LW Chase Associates
Stewardship Development Membership Assessment and Campaign Planning Most congregations face this annual task with a sense of resignation and dread. We have discovered that the campaign can be enlivened with a little planning and shift in model. Whether it is in the design of the actual campaign, the development of interpretative materials or in the design of the budget, we have found that volunteers can be energized and the task of raising operating funds made easier. Committee Task Descriptions Spreading the task of annual fund raising necessitates re-defined committee assignments and manageable tasks. Making Contributions Regular By analyzing the style of giving and re-interpreting the nature of the gift, we have discovered the irregular contributions become steady and the seasonal swings are less pronounced. Top
Membership Assessment and Campaign Planning
Most congregations face this annual task with a sense of resignation and dread. We have discovered that the campaign can be enlivened with a little planning and shift in model. Whether it is in the design of the actual campaign, the development of interpretative materials or in the design of the budget, we have found that volunteers can be energized and the task of raising operating funds made easier.
Committee Task Descriptions
Spreading the task of annual fund raising necessitates re-defined committee assignments and manageable tasks.
Making Contributions Regular
By analyzing the style of giving and re-interpreting the nature of the gift, we have discovered the irregular contributions become steady and the seasonal swings are less pronounced.
Starting an Endowment With No Money
The nuts and bolts of building an endowment includes a description of gifts and uses of the money as well as a goal and a plan for achieving that goal.
No one can accurately forecast the amounts of moneys that will be passed on by the baby boom generation as they move estates to the next generation. Congregations ought to be constantly holding before their members the concern for adequate estate planning and the need to 'endow one's pledge.'
The Internal Revenue Service has provided a number of instruments which make it possible to guarantee a stable source of personal return on one's investment while, at the same time, enjoying a tax benefit from making a gift to a not-for-profit group. Congregations are not being good stewards of their resources if they are not helping their members learn about these opportunities.
Developing a Philosophy of Investment that Makes Sense
Governing boards ought to act as good fiduciary agents in planning for the congregation's future. With a programmatic horizon of more than two generations, it is important to put in place a rational investment policy that will guide the board and the members.
Understanding Fiduciary Responsibility
If it is a goal to work itself out of business within five years, then investments are not appropriate. If', on the other hand, the board believes in what the congregation is doing and expects that the ministry will continue to function into the foreseeable future, then it is important, from a stewardship point of view, to assist the congregation in assuring its own future.
Understanding Level of Risk and the Inflation Factor
In the past, the investors were not tolerant of risk. In the short run, this may make sense, but when we have stepped back from the investment moment and have viewed the long history of investment instruments, we have recognized that risk decreased with longer horizons. At the same time, low risk investments do not keep up with inflation. Good fiduciary practice is not only to protect the principal, but to grow that principal to keep up with inflation.
Typically, return has been defined as interest and dividends. Unrealized capital gain has normally been off limits to portfolio managers. More recently there has been an increasing awareness that income might be interpreted as the total return and the portfolio could be balanced to provide growth and income and, at the same time, a standard percentage of draw could be built into the policy.
Developing a Controlled Spending Policy
A plan ought to be in place for the use of the income from the investment portfolio, whether or not a total return policy is used. If this plan is in place early in the process, there will be less debate from year to year as the operating budget is developed. The plan will devise a way to regularize the distribution of income, otherwise known as a standard percentage of draw against the account, so as to cushion the ups and downs of the market, keep the investment ahead of inflation and assure supporters that their contributions are being faithfully managed for the long term health of the organization.
Fund Growth Vs. Program Support
Part of the Controlled Spending Policy will depend on the decision, made early in the investment process, as to whether the fund will be used primarily for generation of growth for the fund or for program support and what percentage for each. Ideally, there needs to be a balanced approach so that funds are not simply stored for that proverbial rainy day which never comes and the need to fund current programs so that there is not emergency or long term investment.
Preliminary Feasibility Studies
In order to prepare for a capital or special fund drive, a serious study should determine the readiness of the congregation. Are they aware of the goals of the campaign and are they on board? What other sources of contributions exist in the form of denominational or community support?
A careful assessment of the donor base and application of the typical giving pyramid will establish a profile of giving and contribute to the ultimate success of the campaign.
Professional Fund Raiser Qualification
Does the congregation need outside fund raising help? What role can a consultant play in the campaign process? How do you select and qualify a consultant?
How does an organization determine a campaign goal? Is it simply a total of the dollars necessary to accomplish the dream or is the goal tempered by the realities of giving potential? When is it helpful to challenge a constituency?
Grant Writing/Creative Funding
Orientation to the Philanthropic Community
Individual fund raisers need to understand the public and private philanthropic communities and the goals of each. Whether located in the organization's community or in a national forum, there is a vast pot of money available.
Doing the Research
Learning the tools, whether available in a local library or on the internet, will help the grant writer prepare well-focussed proposals.
Grant Writing Workshops, Levels I and II
From learning the components of a good proposal in Level I to writing a practice grant in Level II, participants learn the nuts and bolts of grant writing.
Special Gifts/Year End Giving
Identifying, Qualifying, Nurturing Prospective Donors
There ought to be on-going recognition of the presence of prospective donors. On a regular basis, there should be some notice, if not direct approach, to those who are potential donors of special gifts. Individuals need to have opportunities to give.
Understanding Fund Accounting
There is a difference between the familiar cash basis for accounting and the type of accounting used by most not-for-profits. Your organization needs to know the dynamics of fund accounting and know how to capitalize on this unique management system.
Line Item Budgets
The line item budget provides an instant reflection of where the money is and becomes an indispensable tool in budget management.
The narrative budget can be more flexible with the identification of program and staff costs. By assigning staff costs proportionally to different program and management areas, supporters can see how their dollars are being used directly in service to the clients or mission.
Budgeting for the Long Haul
Many small organizations budget like young families, from hand to mouth. Good fiscal management would have them be better stewards of their resources and budget for a rainy day and future growth.
Developing Strategies for Prioritizing Pastoral Time
Pastors are notoriously 'busy' and struggling to find ways to balance competing priorities. Systematicly determining the use of time will help lower the personal conflict which is experienced.
Multiple Staff Relationships
Conflict arising from staffing patterns and conflicting goals often cause un-necessary strife. Well defined and functioning staff teams can multiply the benefits of ministry.
When organizations become locked in conflict, resolution and progress is difficult if not impossible. Using tested strategies, we can dissect the conflict and devise ways to move beyond the conflict.
Ministry Goals and Mission Statements
We have discovered that well conceived mission statements can help faith communities and other organizations as they interpret their programs to others in an attempt to enlarge mission, to evangelize or to raise money.
Health Related Ministries
Pastoral Care of the Whole Person
Certainly Jesus was concerned about spirituality, but just as certainly, Jesus was concerned about a person's physical well being. A congregation ought to structure itself to care for its members in every stage of life and at every level of care, from praying for health and wholeness, to actually providing ministries that address these areas.
Organizing a team or volunteers or hiring a nurse as a staff person gives the congregation a focus in ministry that will address the 'whole-person' concept of ministry.
Deacon ministries are often aware of the physical conditions of members, particularly older or home-bound persons. Too often, however, the congregation is ill equipped to deal with the needs of these members.
Congregations ought to educate their members on the use of advanced directives such as living wills just as they do regarding wills and bequests.
Personal Health Assessment
Part of a 'whole-person' ministry awareness is the use of personal health assessments. How these are designed, introduced and maintained can be a benefit to the pastoral care provided within a congregation.