Jazzing Up Annual Giving

Many congregations and other charitable organizations look for ways to jazz up their annual giving and stewardship campaigns. Let’s face it, keeping our affirmation of annual giving rhythm fresh and appealing can be a challenge. It’s easy for this essential source of funding to get overlooked, much like the riff behind the melody.

How might we jazz up our annual giving through our messaging and visual presentation? How can we creatively engage our prospective givers’ imaginations and ultimately their financial support?

One way to get started is to get the right people in the room to generate ideas for a campaign. The ideal group size is five to seven people balanced to a reasonable extent in terms of gender, generation, organizational and interpersonal skills, seasoned members/leaders and newcomers.

Begin by reading your congregation’s mission or vision statement and reflecting upon it. Ask yourselves What about our mission/vision most resonates in my heart? What am I called to do in response? How might our congregation make a positive difference in the world if our mission is fulfilled?

Next, think deeply about your congregation. Reflect on the following questions: What are our congregation’s core values? Which values energize and inspire our congregation? What kinds of activities stimulate the most involvement (and generosity) among our congregants?

The responses to these questions provide the harmonic unity for your campaign theme and messaging. From there your team can begin planning the activities and events that will engage the congregation’s interest and participation–to help them get in the groove of giving.

Here are some campaign themes that have been shared recently among stewardship leaders:

  • The Growing Power of a Grateful Heart
  • Giving that Rocks
  • Building Beloved Community (Building OUR CommUUnity, for UUs!)
  • Celebrating Our Abundance
  • Occupy All Souls: Be Part of the 100%
  • Find Our Greatness
  • Looking Forward, Let’s Engage
  • Abundant Joy, Overflowing Generosity
  • Irresistible Invitation: Cultivating Joyful Giving
  • Taking Our Dreams to Reality

Check these sources for the core planning aspects of annual fundraising and stewardship programs: