5 Helpful Tips to Maximize Year-End Giving
For non-profit organizations like churches and charities, this quarter of the year is called the “giving season” for a reason. A 2012 GuideStar Survey discovered that 50.5 percent of the organizations surveyed received most of their contributions between October and December.
If this is true, how can your church learn to maximize the opportunities available for end-of-year giving? Here are five surefire suggestions for increasing your year-end yield.
1. Teach on giving at the end of the year
Followers of Christ are generous givers. This is important for people to understand and it needs to be addressed often. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get uncomfortable with the topic and to leave it unaddressed—or to talk about it when attendance is at its lowest.
The Christmas season might be the ideal time of year to discuss giving. That’s when…
- Most people are actually in church
- They’re already thinking about giving
- We’re already talking about how much God gave for our salvation
- People tend to be at their most charitable
Be brave and tackle the giving topic when it’s already on everyone’s mind!
2. Talk about this year’s accomplishments
The fact that people are more willing to give when they can connect their giving to a positive outcome cannot be overlooked. Part of your job is just in helping them connect the dots.
Throughout the year, make a note of all the things your church accomplishes. Keep track of…
- Every decision for Christ
- Every baptism
- Every new ministry
- Every new staff hire
- Every mission trip
- All of your service projects
- All of your outreach
- All the money that has gone out of your church as benevolence
- All of your growth over the year
Give an end-of-the-year message that helps people understand the connection between their giving and the wonderful things the church is able to do.
3. Set ambitious goals for next year
Your church will respond to goals, so give them some. In fact, have you ever stopped to consider that your hesitancy to set outrageous goals might be hurting you more than helping you?
People want to see exciting things happening. They want to be part of something big. So challenge them (and yourself), and set some lofty goals. Set an explicit goal for next year’s budget, and tie it to the things you want to accomplish.
When next year starts, make plans to meet those goals and do a regular follow up with your congregation. I think you’ll be surprised by the results.
4. Send an end-of-year giving letter
People might, with the best of intentions, put off responding to a sermon or two on giving, so it’s good to follow it up with a direct appeal.
Here are some of the areas you want to make sure you hit in your letter:
- Last year’s highlights (see number 2)
- A heart-felt request that helps people make the connection between their donation and future ministry opportunities
- Any budget issues or struggles
- A reminder of how donations can be made
- A mobilizing close that highlights next year’s goals (see number 3)
Here is an example of a year-end giving letter.
5. Prioritize mobile giving
You might have a mobile-giving solution—many churches do. But are your people using it? If they’re not, it’s time to address it. When people are comfortable giving via mobile, they can respond at any time they feel convicted to give.
If you’re struggling to get people to adopt mobile giving, the problem might be with the tool you’re using and not the concept. Of the churches that use Pushpay, an average of 76 percent of the congregants have used the app to give. That’s because we have made it a priority to ensure that churches can get everyone on board.
Communication Is Most of the Battle
If you’re struggling with your church giving, chances are that you need to communicate more strategically. As I said earlier, people want to be challenged. We need to be willing to encourage and challenge.
Set yourself up for a win this year by downloading the FREE Year-End Giving Kit. You’ll get:
- An end-of-year giving letter template
- Quotes about giving, tithing, and generosity that you can use in your sermons, bulletins, and pre-service presentations
- Sermon illustrations about giving
- And more!