Six Simple Steps to Wrap Up Your Spring Pledge Campaign

As Spring Pledging Campaigns wind down, we know that the wrap-up can feel daunting for Stewardship teams. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Follow these six simple steps and you’ll be able to wrap up with ease and warm some hearts along the way.

We’re hosting a Friday Forum on this topic, Friday April 2nd, 2021 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Watch for an email with the Zoom link.

  1. Get organized.
    1. Create a spreadsheet of the pledging households in your congregation. Include columns with names, phone numbers, emails, a yes/no column for whether they’ve pledged this year as well as a yes/no for if they pledged last year, and a date column for their most recent contribution. Note if they are not on track for their pledge payments this year.
  2. Say “Thank You”.
    1. Thank people individually for each pledge you have received. You can do this via email, snail mail thank you notes, or with phone calls (or some combination of the above). It makes people happy to be acknowledged and thanked!
    2. Thank people collectively for pledges in your newsletter, online group, in coffee hour and/or as a Sunday service announcement. These can include a statement like “…and if you haven’t made your pledge yet, you can do that easily online at or by calling (the appropriate person’s name and info)“.
  3. 1st reminder touch – send emails.
    1. Send reminders to households that pledged last year and are current on their pledge. Include a link to a pledge form and a phone number to call to make a pledge. In your email include some loving care such as”I hope this finds you well. It has been a remarkably challenging year”. The email should include text along these lines: “We’re winding up our annual Pledge Campaign and it looks like we do not yet have a pledge from you for our upcoming church year that begins July 1.. Let us know if you’ve already sent in your pledge –  You can easily pledge online at [insert link to website pledge form here].” Also include an invitation for people to reach out to you directly. It could be, “Let me know if you have any questions or concerns – I’m happy to get a call or text any time!” Insert phone number here]
    2. For households that have lapsed pledges and donations you might alter your text to something like: “We have not heard from you for a while. I hope you are okay. This has been a difficult year for so many.” Then add your text about wrapping up the campaign. And include something understanding like: “We know that many have had difficult changes in their financial circumstances in these times. We understand if you are not able to pledge at the same level as in the past. Please reach out and let me know if you intend to make a pledge and whether there is any way in which we might be of help.”
    3. Remember the love! Now is a time when our primary purpose must be the loving care of our communities.
    4. Wait several days for responses before moving to the next step.
  4. 2nd reminder touch – call or text people.
    1. Call or text each household you haven’t heard from. Often calls versus texts is a generational decision. Although most people with a smartphone will respond to a text. Say something like: “This is Louise with the UU Congregation. I’m a member of our generosity team. How are you doing in this time?… (or other caring conversation starters). I am calling to ask if you are able to make a pledge for the coming year.”
  5. Call it a wrap and Celebrate with your Team!.
    1. Once you’ve completed the reminders via email and phone, it’s time to close the campaign. Although there may be pledges that continue to trickle in, you have done your work! Host a celebration and lessons learned with your team. This is a good time to make a final report on the campaign to your Board and/or finance team.
  6. Say “Thank You” and Celebrate your Success!
    1. Write a final thank you with a celebratory tone to the congregation. It could be something like: “We’ve received generous pledges from 112 households that total $240,000! Hooray! Every pledge makes our campaign a success. The generosity and commitment of this congregation never fails to amaze us! We are blessed!” 


4 thoughts on “Six Simple Steps to Wrap Up Your Spring Pledge Campaign”

  1. First Universalist Church of Yarmouth Maine just wrapped up our campaign – we met our goal, which was $30,000 (25%) more than usual. What’s different? We challenged people to increase their commitments so that ALL fundraising dollars would go JOYFULLY FOR JUSTICE – not one penny for operating costs. This lets us take the budget pressure off of producing events, making it more joyful for the workers, and will likely increase our draw from the wider community when they know their money is directly going to a local justice organization. Average increase was 30%!
    (Also, we did follow your 6-step plan.)

  2. Congrats Marge! That is terrific. Hope you can join us tomorrow for the Open Forum at 1 pm Eastern. I am sure people would love to hear from you! Mark

  3. I cannot make the forum this Friday but am hoping others have had as successful a campaign as we did at UU Catskills. While we did not reach our unrealistic for us goal, and while our minister resigned before the end of the campaign, and while we only had 3 Sundays for the campaign, and while we had to snail mail our campaign packet to 6 members – using email for everyone else, we still managed with a committee of 5 (including the treasurer and Minister) to more than exceed our hoped for pledged amount by thousands and raise the most money ever. My conclusion: Clear Communication, Beautiful Web Pages, Fabulous Pledge Songs, Great Testimonials, Wonderful “Yes We Can photos”, Pandemic Isolation Blues, Successful Zoom Services, and yes, Government Stimulus Checks recirculating back into the local economy. Everyone on our list Pledged, and some non-members too.

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