Close your giving year out right by learning how to attract last second giving. It is late in the year but it is not too late to do something to see your giving increase. As I have been harping on for the last few weeks 22% of all charitable online giving comes the last two days of the year. With a few steps you can see hundreds if not thousands of additional dollars come into your church. How? Let me say some positive last minute steps you can take.
Determine the driver. Every “ask” needs a driver. The driver is the message that tugs at my heart driving me to reach for my wallet. The more compelling the driver, the more effective the results. My recommendation is to focus your end of year appeals around missions and ministry. Basically your “ask” needs to encompass the following elements…
Crisis – I want my donors to know about…
Need – We can help by…
Ask – Your gift NOW will help us meet this need!
Use every platform available. Researchers this year have focused upon how to connect with Americans you must use multiple platforms. The same is true when it comes to end of year giving. Let’s talk about the various platforms you can and should use.
- The first platform is your platform! You have for at least sixty minutes a captured audience. What if you dedicated thirty to sixty seconds before the offering to talk about the importance of the end of year offering? What if you ran video messages before your service about the end of year offering? What if you mentioned the end of year offering as some point in your sermon?
- Use your existing communications to get the story out. Do you have a bulletin that you pass out on Sundays? If so use that. What about a newsletter? Insert short paragraphs reminding people of the need and asking them to give. Also, an easy reminder of giving is to include information about the deadline for gifts to be counted as deductions for 2013.
- Send a snail mail letter. While all the buzz is upon online giving charities know the bulk of end of year giving comes through the good old fashioned mail. There is still time to get an end of year appeal letter in the mail. That letter should have a self addressed postage paid envelope in it making it easy for people to mail their gift back to you.
- Use your Social Media. I love using Social Media to tell the story using pictures of the need I want gifts to go to. Consider at least one post a day, preferably two to three that focus upon why you are asking people to give. If you have online giving then provide a direct link back to your giving page. The really cool thing about using Social Media for a marketing campaign for giving is that it’s free!
- Send out a December 31st email blast. You need online giving to make this really work but by sending out one last reminder you could bring in thousands of dollars. By the way the experts say the best time to send your email is between 2 PM and 7 PM EST.
Make the “ask.” The number one reason why many churches do not see a good end of year offering is they simply don’t ask. If you believe in your cause you will boldly make the “ask.” If you ask, especially if you ask the right way, people will give. As Nike use to say, “Just Do It!”
Mark Brooks- The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President, The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions