FAITH BUILD. A guide for local Habitat affiliates and local Thrivent Financial workforce N11-17

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1 FAITH BUILD A guide for local Habitat affiliates and local Thrivent Financial workforce N11-17

2 INTRODUCTION Thrivent and Habitat: Aligned missions Habitat for Humanity a Christian organization and Thrivent Financial a membership organization of Christians are on a journey to engage with people who attend church regularly and want to do good in their community. Both organizations are committed to: Activating volunteers. Strengthening communities. Doing more good together. Benefits of working together Habitat and Thrivent s shared goals create a natural intersection to come together through a Faith Build to: Increase awareness of both organizations mission and activities. Impact the community though shelter solutions. Build relationships with churches and church members. Engage congregations and Thrivent members in high-impact volunteer and advocacy experiences. HABITAT FOR HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry seeking to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world. Our mission is to put God s love into action by bringing people together to help build and repair homes, communities and hope. THRIVENT FINANCIAL Thrivent Financial is a financial services organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. For more than 100 years, we ve helped our memberowners show God s love to others by being good stewards of the gifts they ve been given. 1

3 FAITH BUILD OVERVIEW Building strong partnerships A Faith Build can be a strong and effective door opener and relationship builder with churches and communities for Thrivent and Habitat. A Faith Build demonstrates our shared goals of church engagement and provides an opportunity to: Increase awareness of Habitat and Thrivent. Grow church advocates. Engage members. Engaging in a Faith Build brings together Thrivent, Habitat and local churches to serve the community to make a real impact on the need for shelter. A home for a family will be created through church partnerships that provide prayer, volunteer and financial support. Together, we accomplish more! MAKE THE CONNECTION A Faith Builds provides authentic connections to church leaders and church attendees in your community. 2

4 FAITH BUILD OVERVIEW How does a Faith Build work? A Habitat affiliate and local Thrivent team work together to develop a plan for the Faith Build, including: Church approach, awareness, and engagement. Church member involvement and opportunity for Thrivent member involvement. Faith Builds Generosity Challenge: Thrivent provides up to 50% of the home cost. Churches are empowered to raise the other 50% of the home cost. Church involvement and commitment determined by local partnership. Habitat affiliate: Signs House Sponsorship agreement. Submits Faith Build Congregational Commitment Summary. Submits volunteer names. Completes and submits monthly and final project reports. Is responsible for remaining home cost. Churches: Provide volunteer support to build a house in partnership with a local family. Coordinate faith activities, such as prayer circles, for the work being done. Financial commitment based on individual church involvement. 3

5 KEYS TO SUCCESS Working together leads to success The relationship between the local Thrivent staff and Habitat affiliate is key to a successful Faith Build. Understanding the experience that Thrivent and Habitat gain with a Faith Build, like church engagement, volunteer recruitment and community involvement are all important. Habitat affiliates and local Thrivent teams have different staff compositions. Discussion and coordination of who will be involved, and what their accountabilities are, will help ensure a successful Faith Build. Key people and responsibilities: Local Habitat affiliate staff. Family selection. Construction management. Milestone reporting. Partnering with church on volunteer recruitment. Habitat affiliate board: Provides overall direction and strategy for the Habitat affiliate. Understanding of the Faith Build model will enable this group to support the effort. Local Thrivent team. Team members are responsible for partnering with the Habitat affiliate staff on: Church approach, awareness and engagement. Church member awareness and engagement. Community awareness and engagement. For internal use For only. internal Not to use be only. shown Not or to distributed be shown to or the distributed public. to the public. UNDERSTAND THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY It s important for local Habitat affiliates and Thrivent team to get to know the layout of the Christian community. For example: What churches/ denominations are present in your area? How do they operate? What is the history of the churches engaging with the community and with each other? What is the current state of the churches relationship with Habitat and Thrivent? 4

6 PLANNING FOR YOUR FAITH BUILD Plan for a long runway Be sure to give a long runway for a Faith Build project, since more time will be needed to establish relationships and agree on work to be done. Churches typically plan the next calendar year activities before the end of the current year, so be thoughtful in your timing. 5

7 PLANNING FOR YOUR FAITH BUILD Maximize your strategic planning meeting 1. Gain understanding and align on goals Align on goals, timelines and responsibility for tactics (e.g., build days available primarily for church members as well as Thrivent members). Discuss your knowledge of the local Christian community. What churches/denominations are present in your area and what is their history and willingness to work together? Develop a list of churches to approach about the Faith Build and determine who will make the approach and how they will do so. Discuss the number of churches you expect to participate in a Faith Build (e.g., 10 to 12). Consider the uniqueness of each individual church you approach and work with. How do things like the size of the church, staff roles, mission focus and relationship history play into their Faith Build involvement? Determine how you will discuss the Faith Builds Generosity Challenge with churches. Be clear on the roles of Thrivent, Habitat and the churches in the Faith Build. TIP: Don t underestimate the church community! Adopt abundance thinking and keep faith at the center of the Faith Build. Expect amazing things to happen. Determine who you ll connect with at the church and how you will approach that individual or group to begin the Faith Build discussion. Keep in mind that churches of all sizes can participate, which makes this an ideal opportunity for smaller churches with fewer resources to get involved. Determine if Habitat, Thrivent or both organizations (together) should approach the church based on any relationships that may already be established. Who should lead the approach and discussion? Discuss opportunities for the local Thrivent team to be introduced to Habitat staff, Habitat board, ReStore staff, and volunteers to share information about Thrivent and The Thrivent Way. See Resources section for useful tools. 6

8 PLANNING FOR YOUR FAITH BUILD TIP: In some instances, splitting the Generosity Challenge equally among churches may be a good approach. In other cases, not every church will be able to contribute the same amount of money. Consider how much each church might be able to commit, knowing that many factors could affect how much individual churches commit. 2. Plan the church approach and commitment While the Habitat affiliate is ultimately responsible for raising the remaining cost of the home, Thrivent and Habitat will partner on engaging churches in contributing to the Faith Build Generosity Challenge. Determine what the financial commitment of the involved churches will be, such as a set commitment amount, no minimum, etc. (Note: Fundraising activities will help increase engagement and support for your Faith Build.) For example: If the estimated home cost is $120,000 and you estimate 12 churches will participate, each church will need to raise $5,000, on average, to cover half the home cost, i.e., $60, Execute the plan Decide who will do what, and when. For example, align on: Team communication and collaboration. How often to meet. How to measure success along the way and hold one another accountable for activities. Call cadence/schedule. In-person meetings cadence/schedule. Determine your promotion and communication plan as it refers to communicating with churches, church members, Thrivent members and the community. 7

9 ENGAGING WITH CHURCHES Understanding the Christian community is key to establishing and engaging in a successful Faith Build. This includes knowing the history and experience of churches in regard to: Faith community, e.g.: History of churches partnering on projects; willingness to work together. How does a Faith Build support the mission of the church? How do churches engage the community now? Nonprofit landscape, e.g.: How many wellestablished organizations; any smaller ones popping up? What causes are supported? Volunteer engagement? Volunteer culture of the community, e.g.: Handson activity and donations. How far will people travel for a volunteer opportunity? It s important for Habitat and Thrivent to evaluate their relationships with the churches that will be involved in the Faith Build: Ask the church contact questions, such as: Thrivent and Habitat are partnering together on a Faith Build in From your perspective as a church leader, what advice do you have for our organizations as we think about approaching the faith community for this opportunity? Consider the uniqueness of each individual church as you approach and work with them. How do things like the size of the church, staff roles, mission focus and relationship history play into their Faith Build involvement? For internal use For only. internal Not to use be only. shown Not or to distributed be shown to or the distributed public. to the public. 8

10 ENGAGING WITH CHURCHES How churches benefit from a Faith Build There are many reasons for churches to engage in a Faith Build. Benefits include: Helping a family build their home gives church members a concrete way to put their faith into action. A Faith Build project calls people to leave the halls of the church and serve in the way that the original apostles served. A Faith Build provides people of faith an opportunity to engage in construction and nonconstruction activities and to be the body of Christ in the world. Many churches report that when they become Faith Build partners, they experience revitalization throughout the congregation. Volunteers can meet new people and develop friendships with individuals from their own churches. Faith Builds have the potential to build communities among churches that have never worked together before. After being part of a Faith Build they may decide to worship together or work together in other endeavors. They may learn about opportunities from one another to help advance their church missions. For internal use For only. internal Not to use be only. shown Not or to distributed be shown to or the distributed public. to the public. 9

11 ENGAGING WITH CHURCHES Talk to the Right Church Leader It is essential to find the right people to talk to at each church. It takes a concerted effort and personal visits to identify and connect with the leader who has a heart for Habitat and interest in the Faith Build: Stewardship committee Church leadership Communications people The Presentation Invite the congregation to participate in a wonderful opportunity for community improvement. Asking for funding can be an area of concern for many people, but it is all a matter of mindset. Never approach a conversation with the idea of begging the church for help. Focus instead on inviting churches to prayerfully consider joining you in the journey of a Faith Build. Discuss ways to raise awareness about the project within each congregation. Churches that spend time teaching their members about Habitat for Humanity and building excitement for the project often see great results. The more you touch the hearts of people in the congregation and help them understand how owning a home can change lives, the more likely they are to be generous. Share that this is an opportunity for involved churches to live their mission by engaging their congregation, building fellowship, and seeing the miracle that occurs when God touches the hearts of everyone involved. TIP: Share how the Faith Build aligns with the church mission and engages the community. TIP: Explain to each church the family selection process, no-interest mortgages and sweat equity. For internal use For only. internal Not to use be only. shown Not or to distributed be shown to or the distributed public. to the public. 10

12 ENGAGEMENT AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Church Members A Faith Build should have a specific focus on making volunteer days available to the church members who will be doing the greatest amount of the construction activity. While construction is a big part of a Faith Build, be sure to let church members (and Thrivent members) know there are many ways to make a difference both on and off the build site. Construction Activities: Home siding Hanging dry wall Roofing Painting Laying flooring Site prep and cleanup Many other construction activities! NonConstruction Activities: Prayer circle or network Fundraising Awareness building Volunteer recruitment Worship service on build site Celebration events, such as ground breaking, wall raising and home dedication Providing lunch and snacks Many other activities! Be creative in how you engage volunteers. In most cases, experience is not required for construction activities. There are multiple ways that people of different skill sets and physical abilities can get involved. 11

13 ENGAGEMENT AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Thrivent Members The local Thrivent team will have an opportunity to engage Thrivent members through events that will support the Faith Build. It s important to remember that swinging a hammer isn t the only way to engage members! Here are a few other ideas: 1. Work with the Thrivent Member Network: Send a postcard to local members and the churches involved letting them know there is a Faith Build in their community. (See Promotion and Recruitment Resources.) 2. Notify members of specific Faith Build events in their community: (See Promotion and Recruitment Resources) Thrivent members who belong to a participating church will have a unique opportunity to engage in the Faith Build and share their Thrivent Story. 3. Engage Thrivent members in the community through events: Invite them to a ReStore volunteer day or donation drive. Invite them to activities and events supporting the Faith Build. Encourage use of Thrivent Action Teams to support the Faith Build, e.g.: Provide lunch for on-site volunteers. Fundraise for needs of the affiliate and the families it serves. See more ideas at Thrivent.com/ActionTeams. A note about Thrivent Action Teams: A Thrivent Action Team may be used to support a Faith Build and can fundraise to support the cost of the home. (Donations should be made payable to the local Habitat affiliate.) Members cannot use a Thrivent Action Team to buy materials to be used directly on a Faith Build home. 12

14 ENGAGEMENT AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Thrivent Community Engagement Team (CET) There will be numerous opportunities for the local Thrivent team to engage in, and financially support, activities surrounding the Faith Build. These might include: Faith Build kick-off pastor breakfast. Ground breaking event. Wall raising event. Home dedication event. Volunteer appreciation event. Other events. The community engagement team has also aided in the initial connections formed between the church and the local Thrivent teams. 13

15 PROMOTION AND RECRUITMENT RESOURCES Resources added and updated regularly. See available resources at ThriventBuilds.com/Resources on the Faith Builds tab. For internal use For only. internal Not to use be only. shown Not or to distributed be shown to or the distributed public. to the public. 14

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