Without the right heart and motivation in place, what you’ll read below will come across as simple fundraising tactics. That, of course, is not the intent. Through your leadership, the full resources of your congregation will be joyfully released to fuel evangelistic and benevolent outreach worldwide. With this proper perspective in mind, here are 10 things you can do right now that will help increase giving in your church.
- Change Your Perspective
Stop feeling awkward about leading your congregation to be generous. Helping people get out of debt, save for the future and giving generously toward compelling kingdom projects is one of the many awesome things you get to do as a pastor. You can enjoy talking about money because changing financial habits transform people and families.
- Change Your Own Giving Habits
Start giving. Never lead people to do what you are not willing to do yourself. This way you will have plenty of personal stories to share when you preach about trusting God with your finances, and you will have a passion to teach others about giving in the first place. Of course, there will always be mistakes, tough patches, and the like, but make today a new day and recommit yourself to giving and watch what happens.
- Change The Ways People Can Give
Give people lots of giving options. Just under 50% of all gifts are given OUTSIDE of the offering basket in the worship service. It’s all about making giving as convenient as possible for people.
Here are five things you should put in place right now:
Offering Envelope: Self-addressed offering envelopes should be put inside every bulletin at church. On the inside flap, people can indicate to which account they would like to give – to the General Fund or Capital Campaign.
Online Giving: When you start offering online giving, amounts will increase, and remained consistent. The giving button should be placed prominently on your website’s homepage. About three times a year, you should mention the benefits of giving online – setting up recurring gifts, printing giving statements, etc. Shelby offers easy-to-use online giving.
Payroll / Employer / Bank Drafts: A significant number of our people have their giving taken out of their paychecks, or have checks dispersed from their baking accounts. Both are then automatically mailed to the church office.
Phone App: You will see increased giving through your church’s phone app. Shelby can create a beautiful, custom app for your church.
Brokerage Account: By opening a brokerage account, and publicizing it, you can start receiving gifts of stock (mostly at the end of the year).
- Change Your Stage Communications And Offering Collection Process
Be deliberate about how you communicate and collect offerings in your services. Spend a few minutes teaching stewardship before receiving an offering. Talk about how giving is an act of worship. Tell people they can give online, through the app, or in the service. Give people forty-five seconds of undistracted time (by not immediately starting a song, video, etc.) before the ushers come down the aisles. People need time to fill out a check or fill out their credit card information on the inside flap of the giving envelope.
- Change Your Staff And/or Governing Board’s Commitment To Giving
Challenge everyone on your team to give and watch what happens. Generosity begins at the bottom and moves upwards through the congregation.
- Change Your Financial Management Process
Review everything you do through the lens of trustworthiness. If you raise the trust level people have in the way their money is handled, they will naturally give more. People will give sacrificially if you continually share how you handle the three core aspects of your financial management process:
Budgeting: Your Leadership Team should set the total budget amount for the following year. The staff creates the budget, not to exceed that total. Finalize the budget. The Finance Team and Leadership Team scrutinize, then approves the budget. The total amount of what was given the previous year is what is used as the budgeted income figure for the following year. That means if $500,000 was given this year, then $500,000 will become the max spending limit for the following year’s budget.
Expenditures: Only authorize spending for things that are budgeted. Have a policy in place that lowers spending if giving decreases. A sheet of all expenses paid by your Finance Manager, led by the Executive Pastor, overseen by the Senior Pastor, is sent to your Finance Team who monitors your financial activity.
GAAP: Follow GAAP in everything – Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Two people should be with the money collected in services at all times until it is deposited into the on-site safe. Two people remove the money. Two people count the money. The part-time Finance Manager, who oversees the day-to-day processing of bills and payment, should not have the authority to sign the checks he or she writes. Members are welcome to sit down with the Executive Pastor and review all aspects of the financial process at any time.
- Change Your Easter and Christmas Eve Special Offerings
If you don’t have (or massively promote) a church-wide Easter and Christmas special offering, you are robbing your people of some really special opportunities to do something life-changing with their money. Here’s what you should do:
Pick A Compelling Need: Find a need among the international missions you support that people can rally around. Pick projects that your own people can be a part of by actually going to the mission field and building the house, or helping start the church, etc.
Set The Goal: Make it realistic, but a stretch.
Set Up Your Online Giving Web page: Six weeks before the offerings, set up the giving tab “Special Offering” in your online giving options.
Start Casting Vision Six Weeks In Advance: Progressively cast vision from the stage, in emails, and in a letter with a special envelope about why this special project is worthy of their support. Share the need and point people to the webpage where they can give.
Get Commitments From Your Staff Ahead Of Time: Have your staff make commitments two weeks before the Christmas offering. Announce it on Sunday morning.
Tell People They Can Give Anytime Leading Up To That Day: Don’t make people give on that day alone. Have them give immediately. Some people will give for 2-3 weeks afterwards as well, that’s how compelling these projects are.
Make A Special Video And/or Presentation To Show That Day: On Christmas Eve and Easter, show a specially prepared video about the need. Play that video, talk a bit about the need, then collect the offering.
Tell People Where Money Given In Excess Of The Goal Goes: If people know that money that is given beyond the offering’s goal goes straight into your Capital Campaign, they will feel good that it funds really meaningful projects as well.
Videotape And Celebrate Later In The Year: When your high-schoolers go down to Haiti (for example) and build the two homes funded by this past year’s Christmas Eve offering, you’ll show a video of what happened two weeks later. Your people will love seeing the fruit of their offerings first-hand.
- Change Your Stewardship Teaching
Change the way you preach and you’ll change the way people give. Teach on stewardship twice a year: once in November (three to four weeks) and once in June (two weeks max). Include everything that God teaches regarding financial freedom: debt, savings, as well as issues of the heart and worship.
- Change The Way You Connect Giving With Lifechange
Focus on connecting giving with changed lives and watch how that impacts your giving culture. Say things like, “I’d like to thank those of you who give on a regular basis. We had 700 middle schoolers here last night, and it was a life-changing time. You were a big part of making that happen. Thank you for your sacrifice.” Always look for ways to connect people’s giving with the fruit of their sacrifice.
- Change The Way You Talk To Leaders
When you meet with potential leaders, do you challenge them to give? Family, biblical knowledge, evangelism, relationships, sexuality, health, time, work, and money top the list. When appropriate, lovingly challenge people to get out of debt, give, and save for the future. This helps leaders move toward maturity in Christ.
Source: Senior Pastor Central
Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how contact one of our Ministry Consultants today. And don’t forget to ask about our special Digital Giving Package!