As we turn our hearts and minds to the holiday season, the idea of giving is all around us. We shop for gifts to give to those we love. Giving our time to food shelters and other organizations to spread cheer among those in need. We give pennies, quarters, and dollar bills into Santa’s red buckets outside of stores to donate to those less fortunate.
Your ministry more than likely can testify to an increase in giving during the year-end season. We’ve worked with thousands of ministries to support their giving, and want to support you by sharing these five steps you can take to maximize your year-end giving campaign through Realm ministry management software and our free Year-End Giving Toolkit.
1. Provide convenient giving options.
I grew up in what some may call the boondocks. The closest shopping mall was an hour away, and small at that with just a few stores. My first cell phone was far from “smart” and definitely didn’t have apps on it. When it came time to shop or do really anything for fun, you had to really put effort into planning your trip as two hours were just spent driving. Now when I go back home, I watch my parents shop online, pay their bills through mobile apps, and even order grocery pickups to save time. How convenient!
In our digital world, we’ve become accustomed to the convenience of having everything at our fingertips. When something isn’t available at the exact moment we think about it, there’s a good chance it slips our minds. Don’t let that happen to those wanting to give to your church this holiday season.
Realm eGiving offers online, mobile, and text giving, putting tithes and offerings into the palms of your contributors’ hands. For those sitting down to pay their bills on payday, they can give online directly through your church website. For those who are busy traveling through the holidays to visit family, they can give in the middle of the airport waiting for their flight using the Realm Connect mobile app. And for those sitting in your pews who simply don’t have cash or check on hand, share your text giving keyword and number through pew cards or worship slides so they can give during the offertory time via text.
2. Encourage recurring giving.
Paying bills is my least favorite time of the month, but it’s crucial in being financially responsible. I have one specific bill that I continuously forget about every month. Instead of paying it late or forgetting about it until the next month, I set up a draft for the company to take that amount out of my bank account each month. Now, I don’t have to worry about it being late or me forgetting to pay it, and it ensures I’m meeting my financial obligations.
As believers, we are taught to be faithful with our tithes. And just like setting up a bank draft for a bill, setting up recurring giving ensures that faithfulness as tithing happens on a chosen basis. Encourage your contributors to create recurring gifts as they are closing out this year and planning their budgets for next year. Realm eGiving lets contributors choose to Give Multiple Times and set up their recurring gift amount, start and end dates, and their payment method. Not only does this create a habit of giving, but also helps your church know what to expect for planning purposes into the new year.
3. Share tax deduction information.
When donating clothes and home items to a local non-profit organization in my local community, the first thing they ask is if I need help unloading the car. The second is if I need a receipt of my donations for tax purposes. While many of us donate and give with grateful hearts, it would be naive to think we don’t also consider the tax deductible benefits that come along with certain donations.
Make sure your contributors are aware of the gifts that may be included as tax deductions and other important tax information. We’ve created handouts (in the Year-End Giving Toolkit linked in the next section) you can print and include in your bulletins, or copy and paste the information into your email newsletters or to your Realm Newsfeed. Some of your most faithful contributors may be completely unaware of other types of gifts they can make to your ministry.
4. Use free resources to promote giving.
You know all about store sales, online bill paying options, and mobile apps to download because of advertising. And while your church doesn’t necessarily advertise needing tithes and offerings, you should be promoting your giving options and showing ways church contributions are furthering your ministry and the Kingdom.
Here at ACS Technologies we are grateful to partner with you in ministry, so we’ve created a Year-End Giving Toolkit that you can download for free! Included in the toolkit are announcement and giving appeal templates, graphics for your website and social media, slides, and so much more. Use these to promote your giving options and show others how much their gifts matter.
5. Thank those who give.
How many times have you held the door for someone only to have them walk through without saying “thank you” or acknowledging your kindness? Feels lousy, right?
Don’t make your contributors feel the same way. When they give their tithes and offerings to your ministry, thank them. As you’re kicking off your year-end giving campaign, use Realm to run queries on those who fit into specific giving levels. Send those contributors an email or letter thanking them for their financial support so far this year and appealing to them for year-end donations. Be sure to follow up with another thank you message after the close of the year for all those who give during your year-end giving campaign.
With Realm eGiving, your year-end giving campaign can reach new heights. Offer convenient ways to give, encourage recurring gifts for faithful tithing, and segment donors by giving levels to thank them and share what their gifts are doing to further the Kingdom.