CER Resources for Stewardship for Congregations

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Stewardship and generosity in congregations is one of our most important ministries, and is an expression of our covenantal practice of working together towards a common mission grounded in love and justice. Many communities are finding themselves squeezed by declining membership and ever increasing operating costs. Effective stewardship is a multilayered challenge that involves both teaching and encouraging generosity of time, talent and treasure, and, managing the resources placed within our care.

For a good overall introduction and an updated perspective on pledge drives and a sustainable financial program, the three part “Best Annual Budget Drive Ever” video series presented by Barry Finkelstein of the Stewardship for Us team and Patricia Infante of the Central East Regional staff is a great place to begin.

Stewardship Education is a vital part of an overall strategy. These resources will help you grow your understanding of the ways that stewardship has changed in the 21st century and how to educate your congregation on the importance, not only of providing tangible and intangible support, but also how to encourage healthy dialogue around money.

  • Wisdom Path Curriculum
  • “Beyond Fundraising: A Complete Guide to Congregational Stewardship” by Wayne B. Clark, 2007, UUA.
  • “Not Your Parent’s Offering Plate” by J. Clif Christopher, 2015, Abingdon Press.
  • “Whose Offering Plate is It?: New Strategies for Financial Stewardship” by J. Clif Christopher, 2010, Abingdon Press.

The single largest operational expense for most congregations today is staffing. The increasing cost of benefits and the addition of new ways of staffing for growth is an area that invites increased attention and focus. The UUA’s Office of Church Staff Finances has created a number of helpful tools for congregations to assess where they are and to help determine how to provide staff with equitable compensation when budgets are tightening. Your Primary Contact is also an important resource for you in determining how to create a sustainable staffing structure.

General information on financial matters and well as somewhat more robust guidance on a number of specific topics of interest to congregations is available on uua.org in the finance section.

Ongoing Resources

UUA General Assembly Workshops

About the Author

Patricia Infante

Patricia Hall Infante is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist who grew up in a large New York City congregation. Her first career as a contract negotiator was put on hold while she took the job of full-time mother to two wonderful boys (an investment that continues to pay dividends)....

For more information contact .

Patricia Hall Infante

Patricia Infante, CER Program Manager for Congregational Stewardship

Best Annual Stewardship Campaign Webinar Part 1 - Visioning, Planning and Organizing

Best Annual Stewardship Campaign Webinar Part 2 - Talking About Money

Best Annual Stewardship Campaign Webinar Part 3 - 21st Century Stewardship and Best Practices

Beyond Fundraising The Complete Guide to Congregational Stewardship

By Wayne B. Clark

Blueprint for successful fundraising that moves beyond the myth of scarcity to the reality of abundance.

Beyond Fundraising