4 Steps to Increasing End of Year Giving, is simple and easy but you have to act now! I know you are probably not ready for end of year talk but whether you like it or not it is just around the corner. Smart churches are planning now to reap the reward of end of year giving. Why should you act now to see an increase in end of year giving? Because…
22% of all donations to charities occur the last two days of the year!
Guess what? Some of that money is coming from your church members! So, let’s start taking steps to see your end of year giving increase with 4 Steps to Increasing End of Year Giving.
Step One: Craft a Meaningful Message
Your appeal or “ask” must motivate people to give. So, make it about more than simply making budget. Tell them why making budget is important. Every “ask” needs a driver. A driver is the motivation that gets me to dip into my pocket and give you more money. So, don’t say, We need your faithful gifts to help us make our budget goals this year! Instead say something like,
Your gift today will allow us to ________________. Fill in the blank with some appealing ministry or missions initiative.
Here is an example I received last year from a homeless mission. It began with this sentence, “Since $1.92 feeds and cares for one hungry person, your donation can go a long way to make a big difference! The more meaningful the message the more likely you will receive dollars.
Step Two: Construct Platforms to Support Your Message
A recent Blackbaud report on charitable giving found that successful charities use multiple channels to make their appeals. The church has for too long relied upon only one channel, the weekly offering. To create the platform of support for an effective end of year appeal you need these platforms…
Online giving - The fastest increase in charitable giving is coming via online gifts. If you don’t have online giving move now to implement it. Have an email database of your members and attendees. Using email is a primary tool to increase your end of year giving.
Use Social Media. I love using Social Media for two big reasons. First, it is where America is at. Secondly, it is free. Tell your message on multiple Social Media platforms linking back to your giving page to increase giving.
Direct Mail - Direct mail is not dead and in fact is still far and away the number one generator of end of year giving.
Step Three: Create a Plan of Action to Get Your Message Out
I always say, “get a plan and work your plan!” Planning helps us be more effective. Without plans nothing gets accomplished. Without plans appeals appear haphazard and desperate. I make my living designing specific plans of action for churches but here is a simple plan of action you can follow.
Send out a direct mail appeal right around Thanksgiving. With every appeal I always recommend an envelope included for ease of use.
Begin in December using Social Media to post about your end of year appeal. Post once in the morning and once in late afternoon. Always include a link back to your giving page.
Highlight your appeal on your campus with posters, platform communication and using video announcements before and after all services.
Towards the end of December increase the frequency of your Social Media appeals but don’t over due this!
Send an email blast out the week of Christmas with a link back to your giving page.
Send out one last appeal on December 31st at 2 PM EST. Why then? Studies have shown that 2 PM
EST is the most effective time for an email donation request.
So, there are some ideas. Now get your own plan and work your plan.
Step Four: Celebrate!
Your donors are going to want to know, “How’d we do?” So tell them AND remember to thank them for their generosity. Tell them how their gift mattered and what you did with the gifts. Why is celebration and thanks important? You are always working to set up the next “Ask.”
4 Steps to Increasing End of Year Giving, can and will work for you. Don’t look now but the end of the year is just around the corner. Get ready now so you can see an increase in giving.