In response to the current economic situation and several requests, with the help of my consultants and support staff, I have compiled best practices that relate to fundraising during difficult economic times. I especially encourage congregations to remain positive in these difficult times.
Giving During Tough Economic Times
Compiled by UUA Stewardship Consultants
- Stay positive. Don’t feed the anxiety.
- Act and lead with confidence.
- Assume that all will be well . . . Don’t assume the worst.
- See the recession as an opportunity to revisit your congregational vision and mission.
- Ask “How important is the congregation to you?”
- Believe that caring for people always trumps brick and mortar needs.
- Use pie charts to depict the distribution of the previous year’s spending.
- Use pie charts to indicate the anticipated distribution of financial commitments when the goal is met.
- Develop a line-item annual operating budget after completion of stewardship conversations.
- Do not presume other’s financial situation. Ask everyone for an annual financial commitment.
- Be pastoral. Focus on “how are you doing” personal conversations.
- In addition to monetary goals, create a goal for the number of congregants participating in the annual budget drive. Define success more broadly.
- Sponsor a “turn down the heat” day each week and host a pot luck meal at church.
- Sponsor a job-seeking club / a referral network / a resume writing workshop.
- Promote open conversations about “living well in tough times.”
- Market a “business is booming” slogan to spread the good news of the congregation.
- Focus on three key words; help, hope, and home.
- Emphasize that the faith community is a haven during tough times.