You Don’t Have to Mail Your Church Annual Giving Statement

Last week’s post – “An Annual Giving Statement That Will Impress and Delight Your Givers” – stressed the importance of leveraging your church annual giving statement mailing. A couple of dedicated readers and executive pastors sent questions to me after reading the article, expressing some frustration with the cost of following the eBook’s recommendations. They are larger churches. One even outsources their mailings to a professional fulfillment house. The expense to prep and send the personalized mailings via the US Post Office would be considerable.
mailing statement“Are there affordable options to mailing out giving statements?”, they asked. Absolutely! And here is the suggestion, which is applicable for most any church, regardless of size.
The recommendation would be to move from mailing hard copies, to emailing. There are several advantages to this approach:

An Annual Giving Statement that will Impress (and Motivate) your Givers

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?

Annual Statements E-BookAre your annual statements effective? By that, I mean do they encourage the future generosity of the giver?

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.

30% of All Giving Occurs in December

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)

year-end giving

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 Struggle with Budgeting

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.

millennials and budgeting

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.

Millennials and their Smart Phones

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.

giving-update-church

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.

Connecting the Dots Between Ministry and Generosity

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.

ministry and generosity

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!

A Plea for Pastors (That Applies to Everyone)

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.

pastor plea for leadership“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 do your Numbers Really Mean?

What are your numbers? Ever been asked a question like that before?

impact report

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.

Is Your Church Prepared To Receive A Portion of The $59 Trillion?

We are now witnessing the greatest transfer of wealth in history.

church revenue stream

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.

Q&A with the Pushpay Team on Easy Mobile Giving

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.

easy mobile giving

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.