In a recent report published by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), cash giving to churches in April of 2020 was the same or higher than January 2020! That’s excellent news and a testament to the faithfulness of your givers. Now that your church doors are starting to open, will your giving reflect the same gains you’ve seen over the last few months?
There are three groups of givers that you need to engage and disciple to ensure that your giving remains stable throughout the year.
Givers that have not updated their online payment options and have repeatably received emails asking them for new payment methods.
Many of your online givers may be unengaged with your church. They’ve set up a recurring gift, which is fantastic, but have not fully committed to actively participating in ministry. These types of givers are high-risk for lapse because beyond giving on a recurring schedule, they have no real connection with your church, and have not responded to repeated requests to update their payment options. Re-engage these givers with a few easy strategies:.
To get started, you’ll want to use your ChMS or MortarStone platform to help you maintain and track your communication processes. If you’re using MortarStone, you can assign the following tasks with completion dates.
1. Pick up the phone and call these givers. During your phone call invite these givers to an event either online or at your church. Ask them if they need prayer. You can finish the call with some information on their online giving options. If they haven’t updated their payment options, these givers might be lapsing – make sure to focus your call on ministering them.
2. No phone response – send a text. Again, this message should include a thank you, invitation to get involved, and link to online payment updates.
3. Personalization is key! Personalized emails generate 58% higher ROI. Chances are your online system emails are not being acted upon because they’re not personalized and appear to be generated from a system and not a real person from your church. Want to get even more creative? Using zoom or another online video service, create a personalized video email to grab their attention and include instructions on how to update payment information. Give personalization a try and track your success.
4. If you’ve tried all the above, it’s time to try an old-fashioned, handwritten note. Stats show that handwritten notes get read over 300% more than electronic communication. Don’t get overwhelmed, now is the time to get your faithful volunteers involved and have them write notes to these givers.
Givers who have lapsed in giving over the last 60 days
Pull a 60-day lapsed giver report from MortarStone or visit your online processor to retrieve this information. Once you have created a search to identify these givers you can add them to a list and assign communication and engagement tasks.
Get volunteers involved with calling these people. Your volunteers don’t need to know anything about these givers, except that the church hasn’t heard from them in over 60-days. Use this customizable template to make phone calls, leave voicemails or texts. SAMPLE VOLUNTEER COMMUNICATIONS
Remember, there are many factors why these givers have lapsed, but the most important reason for calling them is to re-engage and provide ministry support.
Givers who faithfully give online, but have not started attending church again
The ongoing pandemic and current social crisis have incited fear among givers, and many of them may be choosing not to attend church because of these concerns. These are valid fears and should be respected, but, these givers are also high risk for lapsing because they might be losing engagement with your church.
1. Using your ChMS attendance tracker, pull a list of those that have not attended since your church opened.
2. Merge this list with givers that are registered as part of your ministry’s small groups or engaged in other areas. Identify which givers are not involved in church ministry and are not attending services. You can add a tag to these givers in MortarStone to help identify your list and search options faster.
3. Call this list of givers and let them know how your church continues to support and minister to them during these times. Thank them for their continued generosity and invite them to attend services if they’re comfortable attending. Remember, ask them if they’d like prayer and to encourage them to pray for your church during this time.
4. If you can’t reach these givers by phone, try a text, personalized email, or handwritten note.
At MortarStone we always say, “what gets measured, gets managed.” By taking the time to reach out to these givers, you are helping to ensure future funding and also ministering to people that may be facing a crisis and need your support.
We’ve just launched new ‘Giver Development’ tools within the MortarStone platform to help you better connect and disciple these givers. If you’re not using MortarStone, click here to get a customized demo to see how you can increase giving and grow engagement within your church. If you’re using MortarStone and want to learn more about these features, send us an email, we’d love to help you out!