5 Ways GSB’s Stewardship Program Exceeded Expectations

“Our results well-exceeded our expectations”

GSB Fundraising’s Stewardship Program

“We can’t thank you enough for the guidance and direction on supporting our 2021 Stewardship Drive.  Our results well-exceeded our expectations and is a testament to the fantastic program you offered to us.  To date, pledges are 44% higher than last year totaling an increase in estimated giving of close to $61,000!

As a way to give back, we are asking the synod to keep the $450 investment, and as well, we have increased our estimated percentage for benevolence by a full percentage point.”  This comes from stewardship leader Angie Haston at Advent Lutheran Church, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  This happened not just during the pandemic, but also with an interim pastor.

Her congregation joined about 200 other congregations from across the country and participated in the Beginning a Culture of Generosity program offered by GSB Fundraising this fall.  The program utilized six Zoom sessions and both a video and document library to provide a vibrant stewardship program to congregations who were feeling the stress of living out their missions in the midst of global pandemic.

“Everything was spelled out for us. There is enough to do, but this program took the burden off of thinking about what comes next.  We didn’t miss a step.  The outline was huge for us.”  This comes from Susan Homza, the stewardship leader for Reformation Lutheran Church in West Long Branch, New Jersey, a congregation that is a mix of long-time members and newer, younger families.  Many of the new families have little experience with giving and this program led many in our congregation to understand the need for a commitment.

Susan is the council president and signed up for this program because “we often have a hard time getting anyone on the stewardship team.”  The two who helped this year both said they will help again next year.  At Reformation, pledged giving grew by at least $20,000 or close to 16.7%.  Most members grew by $500 to $1,000 for next year.

stewardship program leadership

The stewardship program was grounded in sharing stories of what God is up to in the congregation and witnessing to generosity to encourage others to become more generous.

Other significant outcomes from the stewardship program

  • At Good Shepherd, Holmdel, New Jersey, 42 giving families grew their generosity by a total of $13,872, including a shut-in member who doubled her giving and a doctor who doubled giving as well. This congregation that has been in danger of closing in its recent history won’t have to deplete reserves although they lost so much revenue from rentals this year.
  • Emmanuel, in Vienna, Virginia set a goal to grow by $186,000 for 2021. With gifts still coming in, they are over 2/3 of the way to the goal.  They have already exceeded the goal for new givers signing up for automatic giving.
  • At Calvary, in Morganton, North Carolina “cool things are happening because of BCG” said Rev. Paul Carlson. After some congregational turmoil spanning the last decade, intents grew from 42 last year to 62 in this program.  Intended giving is going from $177,000 to $250,000 and “this is huge for us.  We have more money available now than we did in February before the pandemic” Carlson shared.  This has given us a breath of new life. In fact, they are unveiling a new art installation for the community of a Nativity scene for the community this Christmas.
  • A few fun statistics from the program include:
    • At Gloria Dei in Crestview Hills, KY with 51 cards returned, 41 showed an increase with 100% of council and stewardship members returning a card with a 10% increase.
    • Mark’s in Asheville, North Carolina received more intent cards this year than ever before.
    • At Pilgrim in Marysville, Michigan, with a first call pastor, the Council and Stewardship team increased their collective giving by 25% and received more intent cards than their goal with 60% of them providing an increase in giving.

Beginning a Culture of Generosity was created this year to help congregations grow generosity even in the midst of the pandemic.  Most congregations experienced solid growth in generosity and all learned that stewardship is about much more than money.  The program was grounded in sharing stories of what God is up to in the congregation and witnessing to generosity to encourage others to become more generous.  GSB will be offering this program again in 2021.  If you are interested, contact GSB Partner, Mike Ward at ward@gsbfr.com.

GSB’s mission is strengthening charitable causes to change the world through generosity. At GSB Fundraising, we have a passion for philanthropy – the art of giving and asking for gifts. We have a large team of partners and consultants that make up GSB Fundraising. Learn more about creating a culture of generosity here.

Located across the country, each consultant comes from a background in fundraising and drive to help non-profit organizations succeed. Talented partners and associates comprise the GSB Team – experts who can be drawn upon at a moment’s notice. It’s reassurance that your journey, no matter the bumps along the way, will be successful. You will reach your destination. Follow us on Facebook for more updates.