I’m a strong advocate for creating giving “on-ramps” – opportunities throughout the year where we encourage unique giving opportunities. These offerings are for small, special projects that have immediate results.
Those who are not used to giving are encouraged to give it a try. Once the project is funded and the report given to the church, those new to the giving experience tell us that the experience is enjoyable, and they often express interest in the next giving opportunity.
When they do that, you have an open door to discuss on-going giving through tithes and offerings. You have just moved them onto the giving path.
Consider creating a simple generosity learning experience by planning and promoting a two dollar offering. How would the offering be used? Well, you decide. It should be for anything that is over and above the regular tithes and offerings that support your annual ministry plan (the budget). And it should be consistent with your commonly shared mission as a faith community.
Why two dollars? Two dollars is something everybody can give: senior adults, middle and young adults, youth and even children. The threshold is low so that everyone can participate. The minimum offering is two dollars and the maximum offering is two dollars. The maximum is two dollars? Yes. (You can accept the larger gift, but we’re not asking for it.) By giving only two dollars and with everyone giving, the congregation will learn the power of small gifts, the impact of a community acting together, and the reserve of generosity that is always present in God’s people.
The two dollar offering does not need a lot of preparation or promotion. In addition to the normal communication channels, use the informal networks, the hall talk and ask the children to challenge the adults. A two to three week time frame will work. The goals are: everyone gives, they only give two dollars and the congregation gets to celebrate generosity. The two dollar offering can be repeated any time you have a worthy need to meet. After all, it’s only two dollars.
Important: Once the offering is taken and the money used, make sure you report back on the results! Celebrate the outcome! People who give for the first time will find that they enjoyed the experience IF they hear the results of their giving. Don’t miss this very important step.
For only two dollars, share a fun experience with others, make something good happen and learn a bit more about generosity. What a deal! The two dollar offering communicates that times may be bad for some, but the church is going to continue loving people, lifting up Christ and offering life in abundance every chance it gets.