The Young at Heart Choir was founded by Connie Atkinson in 1988 with 18 charter members. Within six years it had an operating budget of approximately $40,000 and received approval to operate as a Non-profit 501.3(C) organization. Over the years, significant growth in both members and operating revenue has been realized. By 2001, membership had increased to 85 members, in excess of a fourfold increase from its beginnings and annual operating revenue had reached $ 131,124.
In the ten year period of 2001 through 2010 operating revenue generated totaled
$ 1,610,947. Operating revenue can be divided into three main sources: Member Contributions, Fund Raising Events, and Love Offerings. Commitment to the choir by its members is evidenced by the fact that approximately $1.1 million (68 percent) of the operating revenue generated over the prior ten years came from member support. An additional 18 percent was generated by fund raising activities and the final 14 percent was from free will love offerings generated from the concerts performed.
By the end of 2010 membership reached 136 members, an increase of sixty percent over 2001, and was growing at an average annual compound growth rate of 5.3 percent. Similarly annual operating revenue reached $ 171,268, an average annual compound growth rate since 2001 of 3.0 percent.
The Young at Heart General Fund operating budget is set annually by the Board of Directors based largely upon a historical review of Member Pledges and free will Love Offerings received at concert performances and other non-choir supporters within the Albuquerque community. Member Pledges have increased in excess of thirty-eight percent in the period 2001 through 2010. This equates to an average annual compound growth rate of 3.7 percent.
Free will Love Offerings have been more volatile on a year to year basis ranging from a low of $ 9,886 in 2005 to a high of $ 32,176 in 2008. The mean or simple average from 2001 through 2010 was $ 21,805 and the median average was $ 26,480.
The Young at Heart choir takes its ministry of sharing the Christian message through gospel music on the road several times per year. Prior tours have taken us coast to coast (California to Florida) and included concerts in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and, of course, many cities throughout New Mexico. We have performed at the Crystal Cathedral, Knott’s Berry Farm, Branson, Missouri and, in keeping with our non-denominational Christian approach to ministry, for the Mennonite, Baptist and Methodist conferences. We have sung in Baptist, Methodist, Assembly of God, Presbyterian and other churches of various denominations. We love bringing our lively performances to nursing homes and senior centers… any where we can share the gospel message and show that “you’re never too old to serve the Lord!”
These tours are funded through member contributions and two significant annual fund raising events. Essentially, touring members pay for the cost associated with motels and restaurants while transportation costs are funded from the two annual fund raising events. Touring revenue and expenses are tracked in a restricted fund. Touring members have contributed just short of $ 68,000 per year during the ten year period 2001 – 2010.
The annual fund raising events, the Winter Concert and the Heartsville Country fair in the fall, have been growing consistently in scope as well as net proceeds to fund our touring transportation needs. In fact, in recent years we have raised just under $ 37,000 per year through our fund raising efforts.
In the summer of 2010 the Young at Heart choir found itself in the position of having to relocate from temporary facilities to a new base of operations with sufficient space for rehearsals, a few offices and space to store sheet music, musical instruments, sound equipment and a growing inventory of CDs recorded by our choir. Adequate facilities were located and leased for the Young at Heart Center at 10600 Menaul NE in Albuquerque. We leased this space, a portion of the total facility, for three years and, frankly speaking, we are growing so rapidly it will not be long before we outgrow this space. Based upon our historical compound growth rate of 5.3 percent per year, we project continued growth in membership from our current membership of 136 to 175 within five years (2015).
As a Non-profit organization we do not budget to accumulate surplus revenue over expenses. Rather, we estimate our revenues in a conservative manner and create companion operating budgets within those revenue streams that permit us to achieve our mission. With this approach we have built a fiscally conservative approach to stewardship and experienced small accumulated surpluses. We anticipate that our revenue will continue to grow along with our membership but at an annual compound growth rate of 3.0 percent, or $5,000 - $6,000 per year. We believe this will allow for moderate growth in ministry as well as absorbing any increased operating costs associated with owning our newly acquired facility upon completion of the Capital Facility Campaign.
Furthermore, we believe that even in this struggling economy this is the perfect time for the Young at Heart ministry to embark upon this campaign to minimize the acquisition cost while maximizing the ministry of proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ through gospel music.
Please join us in making this campaign successful and I thank you in advance for your contribution.
John H (Jack) Burkhard
Chief Operating Officer
Young at Heart Ministries