6. Thank, Evaluate, & Celebrate
In Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, we read that to everything there is a season.
Living beings were created to respond to changing seasons. A healthy annual pledge campaign requires a transparent beginning and a clear end. It may be tempting to extend the end of a campaign indefinitely. However, this robs your volunteers and donors of both a conclusion and a chance to both evaluate and celebrate.
At the start of every campaign, select an appropriate deadline for the campaign according to your context. Consider in budget creation, liturgical seasons, and cultural factors.
With the end approaching, keep track of the names of both volunteers and donors. Consider ways to thank both volunteers and donors in meaningful ways that connect with your theology of giving and/or your campaign.
Ways to Thank:
- Assign a vestry member to a ministry
- Short videos of thanks! Ex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAMKwddGrNY
- Facebook posts with relevant hashtags
- Monthly thanks texts
- Monthly postcards w/faces
- Small reminder gifts (ex: magnets, mugs, dried flowers, small pictures, candy bars (100 Grand (first 100k in for budget), Peppermint Patties (A/C), Red Hots (heat)
- Pictures (when appropriate) from recipients
- Thank you events
- Facebook posts with relevant tags
- Highlight major donor giving in the community as “our parishioners”
You've set S.M.A.R.T goals for this campaign (Link to SMART goals). An end of the campaign is an opportunity to review the goals, measure and evaluate what strategies worked. This is an important component for learning and adaptation. Perhaps a strategy worked with one group of parishioners, but requires some tweaking for the following year. Perhaps a volunteer learned something new about their own relationship to money in this process and could benefit from space for reflection. When fundraising is a ministry, both those that work on behalf of the campaign and both who contribute to a campaign can be transformed in the process. Creating space for evaluation can be a meaningful opportunity for your leadership.
Finally, celebrate! Often, we are tempted to move on to the next important season in a parish’s life without pausing to reflect and celebrate the previous one. You have engaged in holy and life-giving work. Now, celebrate the work of God in and through others’ generosity!