Well, by the time you read this you will have had ample opportunity to assess how you are doing on your New Year’s resolutions. What’s that you say? It turns out that going to the gym every day is proving problematic? Taking 30 minutes every day to write is elusive? How about we try a new set of resolutions to provide a terrific stewardship program for your congregation. These are resolutions you can actually keep! Let’s take a look at good ideas to resolve as our own.
First, start with a commitment to allocate the time to do a solid campaign. Good campaigns consistently are built on 6-9 months of planning and preparation. If you are already inside that time line, don’t despair – get busy now, and start a planning calendar for next year to give yourself enough time. Why so long? We do this with volunteers; people have competing demands and opportunities to meet and coordinate may be few and far between.
Second, resolve to capture lessons learned – and put them to work. Plan a post-campaign review with your team members to examine what worked and what did not, figure out what you would like to do differently next time, and ask someone to take that action as theirs to make happen. Your first meeting next year should start with a second look at this review.
Third, watch out for volunteer burnout. Resolve to bring at least one new volunteer on your team this year, and do so every year. If the same team does the work year after year, the campaign will inevitably get stale and good people will burn out. Planning and carrying out a comprehensive campaign is excellent leader training. Spread the opportunity!
Fourth, resolve to give your members really good reasons to pledge. “We’re a close community and a great church” is not enough. People have many opportunities to contribute to good causes. Make the case why this congregation should be first on that list. As a member, I want to know what my contribution will accomplish, what we could accomplish with the resources I offer.
That is a enough for one year’s resolutions. Carry these out and you are on your way. And remember – if you want to build up an exceptional and sustainable stewardship program that touches all the bases, get in touch with the stewardship consultant team at the contact points below and let’s talk about reaching your goals. We’ll even have some fun along the way.
A Special Note: If you are anywhere near Marietta, GA on Feb 21, join us for a Stewardship Saturday (Stewardship for UUs), a cluster event being hosted by The Emerson UU Congregation. For more information and registration, view the downloadable flyer here, and register here.
Bill Clontz is a stewardship consultant supporting the UUA and the Southern Region. You can reach Bill at email@example.com, via the UUA’s Congregational Stewardship Network (CSN),
(http://www.uua.org/finance/fundraising/index.shtml ), or through the Southern Region staff.
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