Highlights of the Communications and Stewardship Surveys
Presented by Frank White At the Annual Meeting 2/12/17
We received a Congregational Development Grant from the Diocese to review stewardship practices and revitalize our communications team. As part of the grant, we promised to conduct surveys of the congregation to determine current perspectives on these two aspects of our life together.
The communications survey went out in December of 2016, and 91 people responded, which was a very encouraging number. The stewardship survey went out in late January of this year, and we are still receiving responses. As of this date, 40 people had answered the survey, and we are hoping to see more in the next week or so. Thanks to everyone for answering the surveys and providing St. Paul’s with this valuable information. [Note: the stewardship survey ultimately had 91 responses.]
Here are a few highlights of the surveys:
St. Paul’s is doing a relatively good job of communicating with parishioners: Some 76 percent said that our communications efforts were effective or very effective, and only three percent said they were not effective. This was welcome news;
People use many different media to learn about St. Paul’s activities: There is no single communications vehicle that stands out above all others, though the E-pistle and Sunday Bulletin score slightly higher than anything else;
People are using the website frequently, but the Facebook page receives relatively little traffic: Just under 71 percent use the website, while closer to 32 percent use our Facebook page. This represents an opportunity for improvement as we plan for the coming year;
Parishioners rely on communications from St. Paul’s primarily to stay up to date on church activities: Answers to more than one question suggested that people use the communications from the parish to keep up with the many activities that are ongoing at St. Paul’s; and
Respondents did not seem to require additional social media: While there was some interest in focusing more attention on Facebook, the survey did not reveal a strong desire for a greater social media presence. As a result, we plan to put most of our attention on the website and Facebook page.
People give to St Paul’s because of what the church is doing today rather than what they were taught in the past: When asked why they give, respondents focused on what St. Paul’s provides to them, their families, and the world rather than on having been taught that they should give;
Relatively few respondents have made bequest provisions for the church: Only 18 percent of those responding have plans to leave funds to St. Paul’s in their wills. This is an area of opportunity for the stewardship team;
St. Paul’s is doing a relatively good job with stewardship: The vast majority of people said that the stewardship team is doing a good job and/or that the church puts the right amount of emphasis on giving;
People seem to feel they are receiving enough information to make an informed decision about giving: Almost 90 percent of respondents said they were well informed in their decisions about giving, which dovetails with the overall positive communications ratings; and
We will have to work hard to recruit members of the stewardship team: Very few of those answering the survey had worked on stewardship in the past and no one volunteered to work on the team in the future.
In summary, the surveys demonstrated that we are building on a positive record as we move forward with communications and stewardship. The results are encouraging, because we did not have this knowledge available to us prior to the surveys. Thanks to everyone who has served on the communications and/or stewardship teams in the past for compiling this record.
One final note: we do need new members of the communications and stewardship teams, and if you are interested, please contact Frank White at firstname.lastname@example.org