What is your giving goal? “My goal in preaching is for you to come back and bring a friend!” That was a comment I heard my pastor Andy Stanley say at The National Conference on Preaching two years ago. He stated that as his objective in preaching.
“My goal in giving is for you to give once, give again, then again and again until you are a faithful donor!” Playing off of his goal that is my goal for you and those that attend your church. The first hurdle towards realizing this goal is that first gift.
If you have followed me for any length of time you know that my focus is upon showing people why a gift to your church is meaningful. Studies consistently show that one of the major reasons donors give is because they believe in what an organization is doing. What institution on the face of the earth has a mission like ours? What institution on earth has accomplished what the Church has for helping the poor, feeding the hungry and care for the down and out?
To get the first gift you have to ask for it in a way that resonates with a donor. By now you should know that it is not easy and it takes time and effort. To get the second, third and more gifts will take a plan of action.
Every church needs a first time giver plan. Recently I was reading The Chronicle of Philanthropy about how charities are working harder at getting donors to give again. Retention rate, keeping a donor donating, is a huge concern for non-profits. They work extra hard at attempting to garner additional gifts throughout the year. They track all their donors. One major problem for churches is we fail to track our donors.
Quick Step First Time Donor Plan – The following is my easy quick step donor plan towards garnering additional gifts from donors. I recommend that you…
- Have some system in place to track when someone gives a first time gift to you. I also think you need to track when someone gives a first time gift online. I also encourage you to note if the gift was some special cause or was simply to your general budget.
- Write a letter or note thanking the donor for their gift. The more personalized the response the more likely you will get another gift. If possible, I like for the Senior Pastor to write a brief note of thanks. At a minimum you should have a standard letter that is sent out.
- Follow up a month or two with another appeal letter about some need of your church and how a gift would make an impact for the Kingdom.
- One year from when they gave you their first gift write another letter or card to them thanking them for that gift and asking for another! My monthly members get this for free! Click here to join http://thestewardshipcoach.org/
Make it your goal to have a first time giver plan so that you can get the second, third and then multiple gift! It make take time and effort but it will be worth it.
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President
The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions