Interviewing – a conversation with a purpose
The oldest, most universal method people have used to invite one another to contribute financially to their congregation via face-to-face conversation. Done with skill and sensitivity, this approach allows people to discover and share commonly held values and arrive at a clearer understanding of one another and their faith community.
Before the meeting, briefly review:
Our annual campaign booklet, the giving guidelines, and SEAT method (below). These steps will make the stewardship visit more fun, focused, and productive.
The Stewardship Visit:
Share —your personal support of the congregation and its ministry. Let them know what it means to you, your hopes and dreams for it, your level of participation and financial support. Don’t hesitate to share your excitement about anything you feel strongly about; interfaith activities, service networks, youth groups, adult programs, our values, our staff, religious education, Sunday services, the monthly giving and outreach programs, our music and choir, and feeling and energy of the congregation this year.
Explain —any aspects of the canvassing effort that might be unclear to the person you are canvassing. Make an honest effort to help them understand the need for an annual pledge drive and the process of the pledge drive, if necessary. Honestly answer any questions they may have.
Ask–specifically for pledge that is as generous as can possible.
- Look them right in the eye and hand them their pledge card like this is the most important thing you will do today. “It is my pleasure to be able to ask you to support the work and ministry of Our Congregation. Here is a pledge form. Would you please be as generous as you possibly can?”
- Make sure they understand how to fill it out.
- Take the pledge card back from them when they are finished.
Thank — them for their pledge as you accept the pledge card. When you get home write them a brief, personal thank you note for sharing their time and for their pledge. Write a note even if someone hasn’t made a pledge for this year.
Shared by the staff and lay leaders of the First Unitarian Society of Denver and the First Universalist Church of Denver. Adapted by Laurel Amabile with permission. 1/2012