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

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

Show your Impact, Demonstrate your Footprint

Michael ErwinEducational

The impact of your church’s ministries can inspire generosity, but only if you help people see the lives that are changed. Kevin Lee of Vanco Payments recently encouraged churches to communicate the impact of their ministries: Use the 80/20 Rule to Be a More Effective Church Steward Kevin promotes online giving for churches. First of all, as the CEO of a … Read More

The Pledge Campaign is not about Money

Michael ErwinEducational, Resources

The goal of the Annual Pledge Campaign is to grow generous givers. The Finance Committee of your church may disagree. But the Annual Pledge Campaign is not about money, and it’s not about the budget. Our mission proceeds from the Great Commission – to go out into the world, baptizing and teaching in the name of Christ – and from … Read More

Thank-You Notes Will Inspire Faith and Generosity

Michael ErwinEducational, Resources

When was the last time you received a personal thank-you note in your mailbox? I was reminded of the impact saying thank you can have during the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving’s 12th Annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture. Dr. Christian Smith of Notre Dame presented some of the findings of his Science of Generosity Initiative. During the panel discussion … Read More

5 Benefits of Capital Campaign Success

Michael ErwinCapital Campaign Planning

No doubt about it: managing an effective capital campaign takes planning and organization. So what are the benefits? People will work very intensely during the campaign. Undertaking a campaign will be a major congregational activity for a period of months. Church leaders will devote even more time than that to the campaign. Consider, however, the benefits of anticipated success. People … Read More

Where does the money come from?

Michael ErwinCapital Campaign Planning, Educational

Money. One of the major challenges that churches face is setting a sustainable funding strategy. When it comes to church finances, leaders often take a “seat of the pants” approach each fiscal year with small regard for tomorrow. Too, they may not understand the funding sources available to the church, or how those sources can hurt or hinder faith development … Read More

Feasibility Studies Save You Headaches and Avert Failure

Michael ErwinCapital Campaign Planning

“There was no feasibility study to make sure people were in favor of the project and willing to give.” Glenn and Barbara Holliman have an excellent little book about capital funding in churches. With Generous Hearts is well worth your time to read before considering a campaign. I was struck by their introduction. There, they spell out everything they did … Read More

Annual Giving Statements Share Your Values

Michael ErwinEducational, Resources

Everything you send to your church members communicates the core values of your church. That includes your Annual Giving Statements. Whenever you send your statements, share your values with a few simple tweaks. You can touch your donors’ hearts and encourage deeper generosity by following these two simple guidelines. Cover Letter Include a cover letter on top of the annual … Read More

Rev. Michael Erwin Takes the Helm of CCS

Michael ErwinEducational, Resources

As a child of the Presbyterian Church (USA), I’m thrilled to come home, so to speak, and serve as the next Director of Church Campaign Services. Bob Kukla has been instrumental in establishing CCS as a resource to the Presbyterian Church and beyond. God put him in the right place at the right time, as his professional experience as a … Read More