This section presumes that you have knowledge of the Fund section of Church Office and can easily set up a fund to handle all the details required in a campaign such as this. If you aren't familiar with funds, refer to Set Up Funds and Contributions.
The Stewardship of Treasure is broken down into seven parts:
- Part 1: Gather and Analyze Your Information — Once you determine that you want to proceed with this portion of the stewardship program, you must develop a plan.
The person or committee who directs the project is most important because it will succeed or fail based upon their efforts. Just because a person is an accountant, manager, or business owner does not mean they are suited for this leadership role. It must be someone who believes in the concept of stewardship, is organized, and able to lead. This person or committee should be given at least two or three months lead time to prepare for the beginning of the stewardship campaign. You might even consider hiring one person as the coordinator of the project. The increase in income can justify the expense.
- What goals do you want to achieve?
- What is the purpose of raising funds?
- How much do you want to increase? Over what period of time?
- Who will be involved?
- Do you want to make contact by mail, in person, or a combination of both?
- Who will direct this project?
Use the reports provided in the Stewardship Library of Reports to print information about the contributions in your parish, then ask a few questions:
- What is the giving pattern in our parish?
- Are there groups of members who stand out in these reports?
- How many are giving nothing? How many are giving less than $25 a year? Less than $50?
- How well do those involved in ministry contribute?
- As a result of this type of analysis, are there certain groups to target in fund raising?
- What amount of increase might be expected from various groups?
- Part 2: Develop a Plan of Action — The committee/coordinator should begin to prepare a detailed plan based upon the previous steps. They'll need a minimum of two or three months to prepare for the actual campaign which will last from four to six weeks. They must develop the goals of the campaign and make necessary assignments to achieve the goals.
- Part 3: Prepare Materials Used in Mailings and Displays — Once a plan has been established, all the materials that will be used to convey the message need to be developed. This includes letters, posters, banners, display materials, and so on. In addition, a great deal of attention must be given to the pulpit announcements and sermons that explain the purpose and nature of the whole project. It goes without saying that the concept of stewardship has as its basis the spiritual need for generosity and the earthly need to meet the parish's financial needs. These ideas must be incorporated in the overall presentations.
- Part 4: Contact the Membership — Contacting the membership can be done in a variety of ways. The easiest way is from the pulpit and it's best if it is done more than once, each time presenting a different aspect of the project. Since the objective is to convince your membership of the value of stewardship, it will take a number of reminders. The more personal the approach, the more chance there is for success.
- Part 5: Enter the Pledge Information — Make sure there's someone who understands the whole process appointed to enter the stewardship information into Church Office. Once the information has been entered, you can print statements and letters to those involved. You can also being to get a clear picture of the progress of your Stewardship process.
- Part 6: Follow Up — After the initial information has been presented to your members, it's important to follow up. You should follow up with those who don't respond after the first appeal, and send thank you letters to those who do respond. Follow up with progress reports from the pulpit, in the bulletin, and in follow-up letters.
- Part 7: Evaluate Progress — As information is accumulated, use the statistical reports found in the Stewardship Library of Reports to determine your progress. On the Reports tab, click All Reports > Stewardship > Financial– Treasure > Evaluation.
These websites provide some helpful stewardship ideas and materials: