Giving Campaigns, or Stewardship Campaigns are dedicated times to raise financial awareness amongst your church community. And to preach and teach a Christian attitude to money that includes giving, spending and saving.
Stewardship is not giving out the hymn books – Giving isn’t only about giving money and time but also being good caretakers of what you have been entrusted with. There are good arguments for either term, so just make sure everyone is clear about what you are talking about.
There are two main resources for running a giving campaign:
• Giving for Life (C of E resource) www.parishresources.org.uk/giving
• Giving in Grace (began life in Liverpool Diocese, but is now its own entity) www.givingingrace.org
Both resources include sample sermons, leaflets for distribution, sample thank you letters and worship resources. Both are very good for the ‘whole of life’ giving – i.e. money matters, but it is not the only part of Christian giving, time and talents are also a deeply significant part of the picture.
The national Stewardship website is also very good and provides more resources, both practical and spiritual: www.stewardship.org.uk
Some key guidelines for a campaign include:
- Be CLEAR about the vision you are hoping and praying you will realise with increased resources. This should be the vision that is articulated in your MAP and owned by the church community. People give to a shared vision, not to mundane housekeeping!
- Have a launch and an end – bookend the campaign so it does end and so there is a celebration e.g. Harvest – Christmas or Lent – Easter etc.
- Embed it at every level of church life. PCC Agendas, Prayer Groups, Collective Worship in schools, Mothers’ Union, preaching etc. The whole church community needs to be involved as fellow disciples and as people praying for this project.
- Be realistic about the amount you need/want to raise. If people don’t know there is a £35k shortfall they can’t respond.
- Be totally open in your accounting – let people know where the money goes, but keep donors and amounts confidential.
- Lead by example – begin by saying how much the PCC/Ministry Team have upped their giving in percentage terms.
- Mention Legacy Giving (see below for more details).
- Say Thank You – and mean it! Do not say ‘Thank You for your gift, would you like to give more? This approach undermines the grace and sincerity.
- At the end of the campaign – celebrate together. Invite everyone. Re-articulate the vision as carefully and prayerfully discerned.