Run a virtual stewardship campaign

A giving campaign in your parish church can be a very effective way of increasing your income. As we increasingly work online it is important to adapt our stewardship practices accordingly. 

Why not run a virtual stewardship campaign?

We would hope that the outcomes will be similar to a traditional stewardship campaign in church – an increase in standing orders, an increase in the amount which people give and improved uptake of Gift Aid.

1. Giving Sunday

Choose a Sunday to focus on generosity and giving in your online Service.  If you are back in your church as well on a Sunday it would be good to co-ordinate the Services.   There are plenty of hymns with a theme of generosity, and the Bible is full of passages which highlight money, possessions and generosity.  Prayers and intercessions should also focus on God’s generosity to us.

The ‘sermon slot’ could have something which has the elements of standard stewardship presentation, but as you are doing a non-traditional Service you could do something different. 

  • You could have a sermon. 
  • You could have some Powerpoint slides. 
  • You might also produce short video clips of people saying how giving is important to them inserted at different points during the Service. 

There are some important elements of the traditional campaign which shouldn’t be abandoned however:

  • Connect financial giving with mission and ministry outcomes – what difference do the donations make?
  • Tell people what is needed, clearly and transparently.
  • Ask people to review what they give, seriously and prayerfully.
  • Ask them to consider an increase in what they give now, to set up a standing order, and to sign a gift aid declaration if they are tax payers and don’t currently have one.
  • Talk about giving in terms of priority – how much do they give now as a % of their income, and how much do they spend on other things.

2. Supporting materials

You will need to provide some materials in support of your giving service so that your people will be clear what is needed and what you are asking of them.  These should go out by email (or post to those who don’t use the internet) and also be available on your website and A Church Near You page.  If you have an active Facebook page you can also link to your website from there.

  • You will find a template for an email to go out to the congregation, which can be adapted to suit your parish here 
  • Template brochure  - This template for an information document, can be adapted, saved as a PDF and uploaded to your website.  You could also link through you social media pages.

3.Responding

We want people to respond, so we need to make it as easy as possible.  The email which has gone out to members of your congregation has details of how to respond.  If people want a paper response form there is a template here 

For guidance on following up non-responders you can click this link.

Resources/more ideas

  • Generous June was developed in partnership between the Dioceses of Sheffield and Winchester.  It has resources and ideas for online Services, and also individual reflection:

But this is no time for a giving campaign!

Many in your congregation will be having a hard time right now, but for many others their income is stable. 

They may have more disposable income right now, with lower commuting costs and fewer opportunities to go shopping.  It is also clear that our churches have a real need at the moment, and people may be happy to help by donating what they would have given at fundraising events anyway. 

As long as you acknowledge this there’s no reason not to engage with a giving review right now. 

There is, in fact evidence that people who don’t normally go to church have been watching online Services, and if you make it easy for them to donate they may be happy to do so.

But whatever you do, please let your people know that they are valued and appreciated.  Remember to say thank you for your contribution at the beginning, the middle and the end.




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