“In the midst of ominous political times, lots of negative news about our country’s economy, and a looming fiscal cliff – our Church had an amazing and God-sized year-end in the area of giving.” That was written in 2012 by a business administrator at one of the largest churches in America. If that church, amid political upheaval and economic uncertainty, could generate that kind of revenue, why can’t you? Before you dismiss this as a large church phenomenon, I have helped churches of all sizes see God-sized year-end giving. I want to encourage you to build a year-end plan with this Coach entitled It’s Late, But It’s Not Too Late. I want to share with you the keys to a last-minute year-end plan.
Why the End of Year Matters – For retailers, the holiday season can represent as much as 20-40% of annual sales. Studies have shown that charities collect around 10% of all their yearly giving the last three days of the year! The final days of the year are also key for churches making their budgets for 2022 and establishing a base to start 2023 strong.
But increasing end-of-year giving doesn’t just happen, you have to plan for success. Churches that raise the most end-of-year dollars have developed a plan, and they work that plan. They don’t simply sit by and hope that giving will increase. They work to see it increase. What are your plans, and are you working to achieve those plans?
A simple plan of action for increasing end-of-year giving – Here are the key steps you need to take RIGHT NOW to see your giving increase in the next few weeks.
First, build the “ask” around what motivates people to give to the church, missions, and ministry! Your appeal, or “ask,” must motivate people to give. Tell them why their gift is important for seeing life change continue.
Secondly, write out the appeal using both e-mail and text messages to tell your story. Make sure you start with a gripping paragraph about why people should give. Here is an example that I recently wrote for another client that is making their end-of-year appeal revolve around mission support…
“Babies Still at Risk in Typhoon Recovery” was the headline that got my attention on Saturday morning. Then I read the heartbreaking words of a father who said, “My children are having a lack of milk because there are no supplies.” While the news cycle has moved on to other issues, people are still struggling with basic needs in the Philippines. What could our church family do was my thought?
Think of some compelling reason why people should give or simply tell what you have accomplished this year.
Finally, get the message out there! I advise using every platform you have to link people to the end-of-year appeal. I recommend you use your online tools, such as your website and your Social Media sites, to remind people to give. Make the “asks” positive, not desperate, and people will respond.
One final “ask” on December 31st could make the difference. Send out an email or text to your entire donor base asking them to make a contribution to your missions and ministry. Studies have shown that the window of opportunity for email appeals is between 2 PM and 7 PM. See the Bonus Section.
It is getting late, but it is not too late! Let’s get started on seeing your end-of-year giving being the best ever!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach