While not a mystery, it is a universal truth that generating revenue is essential for all organizations to accomplish their mission. During my tenure in the IT department at a leading golf manufacturer, there was a schedule to constantly and strategically introduce new product lines of clubs. In addition to the drip of a new line of drivers, irons, wedges, and putters, there was also product expansion into other related areas, such as balls, bags, and apparel. Then there was the marketing machine of magazine ads, TV commercials, website promotions, and a team of sales representatives and professional endorsements. When an organization has a great product and the ability to market it to a broad audience, it’s easy to see how it grew to over a billion in sales.
Church Giving is a Heart Issue
When I went into full-time vocational ministry in 2006, it didn’t occur to me how difficult it may become to generate revenue. It’s not like a church can create a new product line or expand into related marketplaces. Churches primarily rely upon faithful, consistent, generous, sacrificial giving of those in their church. For those who give, God has truly captured their heart; just read Matthew 6:21 if you don’t believe me. But that doesn’t mean people don’t need occasional reminders.
December Brings Out Generosity
December provides a fantastic opportunity for churches to boost their donations. Recent data from the Nonprofits Souce shows that December accounts for 30% of all charitable contributions. Because of this, every non-profit is making its case as to why it should receive year-end donations; churches need to set themselves apart. To capitalize on the generosity and year-end tax implications that happen in December, churches need to find strategic ways to put their church at the forefront of the minds of their congregation.
Donation Statement Strategy
Churches provide their donors with year-end statements of their donations for tax purposes. Some non-profits even send monthly statements to remind their donors to continue to support their efforts. Over the years, I’ve developed a simple strategy to remind congregants of the church’s mission, vision, and values, recap last year’s ministry and operational accomplishments to demonstrate good stewardship, and prepare for the upcoming donation statements. Here’s an example plan:
Mid-December: Send a letter (email, hardcopy, or both) to those who financially support the church. Here’s an example:
This year was an incredible year of pursuing our vision to (insert your vision here). We started teaching (insert series here) this year and (add other series or teaching here). What a great year of deepening our faith.
This year we continued to bring hope and live love through supporting local outreach partners like (list partners here). We provided care ministries like (list care opportunities here) to care for and help those hurting. And globally, we supported missionaries abroad and (list other global outreach efforts).
On top of all that, we significantly improved our facility this last year. We (list facility improvements here). We are so blessed to have this amazing facility to call home.
The staff and elders, thank you for your consistent, faithful, and sacrificial financial investment in what God is doing in and through (church name here). We look forward to partnering with you next year as we passionately pursue our mission to (insert mission statement here).
As the end of the year rapidly approaches, I want to take this opportunity to help you prepare for the end of the year with a few helpful reminders:
- Only (number of services goes here) services remain in (current year). That makes this the perfect time to check your giving records to make sure you are caught up or give a special one-time gift to Sunridge before the end of the year. You can click here to donate now.
- All donations received or postmarked by December 31 will be listed on your (current year) giving report. Gifts received and postmarked after December 31, even if the check is dated December 31, will be listed on your (next year) donation statement.
After Christmas: Send a letter (email, hardcopy, or both) to those who financially support the church. It should be an abridged version of the above letter focused on giving before the end of the year.
Early January: Send a letter (email, hardcopy, or both) to those who financially support the church that focuses on gratitude for their support and how to access their donation statement once it’s available.
While churches cannot create new product lines, they offer something far more valuable, the Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Just as a for-profit organization needs money to accomplish its mission, a church wanting to fulfill the great commission (found in Matthew 28) also requires money. One way to increase revenue in December is to unashamedly and strategically remind donors why financial support matters through targeted emails. Using this guide is a great starting point.