A Practical Guide to Your Best Easter Offering

A Practical Guide to Your Best Easter Offering

Are you running a bit behind in giving? Would you like to increase giving to assure those summer initiatives are fully funded? How about seeing some new donors start contributing? A successful Easter offering will accomplish all the above. I’m in week two of a series on Easter offering planning. This week I want to share with you A Practical Guide to Your Best Easter Offering.

I believe that any church can have a successful Easter offering IF they have the…

Right Attitude – The biggest obstacle toward a successful Easter offering is typically the ministerial staff’s push back. We have become overly worried that any talk of money, including taking up an offering, will drive people away. See last week’s edition. Here is my definition of…

The Right Attitude – Our church’s mission, to impact our community and world for Jesus, is given to us by God. We are changing the world one life at a time. Since all this is true, why would a Christian NOT want to give money to support that mission?

If you believe in the mission of your church, it is easier to take up the offering. It starts with your attitude but then you need the…

Right Focus – It can’t be about numbers or hitting your budget. No one is motivated to help you make budget. They are motivated to give to help change the world for the better. So, put the focus upon life change. To do that you need the…

Right Vision – Clear, Concise, and Compelling! Every vision communication must have those three C’s.

Vision is much more effective in raising money than using guilt as a motivating factor. Guilt-driven appeals, telling people they “ought” to give, is one of the key ways we can drive people off. Appeals to give because we “ought to give” will fall on deaf ears. Cast a vision for your offering and people will respond, even on Easter.

Here are some key thoughts about how to cast the vision of your Easter offering…

  • The more specific your “ask” the more impactful the response. I will discuss later how to make the “ask,” to your offering feel specific.
  • Share one key area that giving funds will make an impact upon.
  • Since you know you have guests, make it outward focused on children and youth-driven ministries.
  • The more personalized the story the more impactful the response.

My belief is that people give to a cause, not a budget. So, what we must do is show what a gift to your church accomplishes. If the “ask” is about helping you make budget, show why that is important. Focus upon what you do with the money that people give you. Budget education should not happen only when you are trying to get the year’s budget approved!

How can I be specific when the Easter offering is for general giving for the budget? Gifts given to specific ministries are restricted to that area. Gifts given unrestricted gives the church more flexibility, but they typically are operated by an approved budget. So, you must carefully word your approach. For instance, let’s say you were focusing upon your Student Ministries summer ministries. You might say something like this…

“It costs $x, xxx to run these urgently needed programs that benefit our students, tomorrow’s leaders. Your gift will help assure these life-changing events for our students this summer . . .”

You are not asking for restricted gifts — instead you are asking for help to “run” the programs.

The keyword is “run” the programs. This keeps it in the unrestricted realm.

Finally, the best vision is worthless if you don’t have the…

Right Plan – You can’t decide at 10 PM on Sunday night to start thinking about the offering the next day. Advance planning is the key to anything you do, and your Easter offering is no different. Start NOW planning out the message and delivery of your Easter offering. If you don’t have a plan, you are planning on failure.

Then of course we want to see you take in as much money as possible. To that end, here is my bullet points to Easter offering success…

  • Plan out the offering! Start by thinking of a compelling message or story that will illustrate the power of generosity. If you draw a blank, use my offering talks as either an idea starter or simply read it as it is written. Also, plan out who will give the offering talk and where best to position it in the service. You plan out everything else in the service, why not plan out the offering?
  • Prime the pump! Early in the week, you might consider sending out a direct email or letter highlighting the Easter offering. Also, use all your platforms, like social media, to tell the story of your Easter offering.
  • Execute! Plans are worthless unless they are acted upon. So, make sure that everything is in place to execute your plan for Easter weekend. For instance, before your services, make sure there are envelopes readily accessible for ease of use. If you are using any other tools to highlight the offering, make sure they are loaded and in place. See the Bonus Section for details.
  • Follow Up! Just because Easter is over doesn’t mean you are done. Consider using one last email blast to elicit gifts from those that might have been out of town over Easter. I’ll write about this next week!
  • Also, especially for those that give for the first time, you need to consider some type of thank you. Research shows that a personal thank you within 48 hours of the gift means the donor is four times more likely to give again.

If you will follow these steps, I do believe you can have your best Easter offering ever. Let’s pray and plan to that end.

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach

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