December 19, 2014

Free eBook: Church Guide to Year-End Giving

One of our valued site sponsors, ServiceU, has recently made available a very helpful free ebook, FREE Guide to Year-End Giving For Your Church. If your church is looking to maximize the year-end giving habits of the people in your pews, I would highly recommend you download this ebook immediately.

Below is an excerpt from the ebook on crafting a year-end giving communication plan:

There is no other time of the year when mass numbers of people are looking for a place to make a contribution. If your church doesn’t make this appeal, you lose and you help fund other well-meaning, good-intentioned organizations . . . but not your church. As with anything in life, planning is a huge part of the process. Here is a sample mailing schedule and description of the “call to action” to include in each piece:

  1. First week after Thanksgiving: Mail a letter from the pastor that includes the instructions, “Gifts must be postmarked by December 31 to receive the tax benefit in the current tax year.”
  2. The week before Christmas: Mail a letter from the pastor that includes the instructions, “Gifts must be postmarked by December 31 to receive the tax benefit in the current tax year.”
  3. The final week of the year: Mail or email a letter from the pastor that includes the instructions, “Gifts must be postmarked by December 31 to receive the tax benefit in the current tax year.”
  4. On December 30: Send an e-mail from the pastor that reminds them that time is running out, with the instructions, “Gifts must be postmarked by December 31 to receive the tax benefit in the current tax year.” In the response section of the e-mail, be sure to include a link that takes them directly to your online giving tool.

All four steps above include the same call to action. That is intentional. This is, perhaps, the simplest appeal you will make this year. This transaction-based appeal resonates with everyone at the end of the year. At no other time do you have mass numbers of people responding with a great sense of urgency to such a simple, one-dimensional call to action.

For many organizations (including churches), the final week or two of the year have a huge impact on funding their budgets. Choosing to ignore this opportunity will cost you money. (But maybe you already have so much that it just doesn’t matter.)

In case you are wondering whether you will annoy your membership with so much communication about year-end giving, the answer is no. There really is a magic to the season. No other time during the year will your membership interpret your diligence as a thoughtful, helpful, personal reminder. They will sense your concern for them not to miss out on a tax benefit. (Tax benefits, admittedly, are one of the worst motivators to give outside of year-end giving even though most taxpayers don’t itemize their return to receive the tax benefit. Nonetheless, it is the very reason they will “say” they are making a last minute, year-end gift.) Don’t forget to use first-class postage. If your appeal arrives in January, you’re TOO LATE!

Download theFREE Guide to Year-End Giving For Your Church right now – there’s only 51 days left in 2011!!

Lauren Hunter is a freelance writer, church technology consultant (http://lhpr.net) and founder of the blog ChurchTechToday (http://ChurchTechToday.com), Technology for Today’s Church.

About the author  ⁄ Lauren Hunter

Lauren Hunter is a freelance writer, consultant and blogger who loves the Lord and desires to encourage churches to better use technology to improve every aspect of ministry. Her blog, ChurchTechToday, was born out of a need to find a place to discuss how technology can impact the Church in positive ways.

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