Seven Steps to Parish Stewardship Success

Stewardship begins with you. We are here to help. While each parish is unique, our resources, materials and tools are designed to help you plan and implement your own stewardship efforts.

Step 1 - Commitment of Leadership

The personal commitment of the bishop or pastor is vital to the success of diocesan and parish stewardship and development efforts. The motivational power of active stewardship committees is essential. Their members include a representative group of pastoral and lay leaders willing to pray, discuss, learn, and lead.

Step 2 - Hospitality, Evangelization and& Outreach

Communities known for the vitality of their faith and quality of their services to people in need invariably inspire others to participate in their ministries. Gifts of time, talent, and treasure are more likely to support the mission and ministries of Churches that are welcoming communities, preaching the Gospel and serving the needs of others.

Step 3 - Personal Witness

Personal testimonies inspire other parishioners to take the first step toward living a life of stewardship. When the individual or couple is respected within the parish community as a generous steward, their experiences bring the gospel to life. These stories are an invitation for others to begin their own journey.

Step 4 - Communication and Education

All the stewardship and development programs currently in use in dioceses and parishes throughout the United States utilize one, or more, communications media. Printed materials, audiovisuals, telemarketing programs, emails, websites and mobile messaging now complement letters from the bishop or pastor, witness talks, bulletin announcements, posters and other traditional communications tools.

Step 5 - Recruit, Train and Recognize Gifts of Time and Talent

Today, demands made on people’s time and energy place greater importance on the need to recruit, train and recognize gifts of time and talent made to our parishes and the diocese. Active recruitment of volunteers is essential to the stewardship of human and financial resources since volunteer involvement in the mission and ministries of the Church is one of the surest signs of the health and vitality of any faith community.

Step 6 - Stewardship of Treasure

When we take to heart the lessons contained in steps one through five above, our parishes and diocese successfully encourage financial gifts for ongoing programs, capital needs and endowments. Within a total stewardship context, we need not hesitate to use the best available, ethically sound fund-raising practices to ask the Catholic people to make financial contributions that are planned, proportionate and sacrificial.

Step 7 – Accountability

Success, in stewardship and development efforts within our parishes and diocese, requires a visible commitment to accountability. This commitment includes accountability for the full range of parish or diocesan activities - from the way decisions are made and carried out by diocesan or parish personnel, to the way money is collected, managed and used. Accountability is fundamental to good stewardship.