The holidays are right around the corner! You’re busy planning and preparing for special events and services to celebrate this time with your church family. And while we certainly enjoy holiday activities, such as making Advent wreaths, painting Jesse Tree ornaments, packing Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes, and so much more, we can’t forget the needs of the church as we move through December and into the New Year. These needs can be met, but you must build a successful year-end giving campaign to do so.
It’s no secret the holidays are one of the most important times of the year in the life of the church. Statistics show that ⅓ of all annual giving occurs in December. But that doesn’t happen by chance or overnight. You must develop a comprehensive campaign to encourage giving while celebrating ministry moments from this year with your members.
Here are several ways you can use Realm to boost your year-end giving campaign. Plus, some free resources we’ve created to give you a headstart.
Use customized giving forms
Branded donation forms raise 7 times MORE funds. You should already have a branded giving form in Realm that you are promoting on your website, social media, and other communication channels. As part of your year-end giving campaign, create a new custom giving form that matches the theme of your giving campaign. Edit the colors, the image, and be sure to include a compelling subheading so your contributors clearly understand your message.
Choose a text giving keyword that matches your campaign theme and is easy for both your current contributors and new visitors to remember. Be sure to include the link to your website’s giving page and your text keyword and number on handouts, bulletin inserts, and slides before or during your service to let contributors know how they can give.
Select funds for specific end-of-year needs
When creating the giving form for your year-end campaign, don’t forget to select funds that are specific to your campaign. This may be a Christmas fund you promote each year around the holidays to donate to local charities, or an offering supporting your denominational mission, such as the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Choose these funds as Approved Online Giving Funds in your Realm Giving Settings, then be sure to select them as Included Funds on your custom giving form.
Segment donors for targeted messages.
You have a wide range of amounts being given on average to your ministry. Some may give $1,000 per year, while others may give $10,000 per year. Analyze your contribution amounts and create segments to communicate directly to those on different giving levels with a tailored giving message.
Run custom queries in Realm for each segment you create. For example, your first segment may be those contributing $0-$1000 this year, and another segment may be those contributing $1000-$5000 this year. Run a query for Giving Amount (total) and select the amounts to match your segment criteria. Be sure to choose “this year” for your Gift Date, or “last year” if you are basing it on last year’s total gifts.
Once you choose Show Results, you can send an email to your list directly through Realm. You can also send this list to Constant Contact, where you can create custom templates to fit your year-end giving campaign. You are able to print labels if you are considering mailing giving appeal letters to each segment. Check out our giving appeal templates included at the free Year-End Giving Toolkit link below to start planning your giving appeals.
Free resources to get you started!
We want to help you Build a Successful Year-End Giving Campaign for your ministry. Our Year-End Giving Toolkit is filled with resources to help you communicate to your congregation and grow giving this holiday season. Included are giving appeal templates, graphics for your website, social media, and worship slides, announcement templates, and much more.
Leigh Ann Shelley joined the ACST team in 2019 as a Product Marketing Manager, overseeing the launch and overall communication of key solutions to support the church’s needs. Prior to joining ACST, she spent several years in communications and graphic design roles, most notably as a Communications Director for a large church in Florence, SC, where she leveraged Realm to help solve key ministry challenges.