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Sanford Levings

"Hi, I’m Sanford Levings, President of MinistryCFO and author of this blog. The purpose of our blog is to share with you information and insights that we gather from working with and listening to our clients and partners, located throughout the country." read more

12 Channels in which to Communicate Giving

It’s About Moving the Giving Challenge to a Conversation

3 to 1 to many

One of our goals at MinistryCFO is to help steer our clients away from making earnest pleas for financial support and toward making the concept of giving part of the daily conversation.

We believe that the more communication avenues you use, then the greater the awareness, and thus, the greater the conversation.

Here are 12 mediums in which to communicate giving. Find those mediums that you are underutilizing and start putting them to work for your church.

  1. VideoMost churches have one or more video screens, and yet fail to use this great technology tool to communicate the impact of giving. For instance: consider videoing personal testimonials and then delivering these compelling stories on the screen. The audience is always rocked by personal testimonies. And then follow the testimonial by saying: once again, we just want to remind you that your giving is making a difference in the live of those in our community.

Consider videoing mission trips, high school trips and financial education classes. Tell personal stories from these activities and, again, always close by saying: once again, we just want to remind you that your giving is making a difference in the lives of those in our community.

People will never tire of hearing the stories of life’s being changed.

  1. Hard Copy – Perhaps, the most common use of hard copy today is sending out tax donation letters. So many times, we see nothing on the back of the tax donation letters. Why not put a picture on the back of the letter and relate a personal story to the picture! And again, don’t forget to say: once again, we just want to remind you that your giving is making a difference.

  2. Sermon Series – Consider delivering an annual sermon series on stewardship. The series can be a three, or four part series on stewardship and have only one of the series discussing the principle of tithing.

  3. Story Telling @ Various Venues  – Tell stories at as many venues as possible. Begin each board meeting, church cookout, and event with a story. People remember stories much better than data. People identify with stories, i.e., they see themselves in these stories.

  4. Thank You Letter to First-Time Donors – Develop a thank you letter system for first time donors. If you don’t develop a sound system, then you are going to fail to thank each new donor. On the back of the letter, place a photograph at the top and relate a personal story to the photograph. This way, you are utilizing both sides of the paper!

  5. Train Leaders – Train leaders in the church on how to discuss the principles of giving to others in the church. If your church model is centered around community groups, then train all the community group leaders, at one time, on how to communicate giving to their groups. Similarly, if you church model is centered around adult Sunday school, then have train the leaders of these classes on how to communicate giving to their attendees.

  6. Demonstrations – Consider demonstrating online giving during the offering time. It takes maybe a minute to make a gift online, so why not show your congregation how to make an online donation. Better yet, show you congregation how to make a recurring online donation and tell you congregation why recurring online donations really helps your church in budgeting ahead.
  7. Donor Dinners – Consider holding a donor dinner for all of your monthly tithers. And yes, bring one or two new believers who can’t wait to tell their story of their new found hope and belief. End the dinner by giving them a heart-felt thank you for their long-standing support to the church.

Consider holding a donor dinner for all of those attendees who give only marginally. And yes again, bring one or two new believers to tell their story. Consider encouraging the audience to taking a financial stewardship class that you will soon be offering because many of the small donors may not have the financial margin in their life to give more to the church.

  1. One-on-One Conversations – Sometimes, for various reasons, you have to have that the one-on-one conversation with a particular donor. It should never be difficult at all, particularly if you are equipped in how to present yourself and your message to the particular donor. Download here if you would like to receive more information on how to make the one-on-one presentation.

  2. Electronic Publishing – Remember all these personal stories that we keep pushing? Simply convert them from print to electronic newsletters.

  3. Conversation: Small Audience – Don’t pass on the opportunity when you are speaking to just the leaders of your church. This is an opportune time for you to simply thank them for their financial generosity. Again, try to attach a story to the thank you message. Thanking the leaders of one’s church is so often overlooked.

  4. Conversation: Large Audience – Oftentimes, the giving conversation with a larger audience will be quite different than the giving conversation with a smaller audience. But remember, the giving conversation does not need to happen only during the worship service. Share a story and a thank you before every event and gathering.

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What else? Do any more channels come to mind that we missed? Can you add more to any of the channels we provided?