The Holiday season for most is full of joy, laughter, cups of cocoa, and catching up with family and friends. With this overall spirit of giving and generosity, why does it seem that the church experiences “giving fatigue”? 2 Corinthians 9:7 tells us that “…the Lord loves a cheerful giver,” but why do some feel tired when the topic of giving is spoken about from the pulpit? I pose that there are three distinct reasons (although there can be more) why many churches experience “giving fatigue” and lack of “cheer” around the holidays.
- Giver’s Lack of Knowledge about the Return on Investment
- The Church Misunderstands Givers’ Overstretched Budgets
- The Church Fails to Define a Clear Vision
Lack of Knowledge About the Return on Investment
People don’t experience giving fatigue if they can see the return of “what” or more importantly “who” they are giving. It’s easy to give to someone in need, knowing that your gift will have impact and value. Have you clearly and adequately shown your congregation where their money is invested? And most importantly, have you shown them the impact of their gift? When asking your donors to give, make sure you clearly quantify the dollars they are investing and how it’s changing people’s lives.
Example: See how MortarStone subscriber, North Coast Church, uses video to show their congregation the return on investment for giving.
Misunderstanding Your Giver’s Overstretched Budgets
Many people in your congregation are stretched thin because they are living beyond their means. They have the desire to give, but their empty pockets books, bills flooding in, and fear of giving leave them feeling fatigued. Not to mention that every non-profit organization is continually asking for help to further their cause. It is important to know that while the Bible provides more than 2,000 verses speaking about the topic of money, many churches don’t have the means to offer practical tools of implementation. Ask yourself if you have anything in place to currently help those who are struggling in this area? If your answer is ‘no,’ then it’s time to start evaluating your stewardship ministry. Here are few examples of how you can begin to teach financial stability at your church.
-Host a Financial Peace University (FPU) course. Statistics show that average giving by FPU graduates increases from 4% to 8%. Check out the FPU program here: https://www.daveramsey.com/fpu?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwP2t2unh1wIVxol-Ch3KKwoFEAAYASAAEgKTjPD_BwE
–Know who your givers are and how much they can give. MortarStone reporting allows you to identify your lapsed givers, regular givers, top givers, and generous investors. You can also request a Data Enrichment Report that analyzes the demographic markers of your congregation, allowing you to better understand their financial behaviors and capacities. Not a MortarStone subscriber? Get your Free Church Health Audit and a live demo of how our software can take your ministry further, faster. More Info
Failure to Define a Clear Vision
People will not give when the vision is unclear. In Habakkuk 2:2 we are instructed to “write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” When your donors hear from the pulpit a request for giving, whether through tithes, or to a capital fund campaign, or a miracle fund offering – if the vision for the money is not written in clear terms with goals, people will not invest. Are you clearly communicating with your donors what you plan to do with their generosity? It’s important to tell them, to tell them again, and then tell them what you told them.
Follow the “SMART” goals for communicating a clear vision to your church:
S: Specific – be specific about where the donations are going.
M: Measurable – make sure you clearly display the fundraising goals. Your goals can be viewed at your church, on your website, through email, or posted to social media.
A: Ambitious/Attainable – make your fundraising goals ambitious but also attainable. MortarStone can quickly evaluate the giving capacity of your church and help you set realistic goals.
R: Relevant – know your congregation and community and make the vision relevant to your givers.
T: Time-Based – give a deadline for achieving your fundraising goals and clearly communicate this to your congregation.
I have it heard it said from a dear friend “The Lord does love a cheerful giver…but he will still receive a gift from a grouch.” All joking aside, we want you, your local church and your givers to exhibit the joy of giving without any fatigue. Let us at MortarStone help you understand your current diverse giver base, and offer solutions on how to advance your ministries.
Let’s talk about how we can help you develop a stronger and more stable stewardship ministry – take a minute to fill out the form below.