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Building the Financial Foundation

Rev Dr Jenny Smith is the lead pastor at Wesley Freedom UMC in Eldersburg, MD.  Jenny graduated from the Advanced Financial Academy in September, 2022.  Her project involved building the financial foundation for the Hope Rising Resource Center.  Learn more about this ministry as you watch the video and read Jenny’s words below.

My participation in the Advanced Financial Leadership Academy expanded my knowledge base, gave me live time contacts for coaching and collaboration, helped me solve critical problems in this project and provided expertise for ongoing financial development for Hope Rising, Wesley Freedom UMC, and the churches and communities I will serve for the next twenty years of ministry.  

The goal of our project was to develop financial practices and identify diversified funding sources which will support the expanding mission of Hope Rising Resource Center to be a safe place which provides relationships and resources which contribute to abundant health.

Hope Rising Resource Center was established in response to the overwhelming need in Carroll County for mental health and recovery resources particularly for those who are underinsured. Hope Rising is a “missional arm” of Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church and will maintain its interdependence with the church even as the center moves toward 501c3 status. The church has given Hope Rising a wing in their main campus and provides foundational funding ($30,000-$50,000 annual). By expanding revenue sources Hope Rising is able to add staff and expand services without adding pressure to the general ministry funds of the church. Currently Hope Rising provides over 150hrs of professional counseling, recovery groups, and resourcing each month. Volunteers empower nutrition and household support including; three hot lunches weekly, a monthly food pantry, a weekly “Blessings closet”, and community health workshops.

Since September 2021, we have established a Board of Directors who implemented the Hope Rising Financial Practices. This structure will provide the foundation for seeking 501c3 status.  We have established a budget utilizing diversified funding sources. This was the first budget which moved Hope Rising from being fully offering plate dependent to a broader support base.  We have developed a fundraising team and hosted our first community based fundraiser ($6,000ytd).  We have also developed a grant writing team and established a process for grant writing ($25,000 ytd).  We have identified a renter for underutilized space, and established a rental agreement which will free up funds for ministry. This was accomplished with significant help from the Baltimore Washington Conference and the Advanced Financial Academy.   Finally, we have hired a Hope Rising Resource Director and a Mental Health Counselor who are now offering direct services to our community.

Rev Dr Jenny Smith
Wesley Freedom UMC
Eldersburg, MD

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