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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

Pack Some Punch into Your Year End 2013 Tax Contribution Statements

Before you mail contribution statements to your donors consider investing a few extra hours making your letter more meaningful. Here are 8 easy ideas to help you add more punch to your letter:

  1. Tell me a story – Very few people are intrigued with just financial numbers and reports. Rather, most people opening an envelope wantto hear a story. And besides, most people remember stories and are less likely to remember data. So do more with this mail piece than just delivering a standard, record- based print out.

  2. Leverage the letter – Use a cover letter as an opportunity for the pastor to retell the story of the church over the previous period, especially highlighting measurable moments of ministry impact. Then, close the letter with your vision of what God is going to do over the next year. People like to hear, and be reminded of, the “big picture” ahead.

  3. Personalize the address – People want to read something with their name on it.

  4. Give me a reason to open the envelope – Just adding: please verify our records are correct for tax purposes is better than a plain outer envelope.

  5. Design matters – People open mail that looks intriguing, not boring.

  6. Send $0 balance giving statements – More and more churches are doing this.

  7. Include a comparison to previous year giving to date – People like to keep score. Seeing one’s current year giving next to one’s previous year giving can serve as a timely reality check.
  8. Provide other options – Take a moment to remind the reader that additional giving options, such as online giving, are available.

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What else? What are other ways to make your contribution statements more attractive and meaningful?