Sometimes churches are their own worst enemy when it comes to raising money! A few years ago a church sent me their summer giving appeal letter. They wrote me the following…
As we come to the end of our successful Capital Campaign, we now ask you to turn your attention to the Operating Fund. With the summer months bringing vacations and other Sunday activities, we, the members of the Finance Committee, want to remind you that our monthly expenses continue for things like lighting, air conditioning, maintenance of grounds and buildings, personnel costs, missions outreach, etc. This is typically the time that giving slows down and doesn’t rebound until October causing a cash flow crunch which makes it difficult for the church to meet its monthly obligations.
In essence they are asking their members to give to help pay for the air conditioning! That just makes you want to get your billfold out and give them some money, right? Wrong! The above actual letter is about as appealing as watching paint dry upon a wall. It would not surprise you then to learn that they ended their year far behind budget.
I tool this churches letter and sent them back the following letter suggesting a better way to appeal for funding of their summer ministries. I wrote the following…
Dear Friend of Community Church,
Can you believe that school is almost out and the summer is about upon us? It truly does seem that time flies especially when you are busy. We have certainly been busy here at Community Church. What an exciting year we have already had thus far. The excitement and fun are about to ramp up with the approach of summer. While summer might be a slow time for some churches we crank it up here. Consider…
- Our VBS is set to be our best ever and starts the last week of June.
- Our Student Ministry team will be heading to camp in July. Last year we saw many conversions to Christ and we are believing God for a greater harvest at this year’s camp.
- Our Mission teams will be literally around the globe in Africa and South America.
- We are also going to be holding a special mission VBS for inner city children of our town.
- All our regular weekly activities will be running as well.
So, you can see things are starting to get a little crazy here. All of what we do is possible as a result of the faithful gifts of our members. Without you none of the above would happen.
This summer we are holding a special giving campaign called, The Summer of Love. We are asking you to help us show the love of Christ with your gift. Giving to this special campaign will not only help us stay current on our regular operating expenses but it will also help pay for all our missions ventures listed above. Each of us can show our love with a gift this summer that will enable us to show our city, state, nation and the world that we love them and want them to know personally the love of Christ.
Included in this letter are three envelopes, one for each month of the summer. Use each one to mail in your special offering of help. So when you are at the lake or on vacation you can be assured that your gift will fuel ministry back home.
Let’s show our love and support for what we are doing here at Community Church by supporting The Summer of Love. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
If you are going to effectively get your members to give you must make giving appealing! I believe that you must link giving to your vision. Tell your story of what your church is doing and people will more gladly give to support your missions and ministry. By telling your story of lives being changed your appeal becomes more appealing than simply asking for money to pay for the electric bill!
Mark Brooks- The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President, The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions