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END STRONG – 8 Steps for Reaching Year-End Budgets

1. Don’t Make it Hard for Givers to Get to Your Giving Page
When you ask a giver for a donation, direct them to your giving page. Don’t make them hunt for it. In a store setting, customers never have to climb a flight of stairs to check out—it’s right there by the front door. Put your giving page link in a prominent place and add a button that says GIVE NOW in all your emails, newsletters, social media pages, and text messages.

2. Do Make Your Online Giving Page Simple
Too many fields can discourage the giver from completing the gift, so keep the giving form as short as possible. Remove all the hurdles the giver might encounter to complete the gift, like requiring a login or requesting the giver use a specific browser or payment method. And make sure your giving page is mobile responsive. Let givers choose how and where they make their online gift and ensure each option is accessible and straightforward. If you need help with your online giving solution, we’d recommend you check out SecureGive – they offer a fantastic service for online giving that combines the best technology with a heart for seeing lives transformed by Christ.

3. Do Stick to the Theme
Your year-end budget should focus on a story, a message, or a theme about how givers can impact a ministry or ministries for Christ. Include those same visual cues and the overall message on your giving page, so that givers know where they are giving at year-end.

4. Don’t Leave the Gift Amount Box Blank
Givers need guidance on what’s expected—give them a starting point for deciding on their gift. Create gift amounts and tie each to a tangible impact if possible. Giving levels can help your givers visualize what their contribution will do.

5. Do Segment Your Giver List
When sending communication on year-end giving, create more than one version and make sure the message makes sense to each group of givers. If you’re using MortarStone, divide your giver list into groups of regular givers (those that have given in the last 90 days) and lapsed givers. Send each group a different message that targets their particular giving pattern.

REGULAR GIVER COMMUNICATION

  • First – Thank them for giving
  • Second – Ask them if they have a need you can pray about
  • Third – Share with them where their giving is going and what year-end goal the church is trying to achieve
  • Fourth ­– Ask them to consider giving a specific amount (segment the amount based on your giver’s previous gift amounts) Stats show that if you give suggestions for amounts of giving, your chances of receiving a gift will increase by 50%.

LAPSED GIVERS COMMUNICATION

  • First – Thank them for giving
  • Second – Ask them if they have a need you can pray about
  • Third – Share with them where their giving is going and what year-end goals the church is trying to achieve
  • Fourth ­– Ask them to consider giving to your ministry again
  • Fifth – Leave contact information for making a connection, the goal of reaching lapsed givers is to re-engage them in ministry

6. Don’t Forget to Share Your Year-End Financial Goals
Add a giving total on your giving webpage to drive urgency and create social proof. After those first few gifts are made, the giving total shows how your givers are coming together to help your church achieve a common goal. We’ve also seen the giving total help to spark major gifts and matching gifts.

7. Do Make the Giver the Hero
In your appeal, clearly outline the giver’s impact. Instead of, “Our church makes sure children get the Bibles they need,” you should instead say, “You can give a child the Bible they need to learn the Word of God.” Avoid “Our church takes care of needy families in the community,” but do say, “You will provide the resources to change of the life of a needy family for Christ.” Make your giver, or someone like them, part of the story. Churches often forget to involve the giver by not writing for them.

8. Don’t Focus on the Finances
This can be hard because many churches want to make sure they fill the gap in their budget shortfall before the next year, but remember: your budget shortfall is not your giver’s problem to solve. Your givers want to help solve the problem that your ministry addresses. Drive that point home to your givers because your ministry’s vision is what matters the most to them.

And lastly, overall stewardship and generosity discipleship in your church is essential to ensuring that your year-end budgets meet and exceed the needs of your church this year and for year’s to come. We have proven generosity strategies and training curriculum to help you grow your church’s stewardship ministry – contact us to learn how more!

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