Let's review a "Best Practices" Campaign Checklist. While these are in rough chronological order, feel free to go through the whole list and check off what you've already done. Once that's done, focus on the rest.
1. Who's new?
- New members! Have you added anyone new who would not have been on your mailing list last year? Add them!
2. Overall list review
- Review the overall list: Addresses complete? Names correct? Anything changed among members? Make sure any deaths or new addresses are reflected.
- Don't make the mistake of thinking an email can replace a physical letter. Best practice: emails can supplement a mail campaign, not replace it.
- Settled on a theme for your campaign? If not, the TENS.org materials are available. This year's TENS theme is Rooted in Abundance. The password to access campaign materials is Jeremiah17:8 (note, case specific and no spaces).
4. Letter drafted?
- Who will write it and when? Again, TENS offers campaign materials that you can use as a way to get started, but obviously you will want to customize your letter to your members, your ministry, your church.
- Personalized? In this brief video we review three ways to personalize your annual pledge campaign letter. Taking the time to personalize the letter helps get it read, believed, and acted upon! You can find more videos in the Stewardship Learning Center.
5. Pledge card
- Take a look at last year's and see if you need to update it. One question to add is: Have you remembered the church in your will? You'll want this information for future Planned Giving efforts.
6. Online Pledges
- Can people make their pledge online? It's a good idea to make it as easy as possible for people to pledge however they wish to.
- What date will the campaign be launched and announced in church? When will the mailing go out? What date is the ingathering? Set those now so you can work backward and make sure tasks are completed on time.
8. Stewardship Minutes
- Have you enlisted parishioners to do Stewardship Minutes during the campaign? These are opportunities for members of your church to speak to the congregation, tell faith stories, and share why they pledge to their church. Line folks up now for Sundays during your campaign.
9. Vestry Commitments
- If you haven't already discussed pledge commitments with the Vestry, why not do it at your next Vestry meeting? Get those commitments in early!
10. Pledge Acknowledgments
- Best practice: Send out acknowledgments as soon as a pledge is received. This can be a quick email. Not much later, pledgers should also receive a more official thank you for the pledge. Make plans now for how this process will be handled.
Let me know if this checklist is helpful and don't hesitate to reach out with questions or ideas!