Sandra joined the Finance and Stewardship Team in January in the new role which has been created specifically to help parishes undertake stewardship campaigns and to be a key initial point of contact for colleagues seeking help with fundraising.
Sandra has lived in North Norfolk for 20 years with her husband and two sons. Prior to joining the diocese, she worked in the City of London in the banking sector and more recently in both a national and regional charity in fundraising roles. She also has several years’ experience of investigating external funding sources and of writing successful grant applications.
She has spent her first few weeks being inducted and learning (remotely) about the very successful stewardship and fundraising methodology in use in other dioceses. .. The tried and tested methodology, which is rooted in biblical stewardship and respect for the individual, has delivered impressive results in different dioceses with over 100 volunteers coming forward in one parish alone.
The programme seeks to invite parishioners to share the gifts that God has given them, be that prayer, time and talents and their financial blessings. Above all else, it focuses on stewardship and it has delivered impressive results with an increase in the Gift Aid and offertory income of over 30% in parishes in which it has been adopted.
Sandra’s ability to get out and about and meet people in order to understand each individual parish has been limited by the Covid-19 rules, but she is keen to hear from any parish in the diocese that would like to find out more about the Time, Talents and Treasures approach to stewardship. She is currently busy learning about each parish in order to prepare a schedule of the first tranche of parishes she will be working with.
Sandra’s support will be carefully planned and delivered over the next three years so that all parishes are able to participate in the programme. She said: “I am really keen to work with all parishes so that this proven methodology can deliver results that really make a difference for them.
“The feedback from parishioners in other areas is that, as a result of implementing this programme, they gain a greater understanding of the needs within their local church and more importantly, gain an understanding of how they can help, be that with their time, prayers or treasures or a combination of these. I plan to share the stories of parishes that I work with through our diocesan website and newspaper so that the work can be more widely understood within the diocese and everyone can gain an awareness of the benefits of this new approach.”
Increased offertory resulting from this approach will remain in the parish for their general use .This is different from Alive in Faith which is focused on the priorities of supporting retired priests, seminarians and social outreach along with specific parish projects.
If you would like to find out more, please get in touch with Sandra by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured above is Sandra Portas the new Stewardship and Fundraising Co-ordinator.