Planning for and Managing Year-end Giving, Part 2

by John Campbell

November 8, 2017

Talk Early, Often and After about Year-end Giving

The reasons people give at year-end are no different than the rest of the year. A big one is that they believe in your mission and want to help make it happen. They’re also more aware of the stewardship implications of tax deductions at year-end, These two factors mean many of your people are more attentive this time of year. How can you make the most of this captive audience?

In a word, the key is to communicate. Thanksgiving may still be weeks away, but it’s not too soon to begin talking about year-end stewardship. Start by telling a story that shows your financial supporters how their giving is making a difference. Focus on one person or family at a time. Help people see how your mission was fulfilled in their life this year. Maybe you discipled them and they came to faith or grew in their faith in Jesus. Maybe you helped them transition from the streets into affordable housing. Maybe you gave an emancipated foster teen hope by providing the resources she needed to begin the next phase of her journey.

Here’s another way to communicate. Choose one or more projects for a special funding focus during the Christmas season. Then after Thanksgiving passes, highlight those projects. Talk about them often, telling people the story of how their giving can change specific people’s lives. It’s always a good idea to give people options as they consider year-end giving. This increases the chances that one of the projects will resonate with the people in your congregation or donor base.

Speaking of options, be sure people have multiple ways of donating so that when they’re ready to give, their preferred method is available. And be sure to highlight online giving. We’ll be writing later this month about why this is so important.

Finally, plan now to keep talking about the impact of people’s year-end giving by celebrating results of it as soon as you can. When people are moved to support a ministry because it aligns with their passion, they’re often motivated to keep on giving when they can see the outcome of their generosity. Tell these stories now, and retell them later to remind people of the part they played in making them happen.

Category: Ministry Matters