Every church will send out a 2019 contribution statement, but many will miss an opportunity to leverage it to increase giving in 2020. Before you mail a year-end giving statement to your givers, consider investing a few extra hours to create a personal letter more meaningful and effective. With the use of a simple mail merge, this can be a simple process.
"...your end-of-year statement letters can be an opportunity to influence the future..."
Ask yourself these questions as you draft your letters:
1. Does your year-end letter communicate your sincere gratitude?
While your year-end statement is used for tax purposes, it’s still being read by people who have chosen to give their hard-earned money to your organization. So take a quick second to express your gratitude.
PRO TIP: Your gratitude is even more impactful when the letter is from the pastor and not ‘from the church.’
2. Does your year-end letter celebrate generosity?
Use the statement as an opportunity to remind people how their gifts help achieve that vision. Their generosity got your church to where it is today – and wherever it goes tomorrow. This letter is an opportunity for the pastor to retell the story of the church over the past year, highlighting measurable moments of ministry impact.
PRO TIP: Celebrate what you want repeated! Not only have people given their money and tithes, but also their time and talents. Be sure you take an opportunity to communicate what you value so that these things will be repeated!
3. Does your year-end letter cast vision of the future?
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. Engaging the hearts of your donors will not only align them to the mission of your church, but it will foster their passion for giving while reaffirming their belief that giving to your church is an investment in ministry.
4. Did you personalize the address?
People want to read something with their name on it. Make sure you personalize each and every address you send. This is why we suggest using a mail merge.
"...it will foster their passion for giving while reaffirming their belief that giving to your church is an investment in ministry. ..."
When people are excited about what their church is accomplishing, they’ll become involved in what’s happening – and want to become part of something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s an incredible opportunity to reignite the passion and faith that inspired your congregants’ generosity in the first place.
End-of-year financial statements are a legally obligatory correspondence – one they have to read and keep for filing taxes – that can be turned into a means of thanking them for their sacrificial giving. You have a captive audience – use it to express your deepest gratitude to those who have stood beside you in faith all year long.