Throughout the year the church raises funds for a variety of different ministries and outreaches. As fall begins, many churches start to plan and implement a strategy for one last giving campaign before the end of the year. A year-end giving campaign can be a great way to encourage generosity the last couple months of the year, and it can be a benefit to those looking for tax-deductible donations before tax season.
Typically churches focus on a single year-end giving campaign to support a need either within the church walls or in the community. With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, it is the perfect time to begin a giving campaign. It can be a good reminder to examine and reflect on reasons we are generous, as well as look for opportunities to give, during a season marked by generosity.
It’s not too late to start promoting generosity this year. Follow these guidelines for a smooth and successful year-end giving campaign.
Start with a clear goal. Brainstorm giving ideas with your team to determine what the campaign will support: a new building project, the children’s ministry, an outreach ministry like the food pantry, a local homeless shelter, etc.
Raise awareness for your campaign. Start sending emails and letters, posting on social media, making announcements during services, and planning generosity sermons that include the current need and how the congregation can help solve this issue. Be sure it is well known where people can go to give to this campaign.
Be consistent with your messaging. Throughout November and December, be sure you are delivering consistent information and announcements about your campaign. Share stories from people who are already giving, how to give, ways people can get involved, the lives that will be changed and impacted if you reach your goal, and how your leadership is involved in giving.
After the campaign is over, don’t miss the opportunity to thank your donors and celebrate your success, even if you didn’t reach your goal. Remind the congregation how their gifts will impact the church or community, and when they can expect to start seeing results. During the next couple of weeks after its conclusion, keep the church updated with the campaign.
If you are looking to get the most out of your year-end giving campaign, see the “Year-End Giving: Playbook” provided by United Methodist Communications. This resource gives a detailed plan from start to finish, guiding you through the year-end campaign process.