When it comes to maintaining steady church giving, some years are tougher than others. And since congregational generosity ebbs and flows, it’s easy to assume that things are just going to turn around any week now. But once you start crunching numbers after the summer slump, reality sets in, and you head into the final quarter of the year with a growing sense of panic.
You don’t have to worry! The holiday season is the most critical time of year for churches and nonprofits. It’s entirely possible to turn around a financially challenging year by focusing on year-end giving.
Here are some suggestions for making sure you end your fiscal year strong:
1. Send out giving statements
Most churches wait until the end of the year to send out giving statements. The problem is that many people in your congregation aren’t paying close attention to what they’ve given. A lot of the time, people think they’re giving more than they are.
Pushpay makes it a cinch to send out giving statements on a schedule that better serves the church. And more frequent giving statements translate to greater awareness on everyone’s part, which encourages mindful giving.
2. Make sure people understand the need
Talking about money in church can feel crass. There’s a real stigma around the issue, and it can make people feel defensive and vulnerable. Regardless, Jesus talked about money all the time. Why? Because it’s one area that clearly demonstrates where our priorities lie. We can’t be afraid to talk about church finances—it’s a necessity. And as long as we demonstrate openness and transparency, people will become more comfortable with the topic.
The church’s budget should be a concern for every member. They should understand what the goals are, and they should know how on-target they are throughout the year. If you’re going into the last quarter with a deficit, it’s critical to communicate the problem—and to set a goal for the rest of the year. Your congregation will rise to the occasion.
3. Promote your giving app
Even if you pulled out all the stops introducing your giving app to the congregation, you didn’t get 100 percent buy-in. There are still people who aren’t using it. And since that first introduction, you’ve probably added new folks to your church who haven’t embraced it either. That’s why it’s good to re-introduce it to everyone periodically—and just before giving season is the best time to make it a priority again.
Do a mobile-only drive toward a specific internal campaign, and take this opportunity to give a brief presentation on how it works and the benefits of features like recurring giving. By intentionally moving people toward mobile giving, you’re making it easier for them to give the moment they feel the urge.
4. Reach out to first-time givers
Email campaigns can encourage giving. A series of emails laying out what the church has accomplished, any upcoming goals, and how much you need to get your budget back on track can prime the pump on last-minute giving.
But even more important than a church-wide email campaign, you should make sure to target first-time givers. Using Pushpay insights, you can isolate everyone who gave once this year and create a campaign around encouraging them to make another contribution. It’s as easy as thanking them again for their donation, communicating the things you’re hoping to accomplish in the future, and how their donation will help you meet your goals.
Encourage greater generosity
A majority of all charitable giving comes in between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. Churches don’t have to work too hard to benefit from year-end generosity. It’s as simple as communicating the need and providing the opportunity. If you’re looking for more resources to encourage greater generosity over the holidays, download the Year-End Giving Success Kit for free today.