April 4, 2017

Stewardship Tip: Quarterly Reports

The first quarter of the calendar year is over and in many congregations the Financial Secretary sends out a “quarterly report.”  As you think about your congregation’s practices in this area of stewardship, consider some of the following:

  • If you don’t send quarterly reports to your members, reconsider it.
    • It is NOT a bill
    • It helps members see how they are doing in their self-set goal for their financial offerings for the mission and ministry of their congregation.
    • Members are conscientious and when they have made an Estimate of Giving, they want to meet their goal.
    • It allows members to check that any special offerings they have given are properly credited. And, any mistakes can quickly be corrected by contacting the Financial Secretary.
    • Quarterly reports help increase offerings.
  • When you send your quarterly report, include a thank you letter
    • Give the prepared letter to the Financial Secretary to include with the member’s statement – this preserves confidentiality.
    • Keep the letter positive and share a story or example or two of how member offerings have benefitted the mission and ministry of the congregation.
    • People are more generous and more cheerful when they see how their generous gifts have made a difference.
    • Be sure to say thank you.
  • DO NOT send negative messages about deficits or guilt producing language.
    • Most congregations are behind budget most of the year.
    • Guilt is not conducive to giving and can frustrate those who are most conscientious (they are doing all they can and you are saying it still is not enough).
  • Quarterly reports give a consistent message about best practices.
    • We encourage intentional and prayerful, thoughtful giving
    • We encourage regular giving
    • We give thanks for the gifts that are given in response to God’s grace.