I talk with church leaders about fundraising. The end-of-year holidays are one of the most strategic times for collecting donations. We call it the giving season. Every non-profit ministry in the country will make appeals to the members of their church for financial support. What makes these appeals successful?
Successful end-of-the-year giving campaigns utilize a comprehensive strategy that starts with a carefully planned message. Donors see it as relevant to the mission and an appropriate response to the practical needs of the church. A planned campaign will utilize a mix of various online tools and communication channels to effectively reach an audience.
Follow these tips to increase the giving at the end of the year:
Talk about Your Church’s Unmet Needs
Your campaign should start with a comprehensive plan of strategic goals and actions as well as a compelling narrative. 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. It could be a new roof or funds for a vital missionary trip. Tell your church about it during the service and also include information in the bulletin. Highlight ongoing programs and how new ones will further the mission’s goals. Share how donations will help put the church on a path to financial growth. Use personal stories. Give your congregation the opportunity for generosity.
Use All Available Channels of Communication
Integrate your campaign message through all available communication channels. For example, use the church newsletter or bulletin to introduce the campaign and identify those other channels available. Maintain a consistent message in all information sources.
- Your website can serve as the central source of information about your holiday giving campaign. Visitors will be introduced quickly to the campaign and can use donation buttons and links to make a direct response.
- Leverage your blog as a storytelling medium. Use the message of the campaign to help donors connect with programs and people in a heartwarming way.
- Email is an important channel for driving online donations. Use a direct response email campaign to promote your holiday fundraising effort. It’s a cost-effective way to connect with potential donors and, with the right message, can convert supporters into generous donors.
- Social media is one of the fastest growing, easy-to-use and cost-effective online tools to promote your year-end holiday fundraising campaign. The availability of fundraising campaign information and donation links on Facebook, Twitter, and other relevant social media channels is particularly suitable for younger members.
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.
Make sure members and visitors know where to find you. If your campaign message is integrated though all your communication channels – newsletters, website, emails, social media - they will have multiple ways to interact and engage with you during the campaign. 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.
Charles P. Myrick is 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.