At SLF, we are profoundly blessed that part of our mission is to actively promote and support other ministries and nonprofits. We attend their events and invite folks along. We help them strategize their fundraising and write grants. We sit on their boards and committees. We help them solve problems and resolve conflicts. We connect them with volunteers, in-kind donations and cash. We provide advice and counsel. We can even invest in them directly through the CaN (Churches as Neighborhood) Centers Collaborative and the CPT (Community Partnership Teams) Network. Truly, we are blessed to have this collaborative mandate in our DNA.
So when it’s time for SLF to generate support for our mission, we always strive to do it in a way that avoids competition with our ministry and nonprofit partners. That’s why we keep a “Support Calendar” that lists as many fundraisers and events that we hear about. By tracking and sharing dates, both SLF and our nonprofit partners can synchronize event dates/times and minimize double-booking. (Contact: Jennifer@salemLF.org or 503-315-8924.)
So, back in 2011, when our friend Jerry Stevens suggested that we have a ‘100-hole-marathon’ golf event, I said no. First, I explained, there are tons of golf tournaments already and they’re a lot of work for a modest return. Second, 100 holes is too many for most golfers, even though the “will-you-sponsor-my-agony” format raises lots of dollars. And finally, for SLF to schedule an event during ‘golf season’ (April-October) would mean we’d be competing for dates with other ministries and nonprofits—nix. To Jerry’s credit, he persisted. He got my wheels turning. We brainstormed with our Board’s executive team to see if we could forge something that would work …
The hand of Providence was on that round-robin conversation, which went like this: “What about winter, that’s when our budget runs dry between the Year-end Match and the Fancy Dessert.” “Golf in the winter, are you crazy?” “But wait, no one’s doing golf in the winter, we wouldn’t be competing with other tournaments.” “Would a golf course even let us play in the winter?” “Well, not 100 holes but maybe they’d let us play 18—Jerry, would the ‘please-sponsor-me’ format still work?” “Yes!”
And thus, RainFest was born. An off-season golf event that avoids competition with our nonprofit and ministry colleagues. A quirky theme and format that fits SLF’s personality well. Just the right amount of ‘agony’ (rain, sleet, snow, wind and mud) to inspire folks to support the golfers with pledges. That first year (2012), we raised $32,000. Every year it has increased. Last year it was $90,100, a big boost to our budget during that ‘dry season’ we were trying to remedy. What a nice testament to both the entrepreneurial and missional spirit of SLF.
Thanks “Fore!” Walking with Us,