New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
Here is a fictitious story about two congregations to give an illustration of
making decisions using ratios. The figures in the ratios are derived from the membership data the congregations collect.
Both the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church of A and the UU Church of B have had flat
membership in their congregations of about 500, with volunteer help rather than
paid membership staff for the membership and visitor functions. Members in both
churches believe the problem is that they are not welcoming enough, and have
encouraged the membership committee, who is already engaged in a large variety
of activities, to step up welcome efforts with more (or more enthusiastic) door
greeters, "pew buddies," visitor orientations, welcome tables, welcome corners,
special cups, in-service introductions, roving after-service "welcomers," welcome packets, free snacks, calls and postcards after visits, and a host of
other ideas that will bring people back.
The UU Church of A gathers the membership process data and
discovers that compared to other churches of like size, they have a very low
return of visitors. They survey "one-time" visitors and discover they indeed did
not feel welcome, and focus their efforts on changing this by implementing a
number of the suggestions.
The UU Church of B finds the opposite: they have a very high percentage of
return first-time visitors, but a very low number of visitors compared to other
congregations. The data suggests this church's resources are better spent attracting more visitors than doing
more things to make those who are coming feel even more welcome. They focus
their efforts on ways to bring more visitors in the door.
Let's look at another example of using ratios to make decisions.
For more information contact growthresources @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Monday, August 8, 2011.
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