Three years ago, All Souls in Vermont was primarily funded by a single benefactor and had been for nearly 20 years. The donor set metrics with the new board to become self-sustainable. They had a couple of years to get there, and the donor’s gifts would diminish each year as they transitioned.
The board felt a lot of pressure, but they loved their community. They were up for the challenge and began outlining a plan with their new senior Pastor. They knew they needed help and began interviewing consultants from different firms nationwide. They asked difficult questions of each consultant and ultimately selected Mitzie Schafer, GSB Partner, as their consultant.
”The unique element of ministry at All Souls includes functioning not only like a church community but also like a nonprofit,” said Mitzie. “Through our work together, we segmented their donors. Donors who might consider the pastor their pastor were coded as church givers. The donors who related to them more like a nonprofit, utilizing their programs once or twice a year, were coded as nonprofit donors. We used a combination of Stewardship for All Seasons, a program that supports increasing giving in congregations. I customized their process to include intentional impact storytelling using the Donorarc model. Finally, we targeted special appeals to those who were coded as nonprofit donors to create a path for deeper engagement.”
After working with their original stewardship committee for three years, this October, Mitzie met the new stewardship team members for the coming year. It was time to train them on the annual process she taught the original team members.
As the pastor was orienting the new members, he shared, “So that you know how far we’ve come, one consultant we interviewed three years ago told us we would never hit our goals. With Mitzie, we hit and exceeded them every year.”
“I am so proud of them,” Mitzie said. “They did the work. They have been so faithful to the customized process we implemented together. They have treated their people like people and inspired them to support their amazing ministry. There is no better feeling than watching clients thrive.”