“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Romans 12:4-8 (NLT)
When joining the church, you agree to give your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. As the body of Christ, we all have different talents, assets, and gifts which enable us to work together to form the church into the likeness of Christ.
Just as each member is important in the body of Christ, so is the encouragement, recognition, and thanks given by the church and leadership to those helping and using their gifts. As a volunteer, it can be easy to get overworked and to feel unappreciated. Even though we do not desire praise nor do we volunteer to be honored, a simple word of encouragement and acknowledgment makes a world of difference.
In the same way, when a donor gives to the church, over and above the tithe that God requires, it is important to recognize and show appreciation for the gift. A donor carefully plans and decides to pick the church as the recipient of their gift, and often makes the gift in honor of someone they love or to a specific ministry they are passionate about. Thanking donors for each gift is an important part of the church’s stewardship, showing appreciation for both the donor and the gift. Donors who feel appreciated are usually inclined to share their positive experience with others and are more likely to become repeat donors.
Practical tips for saying thank you:
- Send a personalized, handwritten note. Be sure to thank the donor, recognize what ministry they are making the donation to, and/or recognize who they are making the donation in memory or honor of.
- Send e-mail updates to donors and potential donors. Tell donors how the church is using their gifts, the impact their gift is making within the church and community, and how their gift is going to be used in the future. This can also be used as a platform to ask donors to give again by including a “give” link.
- Have an event once a year to celebrate donors and/or the programs donors have started and are supporting. This could be one Sunday each year where the main focus is celebrating growth in the church, donors, and accepting new gifts. Use this as a chance to let donors speak about their experience and share why others should give. The testimony from another donor makes the biggest impact.
For more ideas on thanking donors, visit Developing a Thank You System for Your Church