2016 Development Strategies & Outcomes–The Mountain

A Report by Laurel Amabile, Development Director, distributed during Annual Meeting 2017.


2016 Annual Funding Goal:  $239,000

Development Funding Outcome:  approximately $43,400 over goal, not including the earmarked funding for projects. A large bequest was received in December, which left The Mountain in a stronger financial position at year-end.

Monetary contributions to the Annual Fund are essential to our overall funding and future. We rely upon donations to provide approximately 25% of our annual operating budget. People are motivated to give to The Mountain for a variety of reasons:

  • They love the place and the people who come here
  • So that The Mountain will thrive
  • For MountainCamps to continue and grow (in participation and diversity)
  • They had positive experiences here and want to give back
  • Appreciation of our UU values and connections to the wider UU community
  • Make gifts in honor and/or memory of individuals they admire and want to recognize in a tangible way.

How Funds Are Raised

  • Direct mail—general annual campaign mailing in May, stewarded donor annual campaign mailing in June, follow up mailings to MountainCamp parents in August, and mailing in October to all those who had not yet contributed.
  • Constant Contact e-communications—Mountain Matters newsletters (May, Summer, Early Fall Sept, Late fall Nov, Year-end Dec.) and donor appeal communications in November and December.
  • Social media—multiple appeal communications via Mountain and MountainCamp Facebook pages, Twitter, and website.
  • Crowd-funding appeal for MountainCamp campership funding via Faithify.
  • Year-end campaign strategy beginning with Giving Tuesday appeal (see addendum B).
  • Matching challenge of $19,000 in November (we exceeded this amount).
  • Special project display boards featuring one-page project descriptions to appeal to donor interests.
  • Specific appeals for in-kind donations—camera, golf carts, arts & crafts supplies
  • Personal contacts made onsite and offsite by Mountain Stewards and staff.

Other Steps Taken in 2016

  • Case for Funding Support drafted and accepted by the Mountain Board.
  • Expanded website content for “Giving” section: http://themountainrlc.org/giving/
  • A comprehensive gift acceptance policy was established, approved by the Mountain Board in December 2016.
  • A 2017 Development Plan and calendar were created to include aspects of communication and marketing.
  • The Mountain Movers program was re-launched to help strengthen our marketing outreach and relationships with UU congregations.
  • An Ad Hoc Membership Team was formed by the Board, to study our membership program and made recommendations.