It’s January. Another year has passed, and a new one has begun. And for many pastors and financial church leaders, that means it’s time to prepare the (often dreaded) annual giving statements. You find yourself trying to make the somewhat daunting process more efficient every year, don’t you? But what if you focused this year on making them more effective instead?
Many churches send an official, transactional-looking statement each January to those who have given the previous year. In fact, we’ve talked about this before. I get it – it meets the IRS requirement, right? (And you would be right.)
But consider this:
“Giving statements are not an exercise in efficiency… our end goal is effective and meaningful communication with the giver,” my Generis colleague Brad Leeper says in his new e-book.
Did you know 30% of all charitable giving occurs in the month of December?
Even more shocking is this statistic – 10% of all giving occurs during the last three days of the year!
Here’s a snippet from Network for Good’s Digital Giving Index infographic recapping 2013 online giving. (view infographic online)
Many of your givers often plan to make that year-end gift on the very last Sunday of the year. This year that Sunday falls on December 28, while your people may still be out of town enjoying Christmas with relatives.
Millennials are, in many ways, shaping the future of our country. From their love of technology we talked about in last week’s post to their work habits and communication preferences, we are seeing a shift on several fronts.
Another topic to add to the list – budgeting. From a September 2014 USA Today article, we learn budgeting is a struggle for many Millennials. And with 44.5 million 20-somethings currently in the US (the nation’s largest age group), this could have long-lasting implications.
87% of Millennials say their smartphone never leaves their side, day or night. 80% reach for their smartphone first thing each morning. 78% spend more than two hours a day on their smartphone.
The common perception that young adults love their smartphones has become statistical fact. And with the extreme percentages shown in a recent Zogby Analytics study, it seems to have become an obsession.
You’ve heard me talk about “connecting the dots” for your church – helping your people see how their giving is making a difference in other people’s lives.
Because many people tend to think of giving only as a means to fund a budget, helping them connect the dots to ministry impact is critical! In fact, it encourages them to continue giving. It shows them the fruits of their efforts, that their generosity is hard at work making a difference.
I thought you would value seeing a video from one of my clients in the St. Louis area. They created this video as part of a series of videos they are showing as part of their one-year anniversary for their One Fund initiative. Wisely, they are intentionally playing the clip just prior to the offering time during the service. While it’s a bit longer than I would typically recommend, what a great way to connect the dots between giving and progress, between generosity and making a difference!
Last spring, John Piper, pastor and leading author, addressed an embezzlement issue involving David Yonggi Cho, the founder of the world’s largest Pentecostal congregation in South Korea.
“My response to this is really not to pile on any additional condemnation…but rather to try to respond for the rest of us in a way that tries to prevent these kinds of things,” said Piper.
In his response, Piper included five precautions pastors should take related to the possible seduction of money. I’d like to pass them along to you here. Although these were shared in response to an embezzlement situation, they are good reminders for us all at any time.
What are your numbers? Ever been asked a question like that before?
If it’s your doctor asking, then he or she is likely inquiring about your blood pressure, cholesterol, temperature, height and weight, right? Basics that, at a glance, help to determine the state of your current health.
If your golf pro is asking, then he or she is likely inquiring about your driving distance, number of putts per round, percentage of fairways hit and percentage of greens in regulation. These are basics that help a coach know the current state of your game, and where you might want to focus for improvement in your score.
We are now witnessing the greatest transfer of wealth in history.
As reported by CNBC, a new study from Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy projects that heirs, charities, and taxes will receive $59 trillion between 2007 and 2061. (Yes, that’s trillion with a T!) This is up from a 1999 projection of $41 trillion.
Charities in particular are forecast to receive more than $6 trillion of this wealth transfer, while total gifts to charity during this period are expected to be more than $27 trillion.
“85% of people will abandon a transaction if it takes longer than 30 seconds,” according to research provided by Pushpay, the developers of a smartphone app that makes it possible to give in under 10 seconds.
Does it take longer than 30 seconds to make a gift on your current mobile giving system? Are you required to sign in before you can give? Do you have multiple web pages to navigate before a gift can be made?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, this blog post is for you! Refresh your cup of coffee and read on.