Funding Ministry & Mission
Generous giving in the church does not happen automatically when a person joins a congregation. Part of the mission of the church is to form its members to be givers in life, as well as in the congregation.
If the congregation has developed a creative and challenging program for mission, and the members have participated in this development, then the next step is a carefully crafted plan for asking for money.
No matter what kind of commitment (annual pledge, capital campaign, special gift…) your givers wish to make, your church can make it easier for them to fulfill it. Here are resources to help your church offer electronic giving. (Note: If your church participates in the UCC Insurance Board program, a new privacy breach protection coverage has been added at no additional cost.)
Annual Stewardship Commitment Programs
An Annual Stewardship Campaign serves as a vital part of a congregation’s faith and stewardship formation. Asking for Support offers a survey of annual stewardship commitment programs and where to find them.
Four methods included in Inspiring Generosity, the UCC’s foundational stewardship resource, are:
- Personal Visits
- Consecrating Stewards
- Invited to give, Thanks!
Our UCC Central Atlantic Conference offers a synopsis of these four methods in “Which Campaign Is Best for Our Church?”
Most stewardship methods work well with the annual UCC Stewardship Theme Materials, a full range of themed resources including:
- Worship bulletin
- Three bulletin inserts (one with giving chart)
- Commitment (single, double, or faith promise) and Time and Talent cards
- Letterhead, envelope, notecard
Four methods offered here have been used less widely but may present helpful ideas and direction:
- Sunday Worship
- Small Groups
- Personal Delivery
- Congregational Dinner
The UCC actively partners in the Ecumenical Stewardship Center which offers a new themed annual campaign each year in its Giving Magazine. Companion resources (Bulletin covers, inserts, posters, etc.) are available for the current theme. A number of past years’ programs and resources are also available in print or on a CD.
The church is called to be stewards regardless of the size of the congregation. This Stewardship in the Small membership Congregation workbook, available from the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, is a study guide and includes the "Faithful, Hopeful, Loving" stewardship and mission emphasis.
Don’t forget to invite members to commit TIME AND TALENT in service of your congregation’s life and mission. Order the UCC Stewardship Theme Material Time and Talent Pledge Card or create your own survey if you are willing and able to follow through by calling on those willing to serve. Here’s some help, including links for church management software.
Our Central Atlantic Conference Stewardship Associates can help you put it all together with Tools for an Annual Fund, a presentation offering stewardship principles, theology, Biblical resources, strategies, and more.
If your congregation is contemplating a CAPITAL CAMPAIGN, UCC Capital Fundraising Executives are eager to assist you with our Faith Based, Spirit Filled, Lay Led process. This has been used by hundreds of United Church of Christ congregations over the past sixty years.
Our Capital Campaign Services include financial feasibility studies and guided campaign services. We assist you with campaign organization and oversight, leadership recruitment and proven method. We will also lend all the encouragement, support and affirmation you need. When you are ready, we are available to meet with you for a no obligation informational session to discuss your needs.
Please invite us to join you in your journey to fulfilling your Mission and Vision!
Phone: 216-736-3834 | 1-866-822-8224 Ext 3834 (Toll Free)
The UCC Capital Fund Raising Manual is available for purchase online ($35.00 +s/h) for those who wish to study the process or raise funds without a consultant. Or call UCC Resources at 1-800-537-3394.
Would you like this to happen with your Capital Campaign?
The Financial Development Ministry team works with individuals, churches and conferences to facilitate a variety of gifts which are planned and/or funded now, but whose benefit is not received by the Church until after the death of the donor(s). These gifts can benefit a church, Conference, national ministry or any UCC-related institution (seminary, health and welfare institution, etc.).
Many types of gifts are possible, some providing income to the donor and/or another person during their lifetime, and all supporting mission and ministry dear to the donor.
Does/should your church have an Endowment? Yes/No… either is a good reason to have a Planned Giving Ministry in your church. The 2009 updated 4th edition Local Church Planned Giving Manual (FD504) includes sections devoted to educational programs, management of planned gifts, ways of making gifts, and more. Order online or call UCC Resources at 1-800-537-3394 ($10 + s/h) or download free.
Many resources (brochures, bulletin inserts, newsletter blurbs, sampler packets) can be ordered to help with a wills emphasis or encouraging various types of planned gifts. The Endowment Resources Packet contains sample guidelines and materials for establishing and promoting congregational endowment funds. Use this handy resource list and order form. Call with any questions: 1-800-846-6822
Both the UCC Capital Fund Raising Manual and the UCC Local Church Planned Giving Manual offer help with identifying and cultivating potential major gift donors. “Cultivation” is nurture, tending, encouraging, listening, and keeping potential donors informed of the mission and ministry of particular interest to them. This will primarily take the form of personal contact. Your minister and/or lay visitation volunteers who listen closely and thoughtfully to others can help them realize their charitable dreams.
The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University’s Lake Institute on Faith and Giving’s Fund Raising School has led customized “Financial Transformation” seminars for UCC leaders. Their annotated bibliography contains a section on Major Gifts.
Grants from Foundations and other granting sources can play an important role in funding a particular ministry your church has envisioned. The UCC national ministries do not offer resources at this time on seeking grants and writing grant proposals.
The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University’s Lake Institute on Faith and Giving’s Fund Raising School has led customized “Financial Transformation” seminars for UCC leaders. Their annotated bibliography contains a section on grant proposals.
Christianity Today offers guidance in its online article, Finding Grants.
Many congregations include fundraisers in their strategy to fund the church’s ministry and mission. Raising funds may be only one benefit. Fundraisers may:
- Build community within your church, involving new people and many generations
- Reach out to the community surrounding your church
- Increase the visibility of your church
- Help the environment, showcase local talent…
- Raise funds… and more…
BUT, not every fundraising idea reflects the values of your church. Beyond church dinners, rummage sales, raffles…