Now that your stewardship campaign has passed, it’s time to put stewardship away for the next 9 months or so, right?
Hopefully not. Between now and next fall this is what I suggest you get busy with:
What did you learn from your campaign? How did this year compare to last year? Are there any trends developing over the last 3-5 years? If they’re good trends, how can you continue them? If the trends aren’t so good, are they reversible?
What’s your future? Ask your Financial Secretary to pull out this year’s top 10% of pledgers. These are a tenth of your givers, not dollars, so if you have 100 giving units get the top ten of them. How old are these people? Are they still involved in the church? How many are snow birds? As the Financial Secretary and the Pastor review this list are there are any concerns about the church’s financial future?
How are you reaching other pockets? Stewardship campaigns typically reach the income pocket, but rarely touch parishoners’ “treasure.” I don’t condone doing a capital campaign just because you haven’t done one in a while but if you have a pile of needs in the church, seek gifts to help with these. It can be a traditional capital campaign, talking to a handful of major gifts prospects or a one-day “Miracle Sunday” where people commit things they don’t need any longer. Wayne Barrett, my retired colleague from the Michigan Foundation would often raise an amount equal to a year’s giving this way.
Are you planning for a final gift? Of all the money given to charity, one dollar in three goes to a religious organization. But of all the money left to charity in people’s wills, this number drops to about one in 12. Why? Because we don’t ask for it. What will you do this year to encourage those gifts? The amount of gray hair on a Sunday morning suggests we should take this seriously.
If you’re stuck on any of these, let us know. We’re here to help.