It’s December and that means the end of the year is just around the corner! There are many traditions that happen each December, one of them is year-end giving. People traditionally use this time to make donations to their favorite charities, causes, and their church.
December is the largest month for giving for most churches.
Many churches see a spike in giving in December. But that spike can look very different. Churches that are intentional about how they talk about year-end giving can see 3-4 times their average monthly giving happen in December.
That’s 25% or more of their annual income received during December alone.
The giving spike in December enables them to accomplish ministry they otherwise would have to say “no” to. You can’t afford to miss the opportunity to be intentional with your people about year-end giving.
Here are 3 tips to prepare for year end giving at your church.
People Give Towards Vision
It’s tempting to assume that your people know your vision and are on-board with that vision. Pastors are often surprised when they survey their people and find that many don’t know the vision and don’t see how they are part of the vision.
Don’t ask people to give to the church. Share the vision with them and get them excited to be part of the vision and support it.
Instead of, “please consider giving a year-end gift to the church to help us meet our budget…” try something like “there are 10,000 high school students in our community. A recent survey shows that 44% of students have faced depression in the last year – that’s 4,400 high schoolers in our community. Our vision is that every high schooler in our community be loved by our church and hear the Gospel. Your giving helps us free up people and resources to reach these students…”
(Are your dollars aligned with your vision? Find out in 3 minutes with our free assessment)
People Want their Giving to Change Lives
Let’s face it, talking about money, and asking people for it, can be hard. But studies show that giving money actually triggers the brain’s dopamine-rich reward system – people get joy when they give. And people get an even stronger sense of reward when they see that their gift is changing lives.
When people understand how their money is being used to change lives, they get excited to give.
Make sure that you talk about how their gift will be used to change lives in your church, community, and around the world. Talk about ways God has used the church to change lives and paint a picture of how the church wants to continue that.
(Shepherding people to give is not just about their joy. Teaching people about giving and stewardship is an important part of discipleship. Watch our webinar on Cultivating Generosity the learn more.)
People Don’t Know Your Church Needs Their Money
People often assume that their church is funded from the outside – through denominations or organizations that grant the church money, or through a few wealthy individuals that support churches in their communities.
What they don’t realize is that churches are primarily supported from the inside. The design of the church is to fund its ministry through the people involved in the ministry, but also to support ministry beyond the church (through sending church plants, supporting missionaries, funding local organizations, etc).
To do that, everyone involved at the church needs to understand that each person is called to that church for a specific reason. Part of that is to steward the resources God has entrusted them to support the church. If they don’t give, the church is missing key resources that God wants to use to fulfill His mission for the church.
(If you have trouble talking to your people about giving and stewardship, watch our webinar on Cultivating Generosity the learn more.)
These tips aren’t hard, but they take work and intentionality. But pastors who put in the effort in see giving increase and be able to fund further ministry next year.
While it’s important to take action with this today, these tips are things you need to be doing year-round to shepherd your people. The best time to start these was yesterday. The next best time is today.