Boards and other leaders are the “head stewards” of the congregation, retreat center, or nonprofit. As financial fiduciaries, their purview extends not only to oversight of budgeting, tracking, and allocating funds; it also includes the gathering of financial resources. How ready are those leaders for that task? How much background, experience, skill, and comfort do they have with financial stewardship?
These are especially vital questions when the organization is hoping to grow in size, grow in budget, or is looking forward to a capital or other campaign. Stewardship approaches and practices are changing all of the time, with cultural and economic shifts. Are your leaders ready for the future?
Leaders’ views of stewardship often varies, from fearful and avoiding to being well-grounded and engaged. This normal unevenness can be a challenge to group decision making, visioning and planning, supporting implementer groups, and delegation. Efforts to bring a leadership team to common understandings, shared lexicons, and a baseline of confidence and competence yield important benefits.
Beyond these concerns, having a leadership group that is conversant in good stewardship approaches and practices, can help inform other parts of organizational functioning. In addition, informed leaders bring this grounding with them when they move into other roles; over time more and more people in the organization are conversant and comfortable in stewardship.
A Leadership Intensive can be tailored to meet your specific priorities and concerns. Some of the topics which might be included in a leader’s intensive on stewardship:
- Leadership Group’s Role in Stewardship
- Constituents as Donors
- Transactional Vs Transformational Giving
- Staff, Clergy, and Lay Leaders: Partners in Stewardship
- Indicators of Healthy Stewardship
- Growing a Culture of Stewardship
- Forming, Charging, and Launching a High Impact Stewardship Team
- Annual Drive Basics
- Fundraisers in Your Organization: The Proper Place
- Major Givers and Gifts
- Endowment and Planned Giving Programs
- Capital Campaign: Governance, Polity, and Implementation
- Visioning, Planning, and Oversight of the Stewardship Function
- Let’s Ask! A Practicum on Making Requests
- Current Trends and Updates to Stewardship Practices
Your Leaders Will Be Able To:
- Speak with confidence about stewardship
- Be better grounded in their own giving commitments
- Participate in making requests with comfort and skill
- Gather information to add to future Board orientations
- Refine governance and key documents o to align with stewardship practices
- Be inspirational and clear in communications
- Balance caution with informed ambition in the finance area
- Be better prepared to track stewardship performance
What We Offer
Each leader group and organization is unique, and each has a different level of development in stewardship. We work with your contact person to propose an agenda that fits specifically to your group and its needs. The format usually includes audiovisual elements, handouts and worksheets, and Q&A. These are designed to support small groups who are doing governance and oversight; they may or may not be engaged in implementation. For implementation workshops, see our Workshops section.
The duration of the intensive depends on the availability and needs of the group, and the topics to be covered. Generally speaking, a full half day is the bare minimum time required. Full days are more usual, and 2-day intensives are often more effective. With longer intensives, it is possible to do work as well as learning. This might include identifying potential initiatives, planning, or work on documents and communications. In general, the time to prepare a Leader Intensive includes pre-meetings with the contact person, two to three times the length of the intensive to prepare the content, and facilitating the intensive itself.