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When was the last time you heard a story about someone in need or a worthy cause that moved you to make a gift to help? Think for a moment about how you felt, knowing your donation might make a difference in someone’s life. Reflect on how you felt called to be part of helping.
That sacred space of communion between someone who needs resources and someone who has them is why theologian Henri Nouwen says fundraising is ministry. It’s why capturing the passion and hearts of your donors over and over is so important.
In this blog series Healthy Habits for Strong Stewardship, we’re looking at healthy habits critical for churches to sustain and expand giving. We talked specifically about storytelling and how to gather the impact of your ministry on the lives of people. These are the stories that donors love to hear: how their gifts to your church are touching and shaping the lives of people in your community and beyond.
A habit that will build enthusiasm year-round is intentional communication with your congregants. That can come in many forms but look for ways across your platforms to share the stories you’re gathering from volunteers and staff each week. Your communications could include:
- Special spotlight stories on social media
- A story of impact shared during worship services
- A story spotlight in your church’s email or mailed newsletter
- A story or testimonial rotating each month on your church’s website
Regardless of when and how you choose to share those stories, develop a habit of assessing your communications calendar each month for the coming month. Make decisions about using your touchpoints with your congregation best to share these impact stories and how donors made it all possible.
Evaluating and planning those communications each month is a terrific habit to make sure your members and donors are often hearing about the work your church is doing. Your members are not only donors. They’re also living, walking advocates for your ministry in the world. Give them the tools to talk about your church’s story in their social circles, workplace, and among others, they come in contact with throughout their week.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Some best practices say a donor should hear from a charitable organization six to eight times for every “ask” for financial gifts. Make sure your givers hear from you about their impact year-round and not just during the season of a pledge stewardship campaign.
In our final blog, we’ll discuss a quarterly habit to help you manage your giver relationships. And keep your stewardship program thriving.
Better Donor Engagement through Four Habits
You can grow your church’s giving program through four simple habits. A small investment of a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly habit will cultivate your members’ generosity. These habits help demonstrate to them how giving to the church changes lives.
In this article, learn the four key habits that will put your stewardship program on a healthy course.
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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.