CER Resources for Stewardship for Congregations
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.
- Session 1 - Vision, Planning, and Organizing
- Session 2 - Talking About Money
- Session 3 - 21st Century Stewardship and Best Practices
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.
- Staffing Practices webpage
- UUA Staffing and Compensation Monthly Newsletter: sign up
- Benefits and Compensation Information and Tools
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.
- Basic Financial Management
- Sample Finance Committee Job Description
- Capital Campaign Feasibility Consulting through Stewardship for Us
- Planned Giving through the UUA
- Money Matters: Monthly Learning Community for leaders in the Central East Region serving the financial mission of their congregation. Online conversation takes place the second Monday of each month at 7pm ET, registration not required.
- Stewardship for Us Blog
- Central East Region Money google group - click here to request to join.
UUA General Assembly Workshops
- “Generous Spirits: Transforming Stewardship,” presented by Rev Vail Weller and Rev Darcy Roake, General Assembly 2017, New Orleans LA
- “Annual Giving: The Backbone of Congregational Stewardship,” presented by Rev Marlin Lavanhar, Rev Tricia Hart, and Rev Peter Friedrichs, General Assembly 2016, Columbus OH.
- “Year Round Pledging: The Next Big Thing?,” presented by Rev David Pyle, Mark Ewert and Jason Kenworthy, General Assembly 2014, Providence RI.