August 7, 2014

Making the Intangible….Tangible

Often when I hold annual giving workshops, I hear how hard it is for people to give to an operating budget. Even when operations is described as “ministry,” it still can seem much more intangible then making a Kiva loan to a woman for a new microenterprise business or making a donation to buy new band instruments for a public school. 

Through my consulting, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some parishes that have found ways to help people ‘see’ the ministry aspects of the operations budget in a different way.

Here are some fun ideas that you may want to consider:
  • Add up how many hours (volunteer) it takes for a Sunday of services. You’ll be surprised by how many hours are provided.
  • Take these hours and multiply them by a standard wage. This isn’t an exact science as some work is skilled and would normally require a higher wage, but it proves a baseline. One parish was surprised to learn that by multiplying each hour by $10---they were receiving an in-kind gift of almost $1,500 each week!
  • Divide your operating budget into weeks and/or Sundays to determine how much income is required for a week’s worth of ministry. For example, a parish with a $150,000 budget requires $2884 per week. One parish decided to have people sponsor a Sunday in honor of anniversaries, birthdays or loved ones using this tangible method. 
What are some fun ways you’ve experienced parishes making the intangible more…tangible?