Next to the retail employees at your local mall, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone working harder in the months ahead than pastors and church leaders.
There are Christmas concerts and nativity pageants to be coordinated, extra services and outreach opportunities to be planned, not to mention all of the traveling, shopping, and family get-togethers that pack an already crowded schedule!
With so much going on, it’s understandable that certain things like generosity end up getting “back burner-ed” for a few weeks. But it shouldn’t!
As I’m sure you know, the holidays are the single most important season for your churches’ finances! (Fun Fact: Nearly 18.00% of all charitable giving and over 22% of online giving takes place in the month of December alone!) It’s no exaggeration to say that many churches’ budgets will be saved or sunk in the weeks ahead. In fact, over 40% of churches report that they receive fully HALF of their annual budget in the month of December alone.
Whatever the case may be at your church, generosity is too important a topic to ignore until January. But that doesn’t mean it needs to occupy a ton of time either! Below are three easy things you can do in the weeks ahead to ensure that your church ends 2015 on a high note.
- Give your congregation an update on the church’s finances. — Be transparent with your congregation about how the budget is looking, and about your areas of greatest need. Be sure to share stories as well, not just statistics. Celebrate some of the “victories” that your congregation’s generosity allowed the church to accomplish this year. And then be frank about some of the needs that still exist. People want to give, but you need to tell them where and how!
- Do an audit of your church’s digital giving presence. — Is it fast, safe, and convenient for people to give right from your website? What about from a mobile phone? You’ll have lots of new people visiting your church in the weeks ahead. You’ll have people thinking about giving for the first time. Don’t miss out on these gifts! Make sure you have an easy and obvious giving solution available on your website. (Like Mogiv!) And don’t ask visitors to create an account in order to give! Can a gift be completed in less than 60 seconds? Any longer than that and you’ll start losing people.
- Create a special “giving campaign” for a need in the community. — Maybe it’s a turkey drive or a push to provide warm clothes for needy neighbors. Maybe it’s a “love offering” to a school or community center. Just get people giving! Even if this campaign doesn’t directly impact the bottom line, it will get people thinking about and practicing generosity. You’re increasing “the size of your pie” which will have an impact on your church’s culture for years to come!
Do those three things, and you’ll be well on your way to your best “giving season” yet!