In the world of non-profits, including churches, end of the year donations are critical to the financial well-being of the organization. Why? Many individuals and companies wait till year-end to take advantage of tax advantages. By year end they know where they stand financially, how much they can afford to donate and how a donation could actually help them save money in other areas of their finances.
Every non-profit ministry in the country will make appeals to the members of their church for financial support. Still, for pastors and church leaders, asking the congregation to give to the church is far from easy. Some might feel like they are asking for donations from limited resources. You don't want to feel as if you are telling your congregation how to spend their hard-earned money, so you may be reluctant to make a direct appeal.
However, your church needs that money to survive, so having a church fund-raising strategy in place is essential. Follow these tips to increase the giving at the end of the year.
Talk about Your Church’s Unmet Needs
Many members of your congregation would be willing to give, but they don’t realize how much the church needs it. It’s up to you to talk about the unmet needs your church has. It could be a new roof or funds for an vital missionary trip. Tell your church about it during the service and also include information in the bulletin. People will give to help you meet that need.
Thank the Donors
People give out of the goodness of their hearts, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be recognized. When you thank your donors, they are more likely to give again and again. Recognize each person who gives to the church. Send them a handwritten letter of gratitude that identifies a specific project or goal that the donation will support. They will feel appreciated, and they’ll remember that the next time the church needs money.
Offer an Online Option
Technology makes it easier to give than ever before, and your church needs to keep up with the changing times. Have an online donation portal your congregation can access from anywhere. Then, they will be more likely to give if they miss church or if they forget to bring cash with them. Have the option for people to give a recurring donation so your church can collect money month after month. This is an excellent way to boost your contributions.
Promote a Special Offering
Come up with a compelling need to focus on, such as a significant mission trip, and then set a fundraising goal to reach for Christmas Eve. Start promoting this special Christmas Eve offering about six weeks ahead of time. Use emails and newsletters to get people excited about the unique end-of-year appeal. The congregation will get joy out of watching your church reach its goal.
Asking for money is never easy, but it’s necessary. Incorporate these strategies to increase your end-of-year giving. Then, ride the wave of momentum into the next year. You might be able to get even more as you make it to the near year.
Churches and religious institutions may be Godly sanctuaries, but they are run by very human people who often juggle many roles and responsibilities. This can present challenges and shortcomings in the area of financial management. When it comes to handling a church’s money- budgeting, accounting, dispersing, planning, saving, endowing - it is critically important that these tasks be managed with knowledge, integrity, and professional expertise. Volunteers and staff must be involved, but financially sound churches do it with the guidance of a qualified professional.
Charles P. Myrickis a Washington, DC accounting firm offering specialized CFO services to churches and religious institutions. Myrick CPA was voted Best Accounting Firm in DC, 2016 and 2017, Washington City Paper Readers’ Poll. Request a confidential consultation, today.