to periodically evaluate and improve all Yearly Meeting programs, the Development Committee has initiated a comprehensive evaluation of the BYM Development Program.

• We have begun identifying the questions, metrics, and other elements such an evaluation should include, including what benchmarks are most appropriate to organization similarly to Baltimore Yearly Meeting in size, function, and culture.
• Using available metrics, we have taken an initial measure of the program’s progress. The attached Preliminary Evaluation reports what we have learned thus far and what remains to be done.

Future Directions
Energy stewardship (efficiency, renewable sourcing) is an important issue amid concerns about climate change and energy descent. In addition to being the right thing to do, making this kind of investment will save the Yearly Meeting money over time. BYM is gathering information and doing research to discern the viability and cost of “green” features.

A possible “Greening BYM” initiative may include the following:

• At the Quaker Camps: Wind power, solar power, composting toilets
• At the BYM office: solar power, geothermal power, efficient windows, insulation

Direct gifts are an important and growing revenue stream for our Yearly Meeting. The Development Committee sees a clear need for a strategic consideration of BYM’s overall revenue mix, particularly how development relates to apportionment.

Please feel free to talk with us at any time. We enjoy talking with you, and were glad to be supporting a vital growing community of Friends.


2011 Annual Report

Although prudence and caution are still called for, giving is trending upward this year in Baltimore Yearly Meeting. This is coming about for various reasons, through various means. The Development Committee wishes to express its heartfelt thanks to Friends who have understood the Yearly Meeting financial needs and contributed to BYM.

The committee has had several initiatives during the past year. Our work has focused on both annual and special gifts to the Yearly Meeting.

• Our number of monthly donors continues to grow, and we have emphasized this convenient mechanism of contributing to the Yearly Meeting’s budget.

• We have worked to create a major donor program for Friends who are capable of giving larger gifts to the general fund or to special programs.

• The committee has played a significant role in raising funds for some special projects within the Yearly Meeting. We raised approximately $11,000 for a new roof on the Yearly Meeting office and tree work on the surrounding trees at the behest of Supervisory Committee. The new roof is more energy efficient and the tree work will help avoid any significant damage to the Yearly Meeting office in upcoming storms. In addition, an anonymous donor made a gift for the creation of a new BYM website.

• We have worked extensively with the Camp Program and the Camp Property Management Committees to raise funds for the Shiloh Pond. This exciting project will allow for a wonderful pond to be built in the Narnia Field. A pond will provide better programming for the campers and help increase staff retention. It will increase camper enrollment, which will strengthen the camp’s fee income every year. The fundraising effort has included soliciting individual gifts via mail and phone; outreach to camp alumni and current camping families; selling cookbooks created by the Camp Program Committee; soliciting contributions from Monthly Meetings; and the first-ever eBay auction of a beautiful camp-themed quilt, made and donated by Chrissie Devinney of Goose Creek Friends Meeting. Be sure to watch out for all the wonderful opportunities to contribute to this project.

One challenging area of our work is the setting of annual fundraising goals. Only now, after a great deal of work by our Development Director and Comptroller, are we beginning to have enough information from past records to inform income projections, but the recent turbulent years may provide unusual results. Hence, we have set a conservative goal for 2012 after undershooting the mark for two years. We would be glad to exceed this goal of $152,500 total to be raised next year. Please help us do just that, and relieve the squeeze on the budget!

The Development Committee is responsible for responding to any requests to fundraise within the Yearly Meeting. It is important to coordinate all development efforts within the Yearly Meeting to ensure that requests are not overwhelming and that the need for general operating support is given proper consideration. We considered several special requests throughout the year, communicated with the individuals and groups, and in some instances provided some advice to assist in the fundraising efforts.

The Development Committee continues to explore ways to communicate the financial needs of the Yearly Meeting in an atmosphere of a slow economic recovery. We are both pleased and excited to see an increase in the number of Friends who find spiritual joy in sharing with the Yearly Meeting. Come talk to us!

Natalie Finegar (Sandy Spring), Clerk

Members: Marion Ballard, Susan Griffin, Barbara Platt

Liaison members: Sarah Bur, Youth Programs; Dave Diller, Camp Program; Natalie Finegar, Stewardship & Finance; Tom Gibian, Camp Property; Frannie Taylor, Trustees;

Ex officio: Robinne Gray, Development Director