Over the last 26 years I have served as a Congregational Stewardship Consultant for the UUA. During that time I have worked with over 135 of our congregations, some of them more than once. I have had the opportunity to talk with many people about how they made their decisions to support a capital campaign in their congregation. One technical note: Financial commitments to a capital campaign are usually paid over a three year period. Here is one of my favorite stories.
These stories are illustrative. They contain one common element. Persons with commitment to the vision of the church will find a way to give generously. Each of these stories involves people who “gave until it felt good.” And that really is the criterion for our success. Each pledge is important. Each person will give according to her or his commitment and will want to feel good about it.
David L. Rickard
UUA Congregational Stewardship Consultant
Sarah was an instructor at a major university. She felt strongly that the new space and the air conditioning were very necessary for her congregation to grow and serve the needs of the religious liberals in the area. But her salary barely covered her family’s needs, and her savings were to provide a college education for her daughter. She, too, found a creative solution. When the steward visited, she proudly announced that she would give $6,000 to the Building Fund. The visiting steward, who thought he knew her well, was momentarily stunned until she explained, “This is so important to me that I will teach classes for the next three summers in order to make this pledge.”
Look for another story from David Rickard in the coming weeks!