I have the honor and privilege of providing Stewardship Enhancement Services to Cross Church of North West Arkansas (FYI: “Enhancement” is just a fancy word for consulting).
Last year, they saw a 12% increase in their giving (equaling over $300,000 in “extra” income), and a big chunk of that was due to the successful year-end campaign we ran. Here is what Ben Mayes, their business administrator, wrote:
“In the midst of ominous political times, lots of negative news about our country’s economy, and a looming fiscal cliff – our church had an amazing and God-sized year-end in the area of giving.”
What’s truly significant is this (simple & easy) year-end campaign allowed them to close out last year with the highest giving income they’ve ever seen…$3,600,068.00.
Suffice to say, Ronnie Floyd, their senior pastor, was happy they decided to put in the work to run the year-end campaign. Here is what he said recently:
It’s Late (but not too late) To Increase End-of-Year Giving In Your Church!
Although I got Cross Church started for this year’s campaign in October, the plan is actually very simple. Here are the key steps you need to take RIGHT NOW to see your giving increase in the next few weeks.
First, build the “ask” around what motivates people to give to the church, missions, and ministry! Your appeal, or “ask,” must motivate people to give. So, make it about more than simply making budget. Tell them why making budget is important. Every “ask” needs a driver. A driver is the motivation that gets me to dip into my pocket and give you more money.
Secondly, write out the appeal using both regular mail and e-mail to tell your story. Make sure you start with a gripping paragraph of why people should give. Try to think of some compelling reason that people should give, or simply tell what you have accomplished this year. Cross Church builds their end-of-year appeals around a report of the last year called, “The Miracle Continues.” You can view it here http://crosschurch.com/annualreview/
Finally, get the message out there! When consulting with churches like Cross Church, I advise them to use every platform they have to link people to the end-of-year appeal. The primary platform is direct mail, the good old-fashioned way. Snail mail is still by far the best means of collecting end-of-year donations. So, while it is late, get yours in the mail. Today!
Then I recommend you use your online tools such as your website and your social media sites to remind people of giving. Make the “asks” positive, not desperate, and people will respond.
One final “ask” on December 31st could make the difference. Send out an email to your entire donor base asking them to make a contribution to your missions and ministry. Studies have shown that the window of opportunity for email appeals is between 2 PM and 7 PM.
So, once again, it is getting late, but it is not too late!
Get started today on seeing your end-of-year giving being the best ever!
Mark Brooks, President
The Charis Group