The Rev. Dan Hotchkiss, a UU minister and a senior consultant for the Alban Institute, a national religious consulting organization, talks about church fundraising myths in the “Alban Weekly,” a free email notice that highlights various topics in congregational life. The weekly article begins,

Why do people give to congregations? How you answer this question makes a difference to your fundraising efforts. Luckily, while stewardship theologies vary, there is little mystery or doubt about the motivations behind generous giving. Successful fundraisers, religious and secular, share certain practical beliefs.  

Unsuccessful fundraisers, on the other hand, cling to beliefs that are optimistic, wishful, and mistaken. They allow beliefs about how people should ideally behave to cloud their understanding of why people actually decide to give.  

At the risk of oversimplifying, people give money away for two main reasons…

Intriqued? You can read the rest of the “weekly” article by clicking here. You are likely to be surprised by some of his points, many of which go against conventional wisdom and even current UUA stewardship recommendations. Food for thought, whether or not you decide your congregation’s practices might need updating.

The article is actually an excerpt from a lengthier article in 2012’s third issue of Congregations, the monthly magazine produced for members of the Alban Institute. Many UU  leaders, both professional and lay members, choose to be Alban members in order to receive this magazine as well as to gain access to a wealth of on-line resources and discounts on books.

But anyone can subscribe to the free weekly emails. Some are very helpful, others may not be (you know where the “delete” key is, right?). Try it for a while and see what you think! Sign up at this page. It’s easy to unsubscribe, if you don’t like it. Alban offers a blog and Facebook page, too.


The UUA also has many terrific resources available for eager leaders, of course. Be sure you’re signed up to receive notice of InterConnections, monthly newsletter for congregational leaders, now produced electronically rather than in print. The Interconnections Tipsheet is a blog that’s updated weekly with stories from congregations and resources for leaders. You can follow Interconnections via Facebook as well.

The UU World is published monthly and mailed to UUs as a benefit of congregational membership. (If you belong to a congregation and are not receiving the UU World, talk to your church office administrator!)

UU World‘s current issue and archives can be read on the award-winning online companion site, liberal religion and life, which is updated with news and original content each week.

The UUA also offers many, many other publications and resources, in hard-copy and on-line, including books, blogs, videos, email list-serves, several Facebook pages, and even a free mobile app! For a quick reference list, click here.


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