By Gina Calvert

Reports to Pull Before Launching Your Stewardship Program

Launching a stewardship program in 2023? There’s never been a better time!

We focused a good bit on the topic this year and will continue to explore and provide resources for churches looking to address the new normal of decreasing attendance and share of charitable giving. If you’re ready to create momentum around stewardship, this is the first step.

Access all our 2022 Stewardship Survey Next-Gen Stewardship Roadmap Resources

Set Goals and Baselines

Before you begin any initiative, it’s critical to set goals and establish baselines. Where are you starting from? Where do you want to go? How will you define success?

Identifying fixed reference points to measure and compare your program’s progress will allow you to assess and improve its performance over the course of the year (and beyond).

Recommended Metrics for Your Stewardship Program

In our 2022 survey, we discovered that nearly 25% of both large and smaller church respondents don’t track generosity trends. This is like trying to steer a ship without a compass.

Tracking generosity trends can help your church not only budget and plan for the future, but also provide insight into shorter-term trends.

Ahead of your stewardship planning session, gather the following data:

  • How many have gone through previous financial discipleship training(s).
  • How many of attending households (not just individuals) are giving, and at what frequency (irregular, regular, recurring, etc.).
  • Percentage of total giving made up of recurring gifts.
  • Percentage of total giving contributed by top donors. (If this number is too high, it indicates an unhealthy participation rate–i.e. few givers giving more vs. more participants giving less. Banks prefer the latter because it represents greater stability.)

Ongoing Tracking

A few best practices to follow as you track these metrics include:

  • Set participation goals and track how many households take part (both in-person and digital) Over time, you can track in more detail: Completions, participation in next-level courses, self-reported improved finances, greater giving frequency and amounts.
  • Focus on monthly giving data as your baseline. Weekly data can be unreliable due to biweekly or monthly recurring gift schedules.
  • Frequency of gifts is a better indicator of trends than gift amounts. Eventually you will want to determine definitions of frequencies in the giver’s journey you desire to move givers along.

If your current system has trouble providing these metrics, consider Vision2. Send us your questions.

Related:

What’s the Difference in Stewardship and Generosity?

Why Churches Should Prioritize Stewardship Over Generosity

Every Little Bit Helps: The Role of Microdonations in Stewardship Efforts

Why the Pastor Should Be a Stewardship Leader

Why is Donor Stewardship Important?