Stewardship Planning for Summer

July 21, 2014

True Story: The week school let out for summer, I received four invitations to lunch and knew it was time to recruit next year’s stewardship team. Each of those invitations represented a networking or volunteer request. Don’t lose your best volunteers by waiting too late to invite them to join in. Use the tips below to recruit your stewardship Dream Team now.
Try this: Avoid the temptation to raid the finance committee or vestry for your stewardship team. Instead, list the skills you need: organization, communication, theological grounding, hospitality and creativity. Then invite people with those skills to lunch and recruit like this:

List your needs; list their talents: For example, “We’re building a team to make this year’s fall stewardship drive creative and fun. We want to emphasize St. James’ importance in people’s lives and you are such a great storyteller."

Then listen: Ask what interests them. Be prepared to adapt your plan to their passions. You’ll be glad you did. Check out this ECF Vital Practices article for a story on when a parishoner's call doesn't meet the volunteer opening.

Be like Uncle Sam: Nothing builds commitment and loyalty in a volunteer like saying, “I want you.” Close the conversation by saying, “You could really help us make a difference. I’d like you to lead this part of the project.”

For a more complete guide to recruiting your stewardship team, visit ECF Vital Practices to watch this free webinar.

Planned Giving: Start Simple for Success

True Story: A church administrator confessed to me that she had a handwritten will. She knew she needed to do something about it, but every time she started, she would get discouraged. She held out her hands to symbolize the property she wanted to give away and said, “I know what I want to do. I just don’t know how to describe it.” This woman is not alone. Over 50% of Americans have an out-of-date will or no will at all. A simple planned giving program in your congregation can offer your parishioners the pastoral support they need to make the most lasting financial decisions of their lifetime. Not sure where to start?

Try this: Recruit a Planned Giving Shepherd, someone who will be responsible for learning the basics and moving your efforts forward. Better yet, recruit two so they can encourage each other along the way. Look for good listening skills and patience, rather than estate planning experience. Resources, such as planned giving brochures and booklets are available for free through ECF here. We also have an entire program package, Planned Giving on Demand, coming out soon. Email us if you would like to be informed as soon as it is available.

To learn more, sign up for this free webinar on July 24th.