Fundraising Brainstorm Session, May 2016

In May a volunteer group came together to brainstorm ideas for fundraising events, actions. These are the notes from that gathering. All ideas called out where numbered and then these ideas were grouped into similar areas. We had 3 general areas:

A” Facilities,

B” Services, and

C” Script Program

A – Use of Fellowship Hall/Buildings — Venues, events, parking lot, fee structure, speakers, weddings, holiday stuff, auction dinners, garage sales, game nights…..

Item # – Category

1-A– Stewardship/Membership Board – Sharon Astle – Dinner & Auction. Oct 1, ‘16

2-A-Community Speaker/Comedian – Sharon

3-A-Utilize Fellowship Hall more

4-A-Increase rental/donation/use fee of F.H.

5-A-Wedding receptions’ fees

10-A-Retro/Board Game Night

16-A-Special events w/pledges & fees, (partnering)      i.e., Bike-a-thon, races, potholes

17-A-Arts & Crafts

19-A-Seek wedding, etc., receptions

20-A-Venue offering/special events (check out fee schedule)

22-A-Special events, ?? Summit catering??, recitals, committee events

23-A-Parking lot use for city/holiday events– $20 all day

28-A-Carnival – Hallowe’en ‘Trunk or Treat’

29-A-Hallowe’en w/MS town ‘Trick or Treat”

30-A-Fellowship Hall – user friendly for smaller events (150 max occupancy)

31-A-Fee restructure as a non-profit

B – Personal services, person specific

6-B-Extra pledge for C.E. Director

7-B-Testamentary Trusts/Gifts

8-B-Buck-a-pound — $1 when lose a pound and $2 when gain a pound

9-BDonation Envelopes Fundraiser – 1 to 50/75/100 envelopes?

11-B-Lost Treasures (Couch cushions/under car seats, etc.)

12-B-Gift Baskets

13-B-Classes – i.e., Floral arrangement 101, etc., for a fee

14-B-Use education & experience to ‘sell’ program

18-B-Teaching classes – self-help w/manual

21-B-Classes – Bridge, taxes, Mahjong, Goat soap/lotion/balms

24-BHouse watchers (for snowbirds, etc.) w/email status updates @ $50 mo.

25-B-Pet sitting, plant care

26-B-Rent-a-Handiman or person  Donate for home help services

27-B-Garage/yard/rummage sales

32-B-Increase pledges for all budget areas

C – Scrip: Increase awareness

15-C-Expand use of Scrip program

** Increase awareness of script program

Attendees – Steve Hart, Jane Hart, Jean Gabardi, Mike Astle, /Sharon Astle, Ernie Adams, Patsy Adams, Linda O’Riley, Rich Baker, Linda Baker, Mary Henson, Joanne Steeves, Marlene Willie, Nancy Lindley, Carol Roberts


Brainstorm Results: Stewardship Mission, Definitions, Goals: Fall 2015

First Peter: Chapter Four, Verse 10:  “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

  • Stewardship: Financial giving is a component of the spirit.
  • Stewardship is measured by attendance, sharing of time, talent and treasure.
  • Stewardship: Support to Staff; Community; Youth; CE; HVAC; Music; Keeping the lights on.
  • Stewardship is usually “preached” around Thanksgiving, but it is a call all year.
  • Providing significant resources for and commitment to a Youth Pastor and Program.
  • We need a breath of fresh air – New ideas.  Be Bold!  Out of the box/pulpit thinking.
  • Stewardship reflects the belief that everything I have and everything I am is a gift.
  • Stewardship: the work you want to see in order to go forward in our church!
  • Stewardship: make a difference.
  • Steward: Contribute; sustainability; transparency.
  • “Where ever your treasure is (spent), there is your heart.”

Stewardship Action Items

Pledging and Pledge Cards

  • Budgeting is Hard.  Where do we start?  With Pledges.
  • We need to give a reward for Pledge Cards turned in.  (Marcie ordered bookmarks and refrigerator magnets.)
  • A “Thank You for Your Giving” quarterly follow-up to pledging.  Jane’s “Thank You” banner.
  • Children take offering; loose change in tin cans.
  • People can give a “testimony” in a Stewardship Moment – Personal stories related to giving.
  • Use a “thermometer” chart to show pledges of funding coming in – professionally done.
  • Spiff up the Pledge Cards.  Color? Stickers?

Share the Financial and Calendar Information as part of campaign

  • Make our financial need/objective known to the congregation as part of pledge campaign.
  • Use a Pie Chart (or something with pictures) about the church’s financial needs.  (Mike Astle from Rich Baker’s information.)
  • Build a visible Church Calendar for the whole year – also post it on web-site.  (Another Plastic Dry Erase in Fellowship Hall.  Joanne Steeves to follow through.)
  • Make clear what percentage goes to our staff; building operation; state and national conference dues (per capita).
  • Tell about the positive things we are doing with our money in our warm building which services our community.

Take Giving Into the digital Age

  • Bring pledges into the 21st Century.  My daughter’s church accepts credit/debit cards and direct bank drafts.  “Sustaining” auto debit from Checking Account: Utilize help from Mike, Rita and Rich.  (Giving Kiosk?  Check with other churches; Chase offers the technology.)
  • Have our church’s Chase bank provide forms to authorize weekly or monthly drafts.

Future Funding Event

  • What about an AUCTION of our “Time and Talents” — to provide funds for the Church.  Lessons, Seminars, any Talents that we could auction?  Provide a Cooking Lesson (in the church or home)?  Teach the use of a Digital SLR camera?  (Forget the “auto” setting and explore your creativity.) Lead a Manitou Springs Water Tasting Tour for a group of friends/relatives? Wash Windows or a Car?


Brainstorm Results: Membership Mission, Definitions, Goals: Fall 2015

  • Membership – getting and keeping people in our congregation.
  • Membership is a concept distinct to each congregation:  Baptized? Active? Inactive? Associated? Friend?
  • Membership – Reaching Family, Friends, Fraternity!  Make friends.
  • Membership – more personal contact; more youth.
  • Membership – Community focused.  Transparency:  All details shared with all.
  • Get to know each of us – old members/new members; strengths, interests, talents.
  • Emphasize the benefits of membership.  Members get to vote!  Membership classes inform about Congregational history and our specific church history.  And, many members use the Church Parking Lot when visiting downtown Manitou Springs!
  • People…respect this sacred space for its Purpose.  A place of worship to renew our faith – Hear an inspirational message from our pastor and be ready to survive the next week of life’s challenges….If we cannot spare 1 hour per week for the Lord, “Something is Wrong.”
  • Many newcomers and many young people say “they are bored to death” and are “without friends”.  What would attract them?  Sense of Community – Technology is the new way.
  • Attract more young people to our church – How?
  • The dynamics of the congregation are important.  Have we become a “Sunday congregation?”  Are we feeling an under-lying “fractured-ness?”

Brainstorm Results: Individual Action Items for Members

  • Recommended NOW: Contact calls to all (active and inactive) members and visitors of the church: Follow-up; check-in; feed-back as a “Caring Outreach” to our church family.
  • Recommended NOW: Welcome from all members to other members and all visitors to encourage friendliness: try a different Pew or Fellowship Hall Table.
  • Join shepherding groups – 6 – 10 to a group.  “Dinner Groups” – Host At Home or Eat Out.  (Sharon to set-up for 2016.)

Brainstorm Results: Future Programs to Attract Church Involvement

  • Put “Fun into Fellowship” with lunches, coffees, breakfasts, youth socials, men’s groups.
  • Promote The Historic Community Congregational Church of Manitou Springs with a newspaper article about our history—showing our roots. (Need our history.)
  • Church Open House and Tour themed “Historic Manitou Christmas”—Dec 12 with Kiwanis Santa Breakfast.  (Women’s Fellowship would support this effort.)
  • Send out Cards to Zip Codes 80829, 80904 about our Faith Community – example of a postal card “Are You Looking for More” is on bulletin board – a one-time mailing.
  • Position ourselves as an information, seminar “center” for various groups and topics.  We should be a resource for useful secular concerns like “How to stop telemarketing calls.
  • Show off our wonderful organist and historic church organ.
  • Once a month, have a program for the congregation, ie: music; all kinds of history; presentations; art shows; concerts; etc.  Do “Tomorrow is Art Day” at the Church.
  • Speaker at least once every two weeks.
  • Start a Wednesday night bible study/dinner; invite the community.  We could have knitting groups, men’s groups, etc.
  • Resource during landslides; sinkholes; flooding; broken trails; flooded basements – how do we help?  (Mary Henson to check with Red Cross on our status.)
  • Let’s party with love and laughter.  Fun “bribery” with children, youth Activities, etc.



We believe that we are a church family. Because of this, we are

    welcoming, helpful to those in trouble and we rely on God as our

       strength. That belief is rooted in God’s love. We wish to “sow” and

     spread the word, living as a church family with an Easter frame of mind. 

            We are a church family out of our comfort zone. We want to hear from

        youth, young families and the community. We want to become new,

  forgiving and experimental. We want to become joyful Christians

    practicing Jesus’ teachings through words , works and good Music Ministry.


                  As a church family, we want to me more racially and economically

                                  diverse. We want to develop a sense of direction that encompasses all

         ages growing in the word of God with a sense of peace and serenity as

        people living by God’s word.   We envision a strong mission impact in

                                  the community which includes a vital youth ministry with progressive Christian    

                                                                                                 witness.  This must include creativity in funding new programs and an entrepreneurial spirit

              WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Hire a Summer Sunday School Director to provide a class during the summer for pre-school and elementary children. By June 1; done

The Transition Team supports the Trustee’s proposal to secure a Line of Credit from a financial institution as a creative source of funding new programs/initiatives. July 10 

The Transition Team recommends to the Executive Council that the church enter into a coaching relationship with Tom Bandy (see following page). July 10

The Transition Team recommends to the Executive Council and the Rev. Sue Artt, Rocky Mountain Conference Minister, that a Search Committee to conduct the search for the church’s next called pastor be in place by September 1, 2016. Recommendation to be made July 17

The Membership Development and Stewardship Team, and the Pastor will recruit and train a group of “Welcomers” to welcome Sunday morning guests into the worship and fellowship of Community Church. By August 15   


Rev. Jim Reid, on behalf of the Transition Team,  introduces Tom Bandy to the Executive Council and the congregation.  Tom is an internationally recognized church consultant and leadership coach.  He works with all different denominations, including the United Church of Christ, and in many different cultures. He coaches transforming and transitioning congregations.  He has written more than twenty books on topics including use of demographics for mission, worship, church leadership and governing boards, strategic planning, small groups, Christian education, and stewardship and financial management.

For the last 15 years, I have learned of Tom’s work by reading some of his books.   In the last two years, I have worked more closely with him as he helped guide Church of the Hills, my last interim assignment, in the beginnings of a transformation process.  I believe Tom is an important voice in addressing the many challenges and opportunities churches face today.

Tom works with MissionInsite, an organization that provides churches with advanced demographic resources of their communities.    Many churches are using these resources very effectively to guide their mission and outreach ministries.    MissionInsite goes way beyond conventional demographics that provide basic information on age, family size, income level, education, etc.  MissionInsite resources draw more than 70 distinct portraits of lifestyle segments in the US that behave in certain ways.  People in the same segment shop in certain stores, enjoy the same recreational activities, live in distinct neighborhoods, learn new things in similar ways and have common social needs.  They also share unique worldviews, attitudes and perspectives.   On deeper levels, they also share personal anxieties and spiritual questions.   Through MissionInsite tools, churches can discover which segments are most strongly represented in their communities and design mission strategies  for serving those people.

I am proposing that Community Church enter into a coaching relationship with Tom, where he would guide us in using the tools to get to know better the people in Manitou and in communities in western Colorado Springs.  He would also help us in developing appropriate mission strategies.  Tom lives in Toronto and would conduct the sessions through video conversations similar to Skype.  Sessions would be held once a month for six months at a cost of $250 per session or $1500 total.  The other cost would be approximately $800 for the church’s one year subscription to MissionInsite to gain access to the demographic tools.

Through the past eight months, the congregation has learned more about identity and has envisioned a future.  Now it is time to learn more about the communities we  serve and can serve.