The Constituency Model
The Constituency Model consists of concentric circles that represent levels of connection an organization’s constituents have to an organization. I have modified the model to fit the structure and life of the Episcopal Church. The model can serve as a powerful fundraising and engagement tool for finding donors and volunteers and more deeply engaging those who already contribute time and talent.
The closer to the center an individual is, the more dedicated or “linked” he or she is to the parish. At the center, individuals give time and talent freely and generously, but the relationship must be carefully and lovingly stewarded. Toward the outer rings, individuals are loosely connected and uncommitted to the parish, but with a simple face-to-face conversation and invitation, they might work inward toward the heart of the congregation. People in each circle must be treated with unique care in order to maximize their commitment to the parish.
ECF capital campaign consultant Sarah Townsend has adapted the constituency model for parish use. Learn more about it here.
Try This: At your next stewardship committee, outreach committee, or vestry committee meeting, draw five concentric circles on a white board or flip chart. Work together to fill in the circles with groups and individuals that fit in each level as described in Sarah's blog post.
Develop a plan to ask people in each group to deepen their commitment to the church:
- How will you ask (face-to-face, one-on-one, group setting, mass appeal)?
- What will you ask for (one-time donation, pledge, volunteer time)?
- How will you thank them and steward the relationship?