By Derwyn Sangster

Experienced GIFT Continuation mentors from across the Diocese are helping parishes move into the ‘Continuation Phase’ of the GIFT campaign.

During the Active Phase of the GIFT Campaign, our consultants, M&M International, identified many parish leaders who were instrumental in their individual parish campaigns. As the Active Phase drew to a close, M&M shared a list of these leaders with Jane Scanlon, the Diocesan Stewardship Development Officer. With support from the Diocesan Stewardship Mentor ‘Think Tank’, Jane approached these individuals to invite them to play a further role in the Continuation Phase by becoming ‘GIFT Continuation Mentors’. In their responses, some volunteered to lead Continuation in their own parish; others agreed to help in both their own parish and another.

Internal or ‘guest’ mentors have been assigned to virtually all the parishes proceeding with the Continuation Phase at this time. All mentors are equipped with resources to help a parish identify its Continuation Phase goals, develop a strategy to keep GIFT visible in the parish, and encourage continued support for GIFT.

Communication will be key to the success of the GIFT Continuation Phase. Parish members will need to know what they have raised in GIFT and how that relates to their target. They will also need to understand and appreciate how the GIFT funds raised to date have already been put to use across the Diocese. At the same time, it will be important to contact five-year pledgers, to give one-time givers an opportunity for a further gift or to make a pledge, and to provide new parish members the opportunity to participate in GIFT.

The continuation phase includes the following strategies:

  • Continuation plan manual provided by M&M
  • GIFT website updated with continuation resources
  • Continuation phase mentors assigned to parishes
  • Ongoing communications including the GIFT Gazette

All of this will depend on an organized Continuation approach and effective communication at the parish level. Mentors will help parishes put these practices in place.

The Diocese intends that no parish be left alone and unassisted as it enters its Continuation Phase. For more information about this phase of the campaign, please visit the GIFT site at www.growinginfaithtogether.ca.