As part of a questionnaire carried out amongst Sheffield Diocese’s Parish Giving Director network, respondents were asked for their top tip for someone becoming a Parish Giving Officer. Their responses included :
- Working in a team with treasurer and gift aid secretary works best.
- Support – shared wisdom, shared working gives clear overall picture
- Get the clergy on your side… if you can!
- Work within a finance team
- Have support and encouragement from the clergy
- Do not be afraid of talking about money
- Justify need for parish share – explain what it is, and what it pays for.
- You need to be or become aware of your congregation’s “felt” needs
- Giving is a response to God’s love; we do not give to pay the bills.
- Make sure givers are thanked for money and other gifts.
- Find out why people give, and why they don’t.
- Pray and think through carefully what you are to say!!
- Be sure that the message that you give is that we are giving to God “through the church” not just “for the church”
- Maintain your interest
- Be open and not critical
- Be a good listener to INDIVIDUALS (everyone has their own worry, concern or difficulty.)
- Get to know your congregation – develop relationship with each person. Also with non-attending parish members who are or are not regular givers
- Speak and listen with love and understanding.
- Be persistent, encouraging and positive. Be positive about “the meaning of giving”
- Keep reflecting on what/who God is asking us to be.
- Enjoy what you do.
- Become totally familiar with regulations relating to gift aid
- Attend Diocesan events on Stewardship.
- Find plenty of information/input in general to widen understanding/leadership
- It takes a long time to persuade people to change their ways/thinking, if they ever do.
- Do not expect immediate results, take time and persistence to change attitudes towards regular giving
- This is a great challenge, but with great rewards
- Be prepared for a surprise.
- Don’t be surprised by the giving attitude of various people in the Church and thank everyone of them.