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Option Ultrasound Directors This area is for Pregnancy Resource Centers wanting to get started in the OUP program or needing information pertinent to the program.

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Investments Today for a Better Tomorrow

As a board, investments we make today may not pay off in the next month or even in the coming weeks. Yet, if we look to what we want to be in five or ten years, good investments in the ministry today will make the difference.

For instance, the center that is planning a medical clinic needs more than start-up costs. In addition, that ministry will need funds to keep insurance paid and strengthen staff in the years ahead.

A wise board puts funds in place make investments: in staff training, marketing and in development.

Sometimes we need to start where we are, realizing that everything can't happen at once. Even small investments however, can pay big dividends down the road.

Types of Investments

An endowment—a fund whereby only the interest from the principle is used in ministry purposes—is an understanding long-term investment. Soliciting endowment gifts in different ways, along with regular budgeted investment in the fund, will yield a strong return years down the road. With an endowment, more and more routine expenses are covered, opening the door for new gifts to flow toward changing needs.

Event training—for Walks, Banquets, Golf Tournaments and more—are vital. The success differential between centers that acquire training and those that do not is so vast that in today's pregnancy center world, training is now a given.

National conferences
Directors and board members return from conferences more energized and more envisioned. This makes a good conference a tremendously positive investment for any center. Creating a budget item (or expanding the "conferences" line item) is an idea that will pay off over the long term.

Visiting other centers
If your center is considering a medical clinic or another major program, finding a center within two hundred miles and having a few board members and the executive director to make a trip is well worth the effort. Doing the math, a two-day visit with one car and three hotel rooms might cost a center as much as $1000. However, when we consider that a medical clinic can have start-up costs of $40,000 or more, a 2.5% investment in the project makes sense.

One volunteer giving three hours every other week is worth more than $1000 to the ministry each year. With that in mind, giving our volunteers a nice dinner and a gift each year is a smart investment. And if a volunteer serves us five, ten or more years it sends a strong—and positive—message to other volunteers when we purchase a gift of substantial worth. Placing volunteers high on our budgetary priority list gives the ministry more continuity and ultimately is of great benefit to our clients.

Kirk Walden, founder of LifeTrends, is a consultant to pregnancy care ministries across America and a frequent banquet speaker.

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