August 21, 2019 • by Al Hosford, ELCA Director of Advancement
On Monday August 19th we started our 10-day “All In In 10” Annual Fund Campaign in support of this year’s ELCA Fund. We started this defined campaign period 5 years ago with the hopes of increasing parent awareness of our annual giving goals along with attempting to create a “call to action” for our families to participate. With our busy lifestyles, I believe most individuals are like me in the fact that if they don’t have it on their calendar or have a deadline, no matter how good their intentions are, things get missed. Our parents have done a great job in previous campaigns in responding to our requests for that “above and beyond” giving, and we are eager with anticipation that they will once again respond positively this year.
We normally get questions from new families of why are you requesting additional funds when I already pay tuition and fees? Unfortunately our basic tuition doesn’t fully cover all of the programs and activities that make Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy such a special place. One of my peers had a good way of describing this. They compare standard tuition and fees as the cake, and the annual giving campaign is the icing on the cake, and who doesn’t want cake without icing. I thought that was a great way of describing our financial structure. We are blessed to receive enough funds to provide the basic operation of our school with tuition, but funds giving to our ELCA Fund allow us to offer that little extra that makes our school special.
Funds given by our parents and faculty/staff also give us the opportunity to be most competitive when seeking grants from foundations and other organizations that support Christian Education. One thing that all foundations look for is internal support. They want to make certain that the people who know you best are supporting you first. They are not so focused on the dollar amount given, but more on the participation level. We are aware that God has blessed each of our families with different means. While a $100 gift from one family might be a true stretch, other families have been blessed financially so a $10,000 gift might not be out of the question or a sacrifice for them. We just request that each family truly seeks God’s guidance to determine their participation level with the Campaign.
We have been blessed to have 100% participation from our Ministry Team and Faculty/Staff over the past 2 years with our ELCA Fund. This, coupled with the participation levels from our families, has allowed ELCA to be rewarded with 2 grants totaling $575,000 for our current Greater Things Capital Campaign. Without this strong support these 2 awards would have been impossible to receive. The funds given by our constituent groups were able to be leveraged and increased by these funds from the foundations. Our only possibility in remaining competitive enough to receive future awards is to continue to show strong and growing participation levels with our annual giving campaign each year.
Most of us want to make certain that any funds we give are used wisely. I am fully confident that you will be very pleased with the investment you make with your gifts to the ELCA Fund. All funds go directly back into the education of the students and families that we are blessed to serve daily. They are used to provide academic and technology enhancements, fine arts and athletic improvements, and facility upgrades. These funds are also utilized to make certain we have the absolute best faculty and staff in front of our students each day.
I am now starting my 7th year here at ELCA. It is a blessing and privilege to be able to serve in this ministry daily. Over the past 6 years we have seen our annual giving campaign go from 8% participation from our parents, up to the 52% participation level during the 2018-2019 academic year. Our goal each year is for increased participation, and I am fully confident that our families are going to respond even stronger over these next 2 weeks with their gifts and pledges.
When considering a gift, I ask our families one primary question: What non-profit that you financially support has the most impact on your children. That question is very easy for me to answer, Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy. I am blessed to have 2 my sons here in the 11th and 8th grades this academic year. They are involved not only in our stellar academic program, but numerous afterschool activities. They are with ELCA’s faculty/staff and coaches here on this campus more of their waking hours than they are with me at home. I want to make certain that I fully support to best of my ability the organization that is having the most impact on their lives.
Everyone should have received their packet of information detailing our 2019-2020 ELCA Fund over the past few days. Please join me in giving generously to this year’s campaign as we continue to strive to assist our parents in involving their children in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ through Kingdom Education.
Al Hosford, Director of Advancement, came to ELCA in 2013. Prior to his move into ministry, he worked in the financial services industry. Al earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Georgia, and a Graduate Degree from the ABA Stonier National Graduate School of Banking. He and his wife Melony have two sons Trenton and Troy, who are both current students at ELCA. His family is actively involved with Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church.