The holidays are in full swing, which means it’s the busy season for churches! But with all the Christmas commotion, don’t forget that the new year is also just around the corner and that means year-end giving statements will need to be prepped and ready to send out in January! To help you stay focused, we’ve put together 7 things every church needs to be mindful of when it comes to preparing your year-end giving statements. Be Prepared Even though you will send out Giving Statements in January to be sure you have included all gifts from each donor, that does not mean you should not be preparing for this ahead of time. You can do much of your preparation and data checking before the very busy weeks in early January, especially if you are responsible for other Year-End Procedures. Wait for Transactions to Clear You should allow time for online transactions, mailed checks, or even insufficient funds to resolve and be settled before sending out statements. This will save confusion and several phone calls once the statements are sent out. Check the Settings on your Funds It would be wise to confirm that each of your Contribution funds (giving categories) are listed correctly as tax deductible or not. To check, hover over the GEAR icon in the upper right of your ChMS screen and click on SETTINGS. From the choices along the top of that screen choose GIVING then GIVING OPTIONS AND CATEGORIES (or whatever you may have renamed these). You will see to the right of the ACTIVE CATEGORIES a column telling the Tax-Deductible status for each Category (Fund). Simply click on the gear for any Category to change this status. Personalize Your Giving Statement You have many options for the way your Giving Statement can look. There are several merge fields that you can add. Carefully read the descriptions to select the choices that fit your needs. Do you need some help or want ideas? Here is a help page with lots of great information. (There is even link at the bottom of this article to take you to information about more advanced statement design.) Resolve any Sync Errors If you have gifts coming in through our Online Giving software, it is possible that some donations were not imported to your ShelbyNext ChMS database because of a conflict with an email address, ambiguous name, or other issue. Learn here how to resolve these. Go Paper Free Save time, save paper, and save money by mass emailing your statements and letting your donors know how to get them online. Click here for more info on emailing statements. Measure Twice, Cut Once It is always good to do practice runs of your statements, especially if you have changed the layout, this is your first-time emailing statements, or anything else. Pick a sample group and run statements for that group to check for issues. It is also good to spot check the larger statement run for issues. AND AN EXTRA BONUS TIP: Be sure to thank your donors for their partnership in ministry. These are GIFTS not payments.