As we come up on the end of the year, that time is here for churches to send out contribution statements and start focusing on the year ahead. Here is a simple yet effective way to encourage people to donate again next year:
1) Include a sincere thank you letter with contribution statements.
Recognition and appreciation help motivate people to contribute again. In addition to giving them credit for helping the church accomplish its mission, explain how the gift was used so they can see how they fit into the overall picture. Skipping an evening out and donating the money seems like much less of a sacrifice when they know the donation will help feed hungry children at the local shelter. Also, make sure to share the church’s vision and goals for the upcoming year. Send out the letter along with the contribution statement via email or some other technology tool. Keep track of the communication you’ve sent through your church management system.
2) Reach out to members who have stopped giving.
By reviewing your giving records in your church software, you can gather info on people who didn’t fulfill this year’s pledges or just haven’t donated for a while. Reach out to them to see if they are okay and ask when they are coming back. They may be having personal problems (e.g. financial hardship, health concerns, loss of a loved one.) Reaching out lets people know you truly value their relationship with the church and can be a source of comfort during difficult times (i.e. just knowing someone cares and noticed they were gone creates a warm fuzzy feeling.) Sometimes people stop donating because they don’t feel it is making a difference. Let them know how their past donations helped and tell them they are missed – they might just come back.
3) Make the giving button accessible and the process easy.
Make sure that it’s easy to find the giving page on your church’s website and promote the link through social media and email when asking people to give. Make the online form simple and easy for people to set up a one-time gift as well as recurring online giving. You might even consider using a church app with push notifications to encourage people to give and to make it easy to do so.