Part 2 of a 4 part series
Your church’s donors have questions and more than likely, they won’t ask them of you.
In this blog series, we’ll give you a peek inside the minds of your givers to better understand their typically internal or unspoken questions. Churches that can anticipate and effectively answer these questions will have more effective and rewarding stewardship programs.
Our church’s major donors are usually also generous to other charities. Who often do a better job than the church of (1) valuing donors, (2) anticipating and answering their questions, and (3) demonstrating the impact of their giving.
We’ve looked at the first two questions in the prior blog. So let’s explore more of the key questions your tithers and givers have and how to answer them.
#3. Givers are asking questions of money and accountability.
How much money does the church really need? Where is the money I give spent? How do you make budgetary and financial decisions? Does the church have any endowment or investments and how are they managed?
It’s important to be as transparent as possible with your givers about the financial planning and financial health of your church. Donors who feel confident in how funds are being allocated and spent will be more likely to renew and upgrade their giving as their trust grows.
Don’t wait for congregants to ask for that information. This is an area where they will wonder but are unlikely to ask. And don’t wait for pledge or stewardship campaigns so offer that transparency. Find ways to communicate the impact of their giving on your day-to-day budget and how those decisions are made. It’s a great way to highlight the important work of your key staff and your board or finance committee volunteers.
For those preparing for or engaged in a campaign or fundraising project, those answers become even more critical to securing donor commitments. Givers want to know the missional reasons for the project or campaign. What’s the plan? Have you thought it all through? Does it make sense to be spending the amount of money you’re talking about on this project? Again, transparency about your budget and plans are critical to donor trust and support. Be clear about the financial plan and, for example, if you are incurring debt, anticipate and answer givers’ questions.
#4. Givers are asking who else is on the team.
Most donors don’t want to be the single funder on a project. They want to know the church has a base of supporters and donors at many levels who can come together. More than that, a church relying on a single or small group of major donors is also not a healthy long-term strategy.
While preserving donor privacy, you can easily find ways to share the broad support of givers. Then others know they are part of a team working together to advance the kingdom work in your congregation. Look for opportunities to highlight donors and volunteers at various levels, and allow them to share their stories.
When you can assume your givers have these questions, you can answer them before they’re asked. Know that most donors will want and appreciate the information you’re offering, and that act will strengthen the bonds of trust and commitment with the church.
At the end of the day, givers want to know that their gift matters. It’s critical to show them in various ways year-round how they make what your church does possible.
In the next blogs of this series, we’ll outline the additional expectations and questions donors are asking and how to best answer them in advance.
Get more information on online giving solutions from ACS Technologies.
Loyal church donors are usually generous to other organizations and charities, too. Those nonprofit causes often do a better job than the church of (1) valuing donors, (2) anticipating and answering their questions, and (3) demonstrating the impact of their giving.
The tools in What Your Givers Want to Know (…and likely won’t ask) will help you and your staff anticipate – and effectively answer – the questions donors have but aren’t likely to ask you. Explore the six things your givers MOST want to know today.
Tim Smith 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 has provided a wide range of expertise and resources. Tim serves as Founder and CEO for Non-Profit DNA, a boutique firm committed to helping nonprofits and churches build their capacity through fundraising, leadership, team building, staff recruiting, and coaching.