Accessibility becoming a key concern

Michael ErwinDaily Blog, Uncategorized

For churches built before the 1960s, accessibility was not a top concern. We have seen some church facilities that have six or more elevations, with no accessible way to move from one to the other. Often, the only way to address the issue is through a capital campaign.

Rockford church hosts "Burn the Mortgage" service

Michael ErwinDaily Blog

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Rockford, IL, recently paid off their mortgage. This represents the first time in 75 years that the church has been debt-free. A two-year fundraising program (capital campaign?) raised $273,000 and helped put the congregation over the top regarding its mortgage. The original story is here. According to the Annual Report for 2017, … Read More

A Campaign Website: Bringing the Campaign Online

Michael ErwinEducational, Resources

How to create an effective, affordable capital campaign website by Jason Smith, Founder of GivingTools Capital campaigns are all about people: welcoming their ideas and building a shared vision, and then asking the right people at the right time for the right gift to make that vision come to life. When it comes to gathering pledges, the campaign brochure and … Read More

Money Talk in the Church – Breaking the Taboo

Michael ErwinEducational

“Money is tight. We’ll have to cut our budget again this year. People just aren’t giving like they did in the past.” “Half of our families don’t give anything to the church. How can we turn that around?” “I’m just uncomfortable going to church; they’re always asking for donations.” Money is a problem even in the strongest church. We could … Read More

The Math behind the Cost of Donating

Michael ErwinDaily Blog

Back to the article – Tax and the Church: Will the New Tax Law Affect Stewardship? For 2017, the highest marginal tax is 39.6 percent. Any money that a family makes over $470,700 (married filing jointly) will be taxed at that rate. A $1,000 charitable donation will reduce their taxable income, providing a $396 dollar tax reduction. At the new top … Read More

Tax and the Church: Will the New Tax Law Affect Stewardship?

Michael ErwinUncategorized

The changes to the tax code enacted by Congress in 2017 may have a negative impact on charitable organizations, especially churches. But not all will experience a downturn.   Opportunities abound to deepen our faith in God, to improve the means by which we support our ministry financially, and to help our congregations experience more cheerful giving. How Does the … Read More

That’s a Wrap: 6 Carols for Year-End Stewardship

Michael ErwinEducational, Resources

Snowflakes in the air, carols everywhere, Olden times and ancient rhymes of love and dreams to share   Yes, Christmastime is here, and just a few days more to write the Christmas sermon! Here are five Christmas Carols to keep you mindful of generosity and stewardship during this hectic season. Use these familiar words to “repeat the sounding joy” of … Read More

Stewardship Seeds, November 16, 2017

Michael ErwinDaily Blog

StewardNet  Significant numbers of people are profoundly hurting, people are spending money to find ideas to make life better, and larger percentages look at organized religion and conclude it doesn’t have anything to offer, or isn’t worth the effort. How can that be? When Enough Isn’t Enough Giving to others is a blessing to the giver. It pays back massive … Read More

Teach Your Children (Stewardship) Well

Michael ErwinEducational, Resources

How many of you had this experience as a child? Sitting in church with your family, the offering time arrives, the ushers come forward, the music begins, and you proudly place your offering in the plate as it goes by. My earliest memories of giving occurred in church. My parents made sure I had something to put in the offering … Read More

Planned Gifts: A Phone Call Worth $250,000

Michael ErwinEducational

The first time the trust department of the local bank called me, I was totally unprepared.   According to the bank, the church would be receiving a bequest worth nearly $250,000. This planned gift was nearly double the entire annual budget of the church! We immediately agreed to meet in person to discuss the expected gift, and I learned of its … Read More