Do you hear that sound…Tic Toc? It is hard to come to grips with the fact that 2015 is in its twilight. In addition to planning how to steward your facilities for the seasonal change, now is the ideal time to consider your plan for Year-End Giving.
The most immediate benefit of a year-end giving project is, of course, increased giving. We can all celebrate this result, but planning this initiative with care and executing with excellence will add far greater value. So why should this project be a high priority?
Here are 5 reasons why properly planning is so crucial:
> It prompts spiritual growth. The intersection of faith and finances creates the opportunity for more individual spiritual growth than any other option. As a person’s finances finds alignment with his or her faith, huge leaps of spiritual growth take place.
> It normalizes the giving conversation. Most churches are very reluctant to talk about money. By avoiding this conversation, churches are actually ensuring a negative outcome when it comes to generosity, and limiting the natural opportunity for spiritual growth. When church leaders allow people to separate, in their minds, faith and finances, they effectively dismiss matters of finance from their spiritual lives. Silence is simply a bad option.
> It provides an opportunity to talk about mission and vision. Givers in your church constantly look at the church and wonder where and how they fit in. An annual vision weekend or generosity series rarely creates any long-term traction in the lives of your donor base. Donors want to play a part in the larger story. It is critical that you take every possible opportunity to discuss, in a meaningful way, the church’s mission and vision and the role finances play in supporting the ongoing ministry of the church.
> Holiday giving is a great opportunity for a person to give for the first time. If your church is attracting new people, presenting this year-end project in a compelling and creative way will encourage their giving sooner rather than later. If your church is like most, 50% or more of your regular members and attenders give nothing or close to nothing. An exciting and well- presented year-end initiative can help change that. A person must give a first gift in order to become a regular investor in the ministry of your church.
> It gives leadership practice talking about the church’s mission and finances. This type of project is a catalyst for an easy-to-understand conversation about the value and impact of generosity. It is a very natural on-ramp to giving and provides a great opportunity for your church’s members and attenders to invest in the mission and vision of the church. Year-end projects can serve as the perfect laboratory, giving you and your leadership a very safe and low-risk platform to communicate mission and vision and to challenge people to get involved.