Stewardship for Us

Stewardship for Us logo with three leaves

The Stewardship For Us (S4Us) Team, is based on a simple principle and a long history. The principle is that stewardship is important to all of us. We have a theological imperative to pursue generosity-motivated stewardship. We also care about our communities and institutions and should strive to be effective stewards, unafraid to talk about resources and money, and able to support our values in tangible, empowering ways. The history is that we are building on over 30 years of stewardship consulting support, a unique legacy of the Unitarian Universalist (UU) movement that continues to evolve as it supports UUs and others everywhere. We are a group of UU consultants independent from the Unitarian Universalist Association, yet we have a preferred vendor memorandum of agreement with the UUA. We remain in close touch with Congregational Life and other UUA staff and resources wherever we work. Our goal is to be part of a comprehensive network of UU support.

What we do: We provide expert advice and assistance in building strong, sustainable stewardship programs that are grounded in the mission, vision, and community of UU congregations and affiliated UU organizations. We offer expertise in the areas of budget drives, special stewardship campaigns, capital campaigns, assessment of financial capacity for capital projects, strategic planning, financial planning, legacy gifts and endowments, leadership coaching, and stewardship workshops for leaders, congregations, and clusters. Custom designed programs for specific challenges and opportunities are also offered.

Our approach is based on four core concepts:

  1. Partnership. You bring to this relationship an intimate knowledge of your congregation, collectively and as individuals. We bring years of experience and lessons learned in hundreds of congregations, ranging from a couple of dozen members to almost one thousand members. Blending what we all bring to the relationship and apply to your challenges is what yields success.
  2. Practical Solutions. In most cases, congregations call on S4Us because they have a problem or have hit a plateau and wish to advance. In some cases, an opportunity has arisen that the congregation wishes to make the most of, without waste or delay. Our responsibility is to work with you to craft best practices solutions that fit your situation. As consultants, we also provide “the forcing function,” asking challenging questions, reminding us of the goals and standards we set, and keeping an eye on our agreed upon timelines. Solutions are seldom simple and cannot be applied the same everywhere; beware the consultant who arrives with a ready-made solution. Let’s invest the time and effort to get it right.
  3. Capacity Building. It’s great to solve the immediate challenge, but what about next year? Part of our solution set is to ensure you build capacity and have the tools and information to institutionalize the lessons we learned together. We go beyond technical solutions to ensure that best practices are adopted and become part of the congregation’s “institutional DNA.”
  4. Liberation. S4Us consultants keep a focus on liberation for all of their constituents and on building the beloved community. That is, we promote efforts to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, racially and in other ways, with stewardship. A clear grounding point for us is the Widening the Circle of Concern process, report, and recommendations (UUA, 2020). We are reshaping our communications and offerings to ensure equity through our work. As individual consultants we continue to educate ourselves in the true history of our country, do our work to address our own biases, and bring a liberation lens to everything we do.

From Stewardship for Us

Displaying 1 - 10 of 12

Pledging trends show that the most efficient methods in stewardship are rarely the most effective.

By Mark V. Ewert, Stewardship for Us | June 14, 2023 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: Stewardship for Congregations

Many congregations are at a financial crossroads, but are our annual budgeting and financial planning processes up to the challenge? Build your congregation’s roadmap for a sustainable – thriving -financial future.

Webinar | By Stewardship for Us, Barry Finklestein, Liz Coit | November 11, 2022 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: Past General Assemblies, Stewardship for Congregations

How committees and staff can create a dynamic and engaging stewardship element in a family’s spiritual life.

Webinar | By Stewardship for Us, Barry Finklestein | November 11, 2022 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: Past General Assemblies, Stewardship for Congregations

What if you invested only in things that made a better world? What are the risks if you don’t do that? What if we could liberate money to be used as a tool for love?

Leader Resource | By Stewardship for Us | July 7, 2020 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: Stewardship for Congregations

Anxiety makes us fearful and fear brings on a sense of scarcity. How do we cope with the thorny aspects of stewardship in high anxiety times? We look for the abundance. And it is there.

By Rachel Maxwell, Stewardship for Us | April 15, 2020 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: #COVID19, Annual Program Fund, Stewardship for Congregations

Find out opportunities for asking for pledges and contributions on Sunday mornings (or whenever people are accessing your virtual worship!).

By Mark V. Ewert, Stewardship for Us | April 11, 2020 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: #COVID19, Stewardship for Congregations

July 1, 2020 marks the beginning of the fiscal year 2021 for many congregations, and the half-way point of FY 2020 for others. Either way, it is a benchmark point in pledge fulfillment. How well are we doing?

By Liz Coit, Stewardship for Us | April 6, 2020 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: #COVID19, Stewardship for Congregations

I was in a Zoom call the other day with lots of congregations represented. It was one of the Virtual Stewardship Salons hosted by the UUA. We broke in to separate breakout rooms and I was in a room with folks from seven different congregations....

By Stewardship for Us, Rachel Maxwell | March 31, 2020 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: #COVID19, Stewardship for Congregations, Finance for Congregations

Budgeting for the new year is very much on everyone’s mind. There is no telling how the pandemic will affect pledge drives underway, nor fulfillment of current year pledges. Congregations also fear the loss or reduction of other income from rentals, fundraisers, plate collections, and other contributions.

Leader Resource | By Barry Finklestein, Stewardship for Us | March 27, 2020 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: #COVID19, Budgeting for Congregations

Your pledge drive needs to happen soon, but it is late and you still don’t have a drive leader, or maybe just got one in place! We will present 11th-hour strategies and learn from each other’s experiences.

Webinar | By Southern Region of the UUA, Stewardship for Us | March 13, 2019 | From LeaderLab
Tagged as: Stewardship for Congregations

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