A challenge campaign is a great way for motivated congregational leaders to generate excitement about Guest at Your Table and encourage a higher level of support for UUSC's human rights work, whether in the number of people participating or the dollar amount raised.

In a challenge campaign, also called a match campaign, one or more UUSC supporters agree to match donations at a certain level, up to a total amount. For example, one household may offer to match donations of $75 or more up to a total of $2,500. When the rest of the congregation reaches the total of $2,500 in donations of $75 or more, the total raised through Guest at Your Table is $5,000!

Of course, these numbers can all be adjusted depending on congregation size and giving capacity. More than one household can issue the match challenge, although a smaller group of supporters generally works better. The key goal is to get the congregation excited about the group effort to meet the congregation's goal through the challenge campaign.

Here are some numbers to keep in mind for planning purposes:

  • Individual unrestricted donations of $100 or more are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, N.Y.
  • Membership benefits begin at donations of $40 or more.
  • Congregations that raise a total of $5,000 or more through Guest at Your Table receive the Guest at Your Table Special Recognition Award.

Steps to plan a successful challenge campaign

  1. Identify one or more individuals or households who are willing to donate the matching funds.
  2. In cooperation with those donors, develop your goals, including the total to be matched and whether the donations must be at a certain level in order to qualify.
  3. Publicize your campaign to the congregation.
  4. As donations come in, keep track of the total raised and report on your progress.
  5. Send donations to UUSC, including the matching funds, as described in the instructions for wrapping up your program.
  6. Celebrate your success!

If you would like to organize a challenge campaign during this year's Guest at Your Table program, UUSC staffers are happy to help. Contact us at volunteerservices @ uusc.org or 617-301-4366 to get started.