More than 30% of all faith-based giving happens during the last three months of the year, with 17% happening in December.
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To make the most of year-end giving, your church needs a plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but some clear communication, an easy giving solution, and a little forethought can inspire incredible generosity. Interested in an easy-to-follow checklist to help you cover your bases?
Click on the printer-friendly version of our Year-End Giving Checklist below.
Bonus: How Do You Plan Your Giving Campaign?
Use the “Who, What, Where, When, and Why Formula” to plan your year-end giving campaign.
Who: Identify key staff/members who will implement the year-end giving plan. In many churches, this will include the pastor(s), church admins, communications team, and financial team.
What: What will you use to communicate the year-end giving campaign to your church? Ensure everyone has the opportunity to give by sharing the vision through a variety of sources. Use as many channels as possible to share your vision and give people an opportunity to give, including verbal announcements from the stage, print/newsletters/social media, and presentations in groups and homes.
Where: Decide if year-end gifts go to an overall ministry fund or to meet a specific need. Some churches depend on extra year-end giving to tighten the gap between the church budget and incoming gifts. Others use the extra December gifts to start a church project or champion a local community need. There’s no wrong answer to this one.
When: The closer you get to Christmas, the less likely people are to think about anything except holiday to-do lists. Eight to 10 weeks before December 31 is a good rule of thumb to start talking about your year-end giving campaign.
Why: Have a clear vision of why you are doing a campaign, and articulate that vision clearly. Have a written explanation for why the church is starting a year-end giving campaign and how those gifts will be used. Writing it out helps church leaders articulate the vision, and it increases transparency, which is a key ingredient for unleashing generosity. (You also might consider adding in the tax benefits of year-end giving.)
Make Giving Easy
Finally, make giving easy. Provide a variety of ways for people to give, other than check, cash, or online. Make it simple for people to show their generosity. Test the giving page on your website, and make sure it only takes one or two clicks for someone to make their gift online. You should also have a Text to Give option or make it easy to give on a mobile device.
Don’t Forget To Recognize Your Donors
Donor recognition goes a long way toward seeing repeat contributions to the church. Make sure that you designate members of your church staff (preferably those with excellent penmanship) to craft handwritten thank you letters or notes to both big and small donors.