Project Resource is a teaching and resource movement that assists philanthropy and raises funds needed in God’s mission. If the clergy and lay leaders around the nation could be taught how to raise money and how to invite new members, the mission would be released to flourish. Project Resources seeks to place in the hands of every congregant the power to motivate and transform resource development in their churches so that ministry is in no way constricted by a lack of money or of congregational vitality.
Through a strategy that employs the best minds in financial development, membership marketing, congregational empowerment, and communications, Project Resources seeks to make directly available to every church the teaching resources they need to raise funds and people. Just imagine a Bishop and their team of teachers coming home to their diocese to teach any clergy person or lay leader how to raise new money and new congregation members. Imagine having ready online access to hundreds of model documents needed in all aspects of development and membership marketing, including pre-designed Word-templates in which a church need only drop in names, type, and images. Imagine finding and downloading a pledge-card template, a phone-a-thon script, a major gifts teaching seminar, a planned giving program model, a membership campaign schedule or a pledge campaign plan with the click of a cell phone button. Imagine clergy and lay church leaders well-versed in all aspects of resource development so that their time is spent growing churches rather than ministering to anemic budgets.
Project Resource is not primarily about raising money or increasing membership, though these will be side-benefits. We are seeking to change entire systems of church leadership around financial and human resource development. We are proposing to accomplish this by training teachers to be effective adapters of materials and strategies so they fit the demographic, cultural norms, and available resources of their specific region. These teachers will then equip their dioceses for the work— remaining as consulting teams focused on teaching raising money and people for God’s mission. Project Resource is sponsored, as a service resource, by The College for Bishops and The Development Office of the Episcopal Church.
There are a wide variety of resources on annual giving, planned giving, major gifts and more at the Project Resource Website. The resources below are what we received when our team attended the conference. But there are more resources available on their website.
Dive into Project Resources with a brief meditation on the resurrection icon and a conversation about what it means to pull a church or diocese from sleep to wakefulness regarding resource development. The program models various tools to use when engaging the topic of development such as base fears, resistance, and avoidance. Materials look at over-arching statistics and set goals for movement over ten years – looking at needs, capacity, people, funding, calendars, and goals.
This second batch of Project Resource materials focus on pledge campaigns. Starting with case development (why we deserve the money we seek to raise and how to communicate that need.) your stewardship team will learn the basics of the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversation as a way to develop a case which has donor investment. The resources continue to look at conversations church leaders can have around what the future of what annual support will look like as generations and technologies change. This segment covers detailed strategies for communications.
At this point, Project Resources narrows its focus on major gifts and planned gifts. Icons used for meditation in this module include a new icon on the Rich Young Ruler and the great icon of the Myrrh-bearing Women of Easter. Strategies for all aspects of major gifts work include prospect identification, moves management, metrics tracking, special events, cultivation for differing levels of engagement, and donor appreciation. This batch of materials also looks at the intricacies of how clergy members maintain the relationship with members of congregations while also managing cultivation and solicitation work around major gifts. This segment also include stories of donors whose personal wealth makes them major donors. Learn about what major gift donors do and do not appreciate when being approached by churches and dioceses.
For more information or to schedule a training session on Project Resources, contact the Diocese Congregational Development Committee’s Project Resources Team: Lora MacFall (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Rev. Sunil Chandy (email@example.com) or the Rev. Veronica Tierney (firstname.lastname@example.org).