Preparation for the 2017 Annual Commitment Program
This is the time of year parishes start thinking about and organizing for their annual financial commitment program, and the Diocesan Stewardship Commission is prepared to help you with your planning.
The following are key points to consider:
- Research shows that parishes which don’t have a commitment program, and only depend on members’ offering each Sunday, experience giving to be 1.5 % of income. When parishes have a pledge program tied to the annual budget, members contribute 2.0 % of income. But parishes that have a holistic approach to stewardship and have an annual commitment program not tied to the budget receive revenues that are 3.5 % of income.
- Form a team of 3-5 parishioners to run the program.
- Select a proven program for your annual campaign. We recommend the following programs: “The New Consecration Sunday“ by Herb Miller, the program in the “Giving-Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation“ magazine published by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, or the “Living Stewardship“ program out of Spring, Texas. These programs can be supplemented by the TENS “Journey to Generosity” narrative series. The TENS resources are free since our diocese is a member of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship. Contact Paula Lapinski at Diocesan House for login information.
- Need help? Call Dan Charney, 610-837-4613, or the Rev. Jim Rinehart, 570-527-8821.
- If you plan to use the New Consecration Sunday program, and need a guest leader, Dan Charney and the Rev. Jim Rinehart are available. A guest list of names will be released to you in the near future.
The Lord be with you as you prepare for your annual commitment program.
Peace and Joy,
Dan Charney, Diocesan Stewardship Missioner
Stewardship in the Congregations of The Diocese of Bethlehem
“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received” 1 Peter 4:10
The diocesan Stewardship Commission members serve as consultants to parishes on stewardship matters which include the following: help starting a parish stewardship team; running a vestry retreat on stewardship; conducting an adult forum; assisting with writing a vestry stewardship statement; conducting a spiritual gifts seminar; exploring the New Consecration Sunday Program (the annual financial appeal); and assisting with writing a narrative budget.
Essential Elements of Successful Stewardship Programs
Evaluating Annual Financial Stewardship Campaigns
Thorough evaluation is an essential part of annual financial stewardship campaigns. Some questions to consider:
- Was there an increase or decrease in giving?
- How many new pledges were received?
- How has the Average Annual Giving changed from last year to this year?
- How has the mean value of giving changed from the previous year to this year?
By interviewing a few parishioners who did not serve on the stewardship team, it is possible to get an idea of the feel of an annual campaign, report to members of the congregation, reflect on the entire picture, and make plans for next year’s campaign.
The TENS website includes two tools to help with evaluation and report to the membership:
- Walking the Way: 2014 Stewardship Narrative Series. Click on it, then scroll down to Campaign Evaluation Tools and click on Campaign Trend Analysis Template (Excel), which can be edited.
- Pledge Campaign Evaluation (Word).
These tools will help make useful reports to parish members, and provide information about whether or not the parish is moving forward in both generosity and spiritual growth.
Stewardship Missioner Dan Charney is available to help. Please call 610-837-4613 or email him.
These simple reflections, based on a weekly lectionary readings, are perfect for your parish newsletter, your bulletin or your own personal reflection.
The Rev. Jim Rinehart – Stewardship Chair
Dan Charney – Stewardship Missioner