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Effective Strategies for Churches

How You Can Increase End of Year Giving

Year-End and Beyond Series 2

If you’ve found yourself at year-end without a plan for donor outreach and year-end giving, this series is for you. 

We’re looking at four steps you can take to execute a year-end fundraising plan – or for any time of year. The tools are the same. It’s just that most organizations who count on charitable contributions find that more than half of their annual contribution revenue comes during the last quarter of the year. While this may not be the case in your church, donors are often moved in this season to make additional contributions. (Most are not motivated solely by tax implications, but it is a reality.)

As we began looking at how to make the most of both year-end giving and beyond, we covered the step of reviewing your goals and setting an action plan in the prior blog. Once you have a concept of what your year-end strategy will be, the second step is to plan your calendar.


In the prior blog, we used an example of a 12 days of giving campaign where you’re striving to close a $125,000 budget gap. As you consider how to roll out this effort to your congregation, begin by first outlining the existing calendared items for communications, events, and for your church in this season. It will be important to (1) layer and segment the year-end giving messaging against the existing items and/or (2) integrate the year-end ask campaign with those existing calendar items. If there is a men’s fellowship breakfast or a children’s ministry newsletter in the calendar timeframe for your year-end campaign, look closely at how to leverage those opportunities to get donors engaged. How can they be part of the 12 days campaign?

In addition to your church’s calendar, use other key dates in the timeframe. Ideally, your year-end calendar would kick off leading up to Thanksgiving with thank yous to donors. Many organizations also build a specific campaign around Giving Tuesday. Using the national philanthropic spotlight as another way to encourage giving to the church in a specific way. 

Many churches and ministries host service-centered campaigns and drives during Christmas. Coats for kids, turkeys for those in need, and dinner baskets for shut-ins. Don’t view these mission-driven programs as competition for your church’s year-end campaign. You can see these programs flourish through strategic calendaring and effective messaging while educating your members on how supporting the church makes them all possible. Without the church, there would be no coat drive – donors keep the lights on and the door open. Too often, we forget to remind them of that and thank them for it.

Up Next

In our next blog, we’ll talk more about how to tell that story. And do not get discouraged if you feel behind this year. These steps are tools you can use to build effective development strategies year-round, so stay tuned. 

Year-End and Beyond

Four Steps to an Effective Year-End

Most ministry organizations see a big upswing in donations in the last quarter of the year. Many donors consider making significant contributions in the last weeks of the calendar year. These decisions can be driven by their passions and interests and the realities of tax benefits.

In this article, you’ll learn four steps to help your church make the most of year-end giving – and beyond.

Tim has over 30 years of experience in Church, Non-Profit Administration, Management, and Fund Development.  Serving as an Executive Pastor and Chief Development Officer in growing Churches and Non-Profit Organizations. He has provided a wide range of expertise and resources. Tim serves as the Founder and CEO of Non-Profit DNA. A boutique firm committed to helping nonprofits and churches. By building their capacity through fundraising, leadership, team building, staff recruiting, and coaching.

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