Congregational Stewardship Consulting Frequently Asked Questions
How can Congregational Stewardship Consultants be helpful?
We offer consulting guidance with annual budget drives, strategic planning, capital campaigns, and planned giving programs.
What is an assessment visit and why should we start with it?
An assessment visit can be helpful whenever a stewardship-related external, objective analysis of your congregation is needed. The specific focus of the visit is determined by your congregational leaders and may include a number of topics listed above. For example, your most recent annual budget drive might not have reached your financial goal. Or your planned giving program might be inactive. Or you might have deferred maintenance needs. Or there might not be consensus around your vision and mission. Or you might need additional facilities to house your growing congregation. In any of these situations, a Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) stewardship consultant can offer an external, objective analysis.
Can we choose a specific stewardship consultant to work with us?
The director of the Congregational Stewardship Network matches the specific needs of your congregation with the specific skills of one of our consultants. However, if you request a particular consultant, the director will make every effort to assign that consultant to your congregation.
What are the qualifications of the stewardship consultants?
Each consultant is a Unitarian Universalist (UU) lay leader who has been active in their home congregation. Some are ordained UU ministers. Before "solo" consulting with a congregation, each new consultant shadows veteran consultants for six months to a year. In addition, new consultants participate in conference calls with the team of consultants, they participate in our January retreat, and they meet during General Assembly each June. At this writing, the nine stewardship consultants have a combined total of more than 200 years experience.
What is the cost of an assessment visit?
An assessment visit includes eight to twelve hours of on-site consulting time consultation. For fiscal year 2013, your total cost is $1,600, assuming that your congregation is contributing its recommended fair share to the UUA Annual Program Fund (APF). The fee for non-fair share congregations is $2,600. Congregational Stewardship Network pays for all consulting expenses including air fare, ground transportation, lodging, meals, and materials.
After an assessment visit, how much will it cost for a stewardship consultant?
Following an assessment visit, we use a sliding fee scale, based on the size of your congregation. In fiscal year 2013, the fees range from $1,000 to $3,200 per eight-hour day.The fees are determined by a congregation’s Fair Share status and its membership total.
Can you help us become more comfortable talking about money?
Yes. Using the recently published Beyond Fundraising: A Complete Guide to Congregational Stewardship as a core resource, a stewardship consultant can help move your congregation from a myth of scarcity to the reality of abundance.
Can you tell us how much money we should contribute to our church each year?
No. Each congregant must decide for themselves how much to contribute. Some people find it helpful to refer to the Suggested Fair Share Giving Guide (PDF).
Does the UUA offer any financial help for congregations?
Yes. We offer several programs that provide financial help including a building loan program, a loan guarantee program, a first home grant program, a green construction award, and a small projects loan program.
Do you have references for us to contact?
Yes. We have consulted with several hundred congregations since 1985 and we are pleased to provide references at your request.
Looking for some information about Annual Program Fund (APF)? See APF Frequently Asked Questions for some guidance.
For more information about fair share giving, please contact apf @ uua.org
For more information contact congstewardship @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Monday, February 11, 2013.
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