Church leaders – do you have giver conversations? While there are several church growth strategies out there for increasing giving, sometimes you need to get back to basics: sitting down and having meaningful and productive fellowship with people to build that relationship. Far more than “asking for money”, these conversations can educate and inspire givers in your church to leave their legacy.
Read on for these top 10 reasons why having giver conversations is not just an option but a vital stride toward nurturing a culture of generosity within your growing church:
1. Save room for dessert.
Our discipleship strategy does not hesitate to teach givers how to have a quiet time, how to serve, why they should participate in a small group, and why they should share their faith. We are more than willing to teach about the dangers of vice, but holistic discipleship is incomplete until we have taught generosity.
2. The whites of their eyes matter.
Develop relationships with arguably your most neglected demographic. This may require you to leave the “99” in order to shepherd the “1”. The most dangerous thing we can assume is that wealth holders and top givers have all the answers: they don’t, and they’re often the last to raise their hand and ask for help. The gift is never more important than the giver!
3. Siri knows best, so use your GPS (Generosity Plan Strategy).
Provide the opportunity for givers to think differently about their giving perhaps even beyond church tithing. Giver conversations help givers develop a Personal Generosity Plan, wherein they have room to wrestle with several important issues:
a. CONTROL – Am I living as an owner or a steward?
b. CONTENTMENT – How much is enough?
c. SECURITY – Do I have enough?
d. FAMILY LEGACY – How much do I want to leave my heirs? Will it help them or hurt them?
e. ETERNAL IMPACT – What do I want to do with what’s left over?
4. You’re going to eat lunch anyway!
You have to stop for a snack during the day, so maybe meet with someone and have some meaningful conversation over it! Some of the best discussions can be had over lunch with a giver during the week or even after church on Sunday, so consider reaching out to givers for that opportunity to sit down with them.
5. Their mailbox is full.
Someone from another NPO has already targeted your most faithful givers and is actively soliciting them for gifts. Research shows that givers on average support up to five different nonprofit organizations, with their top charity receiving 65% of their charitable gifts. According to Giving USA, the IRS granted NPO status to approximately 1,000 new not-for-profit organizations per week, meaning that nearly 1.5 million NPOs have their hands out.
6. Remember April 15th.
Wealth holders are very sensitive to two days on the calendar: April 15 and December 31. Help givers know that there are tax advantages by giving appreciated assets to offset capital gains as well as receive an ordinary income tax deduction. The best stewardship of assets includes taking advantage of tax-smart giving strategies.
7. They’re not mind readers.
Vision transfers through people, not paper. We don’t ask people for money, we ask people to do big things that cost money. Be prepared to answer the question, “If I were to give you $1,000,000, what would you do with it?” Your quantifiable case for support will help your givers see themselves as a catalytic solution to the problems your church is trying to solve locally and globally.
8. Close the feedback loop.
Transparency occurs when we are ready to share our vision and passion. Vulnerability occurs when we are open to receiving feedback about our vision and passion. Close the feedback loop by asking givers to speak into the current and future direction of the ministry. High-capacity givers generally don’t desire “control” – they view their input as part of their personal ministry to the church.
9. Look in the mirror.
You can’t lead someone somewhere you haven’t been. Never ask a question that you haven’t answered for yourself. And never suggest a growth step in generosity that you personally haven’t taken. Trust is built through your personal credibility.
10. There’s nothing wrong with the givers.
In Matthew 9:35-38, Jesus showed compassion on the crowds, because they were “confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” But he didn’t say pray for the harvest, he said to pray for laborers to go into the harvest. Why? Because there’s nothing wrong with the harvest. The inference is that there’s nothing wrong with the givers. The need is for laborers to go into the harvest of givers and disciple them. If the Holy Spirit indwells them, and if the opportunity is presented, in many cases they will respond positively and generously.
We understand how stressful it is to ask either people you know personally or don’t know at all to give to the church. This is why our MortarStone services provide strategic and effective tools to not only give a church management software with insight and metrics on giving, but also coaching to help high-capacity givers think more creatively in their giving and learn how to leave legacy gifts to the Church.