A New Year: Time To Plan Ahead

A picture of a whiteboard with sticky notes showing a project timeline.

A New Year: Time To Plan Ahead

By: Artie Pingolt

I went to a law school in the United States where most of the students also had full-time jobs.  Many had families and children too! I look back on those days and always marvel that I was able to take care of so many responsibilities: fundraising for the Christian Brothers, full-time law school, and raising a daughter.

My best friend was in the same situation, only he had 4 daughters. How to manage? He put it to me this way: “plan your work and then work your plan.” Simple, but effective. After four years we both graduated and passed the Minnesota Bar.

My encouragement for all of you as we begin a new year is the same: plan your work and then work your plan.

What do I mean by plan?

Look at:

  • The future of your ministries
  • Your congregational needs
  • Your congregation’s ability to find men and women to continue to operate or initiate new projects for the work your charisms call you to.

Then match the funders you will apply to with the timelines that match that planning.

The single most frequent reason for “lost opportunities” with missionaries that I have worked with is the resistance to look out more than 6-9 months. We know that often the urgency of your country’s situation can make this difficult. But for some funders, like The Koch Foundation in the United States, that is exactly what is required.

Right now (January 2020) you can write to request an application from Koch, but only for a project that will begin in April 2021. Similarly, many foundations have moved to a once-a-year application process. Depending upon their deadlines, it is most likely a full year from now before you will receive funding. Remember, you can’t request a grant for a project that is already completed!

In committing yourself to forward planning, however, there will be unintended benefits, ones that will only be discovered by taking the time to look ahead more than a year.

FINAL NOTE: It is always best when this planning is performed together with congregational leadership, but even if it’s not, it will sharpen your own vision for your ministries and you will be ready if and when your provincial or other superior asks you what your plans or needs are.

Our continued best wishes for all your efforts in 2020…and even further into the future 😊

April 12-16 Rome, ItalyMPS-Claretianum International Project Management & Fundraising Workshop
December 1-3 San Antonio, Texas, USA. MPS US Project Management & Fundraising Workshop

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