The Case for Special Offerings

The Case for Special Offerings

In my experience of working with churches of all types and sizes, special offerings work if you do them right. Let me make a case for special offerings.

  1. Why hold special offerings? First and foremost, special offerings give you the ability to recast your vision every time you hold one. And that is important because dollars follow vision. When casting your vision, I advise using the three C’s of vision. If you make your appeal clear, concise, and, most of all, compelling, you will raise the dollars you need. We should treat every offering moment as an opportunity to cast your vision, but it is especially true for special offerings. Special offerings help you link how a dollar given to your church impacts lives.

    Casting a compelling vision for the offering allows a church to use special offerings to attract new donors. One of my primary goals for special offerings is to help new donors see the value of what your church is doing so that they willingly give you money to support that vision. That first gift can be the start of an amazing journey of generosity.

    The final reason for a special offering is that, done right, they can help you close any giving gap you might be experiencing. Instead of talking about how badly you need money, talk about what money given in the offering accomplishes. When you emphasize life change instead of a number on a spreadsheet, people will more readily give to support that life change.
  2. What constitutes a special offering? When I talk about special offerings, I am not necessarily talking about adding another offering on a weekend, though that is sometimes necessary. I am talking about making your regular offering special. Certain times of the year give us the ability to make the offering special.
  3. Which days can be used as special offerings? The answer is any day you choose! However, certain days and times of the year make sense. The various seasons of the year are perfect for holding a special offering. For instance…
  • Holidays – New Year, Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.
  • Special Needs—Think crisis relief offerings, mission appeals, and appeals to fund specific ministries, like summer camps.
  • Catch-up offerings—These are a last-resort effort and should be used only if you are in a financial crisis. If you do your work every week, your need for a catch-up offering should diminish.

I use the calendar for my clients to write step-by-step guides on improving giving around that time. I call them Playbooks. For every season of the year, I have a strategy in place guiding churches to financial stability.

So, bottom line…

Holding a special offering around key events like Easter, Christmas, or the 4th of July can give your church a boost in giving to fully fund every month of the year. Your church will reap the many benefits of special offerings with good planning!

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