Effective Stewardship Starts with Your Strategic Plan Part 1
Over many years of working with churches and ministries on fundraising projects, I’ve come to deeply appreciate how important an organization’s strategic plan is to those efforts. In this month’s blog series, I’ve asked my colleague Mike Meyers to share his streamlined, simple advice for church strategic planning. Whether you have a plan in place or know you need one, you’ll find helpful guidance on the role that living documents should play in your stewardship program and across your ministries. Timothy L. Smith
Before you develop your new stewardship campaign, revamp your member materials. And long before you consider launching a capital campaign, ensure your church’s strategic plan embodies who you are and your congregation’s unique goals.
Even those with strategic plans would do well to refresh and revisit them often. The process doesn’t have to be daunting or overwhelming for you or your board and staff. Keep it simple and straightforward, starting with your church values, vision, and purpose.
Values describe who you are and become the filters for your decision-making. These values can be short statements with the key attributes of your particular congregation. Keep it to 3-5 key concepts that fit your mission.
Vision is the why. Why does this church exist, and what do we want to do as a church that will be our legacy? This is often just a sentence that captures who we want to be as a congregation. With the big idea about our future.
Purpose. This is a description of what drives our work. What is our church’s purpose each and every day?
Take time to work on these three components because they drive everything else. They should last for several years, if not longer, as the foundational elements of your strategic plan. These statements will be the guideposts for discernment and decisions about everything else going forward, including donor relations and stewardship.
But no one reads a 60-page strategic plan, so keep each component as brief as possible. The values, vision, and purpose should be short enough that they’re something people will easily remember. Some churches put them in their buildings, on the walls, or in front and center of their printed and digital materials.
In the coming weeks, we’ll unpack how to craft priorities and goals for your strategic plan. These will be based on an analysis of your church’s strengths and opportunities.
Building (or Refreshing) Your Strategic Plan Now!
Less is more when it comes to strategic plans. This easy-to-use guide leads you to a concrete strategic plan in three pages or fewer.
The quality of time you spend – not the length of the final document – will shape your church’s mission, membership, and development work going forward.
We give you the tools to produce a simple, straightforward strategic plan.
Considering a Capital Campaign?
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ACS Technologies® teamed up with Non-Profit DNA to offer an extensive and comprehensive consulting service to help make your upcoming capital campaign a success. This partnership gives you access to highly skilled, knowledgeable fundraising experts. They will help with your campaign — every step of the way.
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A Nonprofit DNA partner, Mike Meyers has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience in fundraising and leadership within organizations and as a consultant. He has served as Chief Development Officer for three large nonprofits. And as CEO of Food for the Hungry, where he led global strategic planning. Mike has been involved in nonprofit work in more than 60 countries and led fundraising efforts on six continents.