If you've picked up a newspaper or scanned the internet recently then you've seen a story or two about gas prices and groceries, probably with "Inflation" in the headline and maybe some "Supply Chain" worries sprinkled in for good measure.
Bad economic news means clicks, and this fall, we’ll have the added benefit of midterm electioneering. It’s a safe bet that “scarcity” will be a far more common theme than “abundance” in the media.
So let’s think about what this might mean for your annual pledge campaign. It's important to remember that Stewardship messaging is contextual. Your church communications are received by individuals who live lives that are impacted by all sorts of things, and that includes stories in the media, as well as their last trip to the gas station or grocery store. If our news outlets are full of doom and gloom economics, then we need to be aware of what is playing out in our parishioners' own homes and psyches.
Context is not set exclusively by the news media. Our own church and stewardship communications can set context as well if they are persuasive and effective. This is one reason that year-round stewardship communication is recommended – a year-round approach helps build that context over time, a context with God at the center. A context that can stand up to the anxieties and worries of modern life.
So how should we be thinking about the fall and what it means for our annual pledge campaign messaging? It's June. As church leaders, we have time to get ready for our fall campaigns, by being aware, and by committing to prepare.
- Be aware: How are individuals in your congregation feeling…anxious or calm? Worried or secure? Maybe somewhere in between. Take time this summer to listen, to ask questions, to learn what individuals in your congregation are thinking about, especially as those thoughts might impact their responsiveness to stewardship messaging.
- Take time to prepare. This year’s campaign season will not be like any other, and you’ll want to be as prepared as possible to make sure that your fall campaign is has impact and relevance to your parishioners.
If you'd like some guidance in how to prepare this summer for an effective annual pledge campaign this fall, join us for a 60 minute Zoom Workshop on Thursday, June 16 at 7 PM: Stewardship in the Moment.
Stewardship in the Moment will walk participants through 3 strategies to employ right now to help you prepare for a successful fall campaign. In this interactive, 60 minute workshop, we’ll discuss practical activities that any church can take on this summer to help you to be more prepared for the fall.
This Zoom Workshop is available to anyone in the diocese, and you don't have to pre-register. And remember Stewardship is ideally a team sport, so feel free to sign up a team. We’ll send out the Zoom link to this newsletter’s email list next week, and email it to wardens and active clergy, as well. So no need to sign up in advance but do mark your calendars to log in at 7 on the 16th!
If you want to make sure you get the Zoom link (perhaps someone forwarded you this newsletter or you are reading about it in the Voice), go ahead and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it to you today!
See you next Thursday!
Missioner for Stewardship and Legacy Giving