Looking at parishes across the country, we have identified that it is good practice to appoint someone to be Parish Giving Officer, who will encourage the congregation in their giving, and act as a champion for some of the wider stewardship issues.
The Parish Giving Officer model can be effective at Benefice or Team level as well as at parish level. What is important is that trust can be established and developed between the Parish Giving Officer and the congregation, and between them and the clergy. They will also need to establish a good working rapport with the treasurer and Gift Aid officer.
Their role is to encourage giving and stewardship from within their congregation, not only by encouraging the clergy and readers to teach and preach on stewardship and by providing resources, but by actively championing generosity within the parish. It is ideal if they are a member of the PCC, as they will be able to bring a stewardship perspective to PCC discussions.
Learning from dioceses who have sponsored a Parish Giving Officer model for some time suggests that the PGO role should ideally be carried out by someone concentrating solely on this task. However, in a number of parishes, the role will need to be combined with another role. In this case, it is preferable to combine with the job of Gift Aid Officer, rather than Treasurer.
The first column in the table below summarises the key tasks that need undertaking within a parish relating to finance and giving:
|TASK||3 person Team||2 Person Team|
|¨ Responsible for book-keeping, and preparation of financial updates to the PCC.||T||T|
|¨ Preparation of Annual Report and Accounts, and working with auditor / independent examiner.||T||T|
|¨ Ensuring the parish adopts appropriate cash management and banking arrangements.||T||T|
|¨ Developing a Budget, and reporting progress against it.||T||T|
|¨ Communicating the budget in narrative form||PGO / T||T|
|¨ Encouraging Teaching on Giving and Stewardship||PGO||PG|
|¨ Organising Annual Renewals of pledged planned giving||PGO||PG|
|¨ Promoting Giving within the parish through circulating leaflets, producing magazine articles, resourcing home groups etc.||PGO||PG|
|¨ Ensuring the church thanks its planned givers at least once a year.||PGO / GA||PG|
|¨ Encouraging Tax Efficient Giving||PGO / GA||PG|
|¨ Talking with individual church members about giving||PGO / GA||PG|
|¨ Administering the Gift Aid scheme and keeping records||GA||PG|
|¨ Making a Tax Claim,||GA||PG|
The right hand two columns provide some thoughts on how the tasks could be split when there are teams of two or three volunteers. For three volunteers, the tasks labelled “T” are the responsibility of the Treasurer, the ones labelled “PGO” should be carried out by the Parish Giving Officer, and the “GA” tasks are for a Gift Aid officer. Where there are only two people, The Parish Giving Officer role and the Gift Aid Officer role have been combined into one labelled “Planned Giving” (“PG”).
Click here for a Job Description for a Parish Giving Officer
A Profile of Giving in Parishes:
Parish Giving Officers find this a useful resource when working with their PCC to access the profile of their parishes regular giving. It also provides Guidance Notes and some PCC Discussion Points. Click here
Top Tips for Parish Giving Officers:
Here are some Top Tips we’ve complied from existing Parish Giving Officers. Click here