Annual Budget Drives


Stewardship For Us consultants bring broad experience and wisdom about all aspects and methods of conducting Budget Drives to raise operating funds.  Having worked with hundreds of Unitarian Universalist (UU), and other liberal religious congregations, we know which processes work well and how best to implement them.  Our guidance is tailored to each congregation’s unique circumstances, considering goals and objectives, congregation size and demographics, leadership culture, governance structure, stewardship experience, technology platform, staff resources, and other factors.

At their core, successful stewardship and budget drives are about connections:

  • Helping people connect their generosity to positive impact in the congregation and in the world
  • Enabling people to connect with one another in deep and personal ways to strengthen their commitment and sense of stewardship
  • Giving leaders and congregants tools and permission to talk about money and resources and their power to transform our congregations, the wider UU movement, and the world
  • Recognizing that our diverse membership responds to diverse communications means in different ways: in person, electronic, and print.


  • Engage many more people, fostering  stewardship energy, enthusiasm, and confidence
  • Apply best practices and tools, including year-round and continuous pledging and information technology solutions for communications, online giving, and data management
  • Capitalize on lessons learned instead of reinventing the wheel
  • Develop leadership skills and congregation capacity for the long term
  • Link stewardship directly to mission, vision, and the passions of congregants

What we Offer:

Our support begins long before your campaign begins, ideally at least six months in advance, recognizing that a successful Budget Drive is a significant campaign with all the logistical challenges that word implies, including data management, synchronizing messages on electronic, live, and print media, and people coordination. We help recruit and organize the team, defining jobs in a way that attracts a diverse and talented group of people, some who would not normally be drawn to stewardship.

We guide you in identifying and recruiting “visiting stewards,” volunteers who agree to meet with their fellow congregants to ask for their financial commitment (pledge).   We provide formal training, holistically integrated into our overall budget drive support, that gives the visiting stewards the tools and confidence to have rich and engaging conversations. Our training emphasizes that the stewardship conversation – whether one-on-one or in small or large groups – is about sharing our stories and our passions for the congregation, much more than it is about money.  This includes assistance in delivering powerful testimonials. Generosity flows from engagement and passion.

We provide job descriptions, templates and samples of materials, and help develop detailed schedules identifying key milestones, products, and activities.  We base our advice and plans on analysis of recent campaigns, building on what works well and shoring up weaknesses.

We help you produce the highest quality print and multi-media materials and coordinated communications plans and timelines for reaching congregants through all available mechanisms.  At the conclusion of the campaign, we assess the process and provide lessons learned for the future.

Next Step

Help your members and friends to deeper conversation and greater giving.


Comments on Stewardship Drive Services

We learned so much from Kay & Sara

“Our visiting steward program has been going great!  Lots of positive response. We are all enjoying getting to know others at a deeper level. We learned so much from you that has helped us be successful this year and will continue to help us in the future.”

—Pam Kisor, President, UU Community of the Mountains

Enthusiastic thanks

Let me add my enthusiastic thanks for your very wise assistance to us. You helped us sort through some ideas and get the big picture, as well as getting some thorny details figured out. You also confirmed our basic approach to stewardship that increases our confidence and, indeed, energy going into the next campaign. We contrasted our meeting last night with the meeting two years ago and celebrated our progress.

Sue Wilson, Past President Universalist Church of West Hartford

Great information and great coach

“We could not have done this campaign without Kay’s help. And at difficult times she offered great information and was a great coach to us.”

Larry Sherwood, Co-Chair of Combined Annual & Capital Campaign, Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Knowledgeable, inspiring, down to earth

“Kay Crider was a terrific resource. Knowledgeable, inspiring and very down-to-earth. She helped us at each step, and was a calming influence when the anxiety started to rise! She helped us bring in both the annual pledge drive and the capital campaign drive, both exceeding our goals!”

Rev. Ruth Rinehart, Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Very easy to work with

Overall, Mark is the best consultant with whom I have worked with in our congregation over the years. He is very insightful, direct and helpful. It is very easy to work with Mark and he is very efficient with his time. And, he interfaces well with congregational members and friends.

Creighton Cray, Stewardship Leader, Community UU Church of White Plains, NY

Expertise immeasurably helpful

“As a minister, engaging in my first building project/capital campaign, I found the expertise of our consultant immeasurably helpful. She provided what we needed, when we needed it, while empowering us to stretch our leadership. We could not have done it without her, yet we feel we did it ourselves. The sign of great consultancy!”

Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry, Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship