Appoint a Stewardship Promoter and watch your income grow.
Best practice advice for your PCC from the national Church
The General Synod report Giving for Life analysed the different ways in which dioceses and parishes raise regular income. The research showed that giving grows fastest over the medium-term in places that appoint an individual as Stewardship Promoter for the church, parish, benefice or team. In those dioceses that have an established network of such Promoters, the increase in voluntary income is generally better than others.
In the largest churches the Stewardship Promoter may be supported by a small committee or working group. In smaller parishes the role may be combined with that of the Gift Aid Secretary. The Promoters and support groups are known by a variety of local titles. But their common role is to support the Clergy and PCC (especially the Treasurer and Gift Aid Secretary) in promoting a Christian approach to giving to God’s work, both locally and further afield.
The research identified four key tasks:
- Encouraging effective teaching on giving and generosity
- Linking giving with local vision and mission
- Organising an annual review of giving
- Thanking givers appropriately
Other activities can include:
- helping casual visitors and Friends to give effectively
- organising promotional displays on giving methods
- promoting one-off gifts like legacies
- sharing good ideas with other local churches
- reporting to the PCC on giving trends
- …and eventually … training up a successor
Tips from experienced Stewardship Promoters
- Work as a team with Clergy, Readers, Treasurer etc
- Don’t be afraid of talking about money … Jesus wasn’t!
- Giving should be a response to God’s love and generosity – not simply to pay the bills
- People should give to God through the church, not just for the church
- Link the challenge to increase giving with a clear plan for what extra can be achieved in terms of mission and ministry
- Don’t expect immediate results – aim to help most people take a small real step forward each year in their discipleship of Christian giving
- Don’t concentrate just on money, but include giving of time and skills to God’s work
- Make sure regular donors are thanked properly for their money and other gifts
- Plan a slow, drip-feed approach with annual renewals, and alter the emphasis from year to year
- Focus on regular giving of income … but also promote one-off gifts of wealth like shares and gifts in wills
- Share good ideas with other local Promoters through deanery or diocesan networks
Remember that Jesus told more parables about how people should use their income and wealth than any other topic …and the Bible has far more references about money and giving than about faith and prayer combined!
Typical person specification
Successful Stewardship Promoters are likely to exhibit most of the following characteristics:
- Enthusiastic and able to motivate others to give to God’s work
- Sensitive to individuals, and will not pressurise them into over-commitment
- Totally respectful of confidentiality about church members personal details
- Have prayerfully reviewed their own giving, and are happy with it
- Well organised, used to dealing with paperwork, computers etc
- Have online access to email and the web
- Creative and able to organise local publicity and displays, possibly with sales or marketing experience
- Understand that real progress will only be made by encouraging regular, committed and generous giving … and that this takes years to achieve.
The time commitment is not onerous, usually a few hours each month at times to suit the person. It is advisable for the PCC to agree a simple job specification to suit local circumstances, and make an appointment for say 3 or 5 years (renewable).
The Diocesan Stewardship Adviser offers a Stewardship Promoters Training Course (2 hours) and produces various guides, newsletters, visits and email/telephone support for Stewardship Promoters in their vital role. Please contact Revd. Gordon Randall, direct line 01962 737323
Stewardship Promoter Workshops take place at Old Alresford Place and usually run from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. To reserve a place please contact Gordon.