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FORTH Report

In May 2007, seven congregations were selected from an applicant pool of forty-five to participate in a three-year demonstration project. The project began in September 2007 and concluded in June 2010. These congregations received three years of consultation from a Unitarian Universalist (UUA) stewardship consultant. Each congregation formed a Forward Through The Ages (FORTH) team and had access to three years of support from a professional stewardship consultant. This support included on-site visits, telephone conference calls, resource sharing, and e-mail exchanges. The seven consultants worked with their assigned congregation, helping to apply FORTH concepts to the congregations’ size and existing organizational structure. Each site was asked to submit an annual progress report to summarize their activities and accomplishments.

From these annual reports and interviews with the consultants and congregations, Congregational Stewardship Services has completed a thorough FORTH Report (PDF, 44 pages).

A brief excerpt from the report follows.

The seven congregations reported many significant achievements:

  • Leaders discovered the importance of stewardship education. They used a variety of learning opportunities to highlight four themes: giving and receiving, gratitude, money management and budgeting. These opportunities promoted individual spiritual development.
  • Operational improvements were made: orientation workshops for visiting stewards, person-to-person annual budget drives, membership support activities, conflict management procedures, improved communication about congregational finances, and coordinated year-round calendars of stewardship-oriented events.
  • Many more volunteers, than prior to the demonstration project, were engaged in stewardship activities.
  • Stewardship became a year-round experience as opposed to a short-term preparation for an annual budget drive.
  • Congregational leaders became more knowledgeable about and were more engaged in stewardship.
  • Because stewardship development teams were created, longer-range stewardship planning occurred. New planned giving programs were created and moribund planned giving programs were revitalized.

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 Friday, June 17, 2011.

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