Next Steps Process: Traditional & Virtual


The Next Steps Process is the first step in providing your leadership exceptional insight into your options as a congregation in the context of your stated goals. It is the beginning of our work together.

A congregation is a community, a network of systems. Next Steps provides the opportunity to examine and measure that community and those systems across a wide spectrum, not just stewardship, to ascertain the overall health and capacities of the congregation.


Provides an examination of the congregation’s strengths, challenges, risks and opportunities. Congregations report that the process results in immediate impact as well as long-lasting value in terms of strengthened stewardship and generosity. The following benefits are typical:

  • Shared lessons learned and best practices from other congregations.
  • Analysis of current stewardship programs, such as pledging, strategic planning, endowments, and recommendations for next steps.
  • Readiness assessment for a capital campaign, if that is something your congregation is considering.

What We Offer:

Two Types – Traditional In-Person & Virtual Visits

Our traditional Next Steps Process provides an examination of a congregation’s strengths, challenges, risks, and opportunities. Congregations report that process results in immediate impact as well as long-lasting value in terms of strengthened stewardship and generosity, including positioning for capital campaigns and other ambitious programs. The fee for a Next Step Process is $3,000 plus travel expenses.

Our Virtual Next Steps Process leverages technology to meet your needs.  The virtual approach provides all the benefits of the traditional process while offering special advantages, notably:

  • more flexible scheduling, resulting in increased participation.
  • the opportunity to use new tools and engage in new and creative ways.
  • no travel, reducing costs and our carbon footprint.

The Next Steps process begins with initial conversations and/or email exchanges and the consultant’s review of extensive information provided by the congregation. Next, the consultant recommends an agenda and participants for the Next Steps, and provides information to share with the congregation to publicize the process and foster engagement and participation.

During the Next Steps process, whether virtual or in-person, the consultant facilitates a series of small group meetings with essentially the entire church leadership representing a wide range of committees, and often speaks to a large group of congregants as part of this process.

At the conclusion of the Next Steps Process, the consultant provides a verbal overview of findings and initial recommendations. The oral findings are followed shortly with an extensive written report, with specific recommendations and observations toward your goals and aspirations.

Next Steps Process Reviews

Smartest decision our board could have made

“Kay has been an amazing resource and having engaged her was one of the smartest decisions our board could have made.”

Jason Hall, Co-Chair of Capital Campaign, Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Our biggest financial problem solved

Part of Rachel’s success was definitely due to her personality and a trustworthiness and knowledge that came through in her interactions with congregants. Even though we didn’t go into a Capital Campaign as we were anticipating, our biggest financial problem ended up being solved.

Rev. Chris Hockman, UU Church of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi TX


Clarity and direction to move forward

Rachel’s investigative work, presence and presentation have provided us with the clarity and direction to move forward in fulfilling our dream of radical welcome.

Patty Daus, Chair Building Task Force, UUCC, Columbia, MO

Understandable, visual, powerful presentation

Rachel did a great job of distilling a lot of information into understandable, visual, powerful presentation.

Rev. Dr. Nori Rost, All Souls UU, Colorado Springs CO

Guidance about how best to proceed

“The service was a very good value for the cost and helped us a great deal. Kay provided direct advice about the state of our financial picture and guidance about how best to proceed.”

Amanda Cater, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman

One word… Outstanding

I would sum up the weekend with one word … outstanding! Thanks to you and the UUA for making such an excellent resource available to us here in Stow.

Roy Miller, Stewardship Chair, First Parish Church of Stow and Acton

Looking forward to financial feasibility study

“Kay was excellent and provided a great deal of information. We’re looking forward to the next phase … ”

Steve Clem, Cascade Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Exceeded our goal

Barry Finkelstein gave our recent capital campaign a needed boost of expertise and coaching. From the initial “Next Steps Weekend” that determined our readiness to take on a major capital project to my final call over a year later that we had, in the end, exceeded our fund-raising goal, he was with us every step of the way. Now we are working with our architects on final building designs and will soon break ground, thanks to Barry’s guidance.

Bob McArthur, Chair, Building Project Steering Committee and Board of Trustees member,

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, Athens, GA.

Rachel’s work as been invaluable

Your work and presence and experience have been absolutely invaluable. You are worth ten times what we are paying you.

Rev. Elizabeth Stevens, UU Church of the Palouse, Moscow ID

A really good fit for us

Barry’s work with us “…provided a clearer picture of our strengths, weaknesses and how to address both as we move forward toward a capital campaign. I heard many people say they thought Barry was a really good fit for us. I happen to agree.

Jane Mayer, Board President, UU fellowship of Athens GA

Insights are right on

The overwhelming response has been positive to not only your small group and one-on-one meetings, but various members of the congregation have given unsolicited responses in praise of your presentation following Sunday’s service – that you are knowledgeable – and “expert”, that you come across as warm, caring and empathetic, and that your insights are/were valuable or “right on.”

Administrator, UU Church of Asheville

It was an invaluable experience

…some of your insights have shifted the way we are seeing things here and talking about our future. I feel like it was an invaluable experience.

Rev. Laura Smidzik, Michael Servetus Unitarian Society

It’s really worth the money

 It’s really worth the money because you get a professional who will take a forthright look at your assets in terms of cash, property and people and help you utilize all to the fulfillment of vision. 
Rev. Dr. Nori Rost, All Souls UU, Colorado Springs CO