A seasoned director once told me VBS has similarities to childbirth. She said you plan and anticipate for nine months, experience the pain and exhaustion of labor during the actual week of VBS, and then say “Never Again!” on the final day – only to rest a week or two before anticipating the possibilities of another year.
If this VBS director’s analogy is correct, then it is time to start anticipating and planning for VBS 2012! A good place to start is with budget planning.
Many churches operate on budget years that begin in September, October, or January – which means it is time for VBS directors to be working with finance committees to insure adequate funding for ministries that may seem too far away to consider at the moment.
2011 records are your best friend when it comes to budgeting for 2012. Start by trying to pull together the most accurate list of expenses possible. At times this can be difficult since thankfully VBS workers are notorious for purchasing supplies out of their own pockets. Ask workers to provide you with an estimate of their expenses and add this amount to dollars spent from the VBS budget. This will provide a more accurate estimate of the true costs of VBS, and will help justify additional amounts you may request for the 2012 budget.
Don’t forget to include costs related to promotion/outreach and follow-up activities.
Once you have a record of total expenses, divide the amount by the number of participants and workers registered for VBS 2011. This will provide you with a per person estimate of what will be required as you make plans to reach even more unchurched families during VBS 2012!