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Using Church Bulletins to Share Your Stewardship Message

6 Aug. 2013 Posted by Denis Greene in Success Stories

Church Development shares a success story of how Visitation Catholic Church used their bulletin to increase annual giving year-on-year.

Ah, the church bulletin. It’s one of the most obvious ways to hand information to people, yet we wonder how much of an impact it has. Some churches decided paper bulletins have too much impact environmentally and now use electronic bulletins on their screen. While it may work—and you get to avoid the horde of tri-folded paper airplanes and quartered paper scraps that follow Sunday morning—we’ve found that hard copy communications are still necessary for sharing key information.

So how do you get the most out of your bulletin—especially when it comes to sharing stewardship insight?

What I can tell you is that putting the same information in the same area of the bulletin doesn’t work. Move things around; otherwise, people start glossing over what they know will be in the same place, even if the info is changing. In addition, if you continually communicate the same dire financial message—usually it’s that comparison graph that shows actual giving coming in below the budget—people will get the message, but be disgruntled. You can share financial information once a month or every quarter, just not every week.

But can you do more than that with your bulletin?

Megan Burdolski, the Stewardship Director of Visitation Catholic Church, placed a story, quote, and a scripture in the Sunday bulletin. She did this every week for a decade. Those three paragraphs were a constant, year-round reminder about stewardship education. For each annual Commitment Sunday, she organized a workshop called, “Can a Person be a Faithful Steward Without Tithing?” which caused a great deal of (healthy) discussion around the concept of stewardship.

The results? Annual giving has increased an average of 6% each year for the past 10 years.

You could say that it was based more on Burdolski’s overall effort—as mentioned in my last blog on how to avoid having to conduct a capital campaign, helping people understand stewardship can be quite the process—but the benefits were year-on-year. When done well, the bulletin can strengthen your messaging.

Do you need help with your bulletin? Contact us about a complimentary subscription to the Stewardship System and we’ll provide you with weekly inserts for your bulletin and other stewardship materials. Be sure to mention this blog. 

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Denis Greene is the Founder and President of Church Development.  He is the author of The Stewardship SystemStewardship-Based Capital Campaigns, and How To Ask For Donations as well as numerous articles on stewardship. Denis has helped over 200 churches across the USA raise more than $200,000,000. 

A complete list of Church Development’s services (including capital campaign management and consultation, feasibility studies, and year-round stewardship ministry programming) is available here.