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Accelerate your generosity culture

This guide serves as a pathway to design and implement an excellent year-end giving campaign that will leave you excited and prepared.

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"While 2018 might continue with an increased amount of appreciated assets, we have no certainty that the markets and economic currents will remain positive."

"Taking what is normally a mundane administrative function and turning it into a powerful pastoral moment can not only grow your relationship with your giving community, but can position your church giving in a robust financial reality for all of 2018.”"


Year-End Giving Guide 2017

Accelerate your church's generosity culture

As the high temperatures and hurricanes begin to fade into back-to-school routines, changing leaves, and football games, you may be feeling like you can take a breath after summer. The truth is, we're moving closer to the end of the year. Retail stores are already gearing up for Christmas, and now is the perfect time to plan your end-of-year giving project.

For many church leaders, this time of the year can be filled with anxiety . Time to make budget is running out. The year- end excitement is replaced with last-minute angst.

It doesn't have to be that way.

What if there was a way to engage and excite your congregation, while accelerating your giving and improving your church’s overall generosity culture?

This guide serves as a pathway to design and implement an excellent year-end giving project. The steps included on the pages that follow will help you move into the year-end giving season with confidence and effectively expand your church's culture of generosity.

Year-end giving is an important part of an overall stewardship strategy. Taking advantage of this natural on-ramp to giving provides the opportunity for you to highlight your vision, celebrate your church’s generosity, and add crucial financial resources allowing you to expand your God-inspired vision.

Chapter 1

Assumptions and Opportunities

execute an effective year-end giving strategy

Givers will assume the church has no financial need if there is no clear and intentional communication regarding a special year-end giving opportunity. However, if you communicate appropriately and unapologetically, the church then becomes a viable year-end giving option in the mind of the donor

A special year-end project provides a unique opportunity in the life of the church to highlight the value of generosity. If a year-end project is employed on a consistent annual basis, the church’s giver base will begin to reserve a much larger percentage of their year-end giving for the church.

For a small percentage a significant amount of income is tied to year-end bonuses and profit sharing. Like what you're reading? Take it with you. People often treat giving from this additional income as free agent giving. In other words, they see this as opportunity to give to an organization or cause outside of their normal giving patterns. Providing the opportunity for special year-end giving gives you the chance to both teach about giving and to direct resources to the church’s mission.

2017 economic conditions are much more positive than 2016. For the small percentage of people who give for tax advantages, this year has much greater potential...

Chapter 2


plan with care and execute with excellence

It normalizes the giving conversation.

Most churches are very reluctant to talk about money. By avoiding this conversation, churches are actually ensuring a negative outcome when it comes to generosity, and limiting the natural opportunity for spiritual growth. When church leaders allow people to separate, in their minds, faith and finances, they effectively dismiss matters of finance from their spiritual lives. Silence is a bad option.

It provides an opportunity to talk about vision and mission.

Givers in your church constantly look at the church and wonder where and how they fit in. An annual vision weekend or generosity series rarely creates any long-term traction in the lives of your donor base. Givers want to play a part in the larger story. It is critical that you take every possible opportunity to discuss, in a meaningful way, the church’s mission and vision and the role finances play in supporting the ongoing ministry of the church.

It prompts spiritual growth.

The intersection of faith and finances creates the opportunity for more individual spiritual growth than any other option. As a person’s finances finds alignment with his or her faith, huge leaps of spiritual growth take place

Holiday giving is a great opportunity for someone to give for the first time.

If your church is attracting new people, presenting this year- end project in a compelling and creative way will encourage their giving sooner rather than later. If your church is like most, 50% or more of your regular members and attenders give nothing or close to nothing. An exciting and well-presented year-end initiative can help change that. A person must give a first gift in order to become a regular investor in the ministry of your church.

It gives leadership practice talking about the church's finances.

This type of project is a catalyst for an easy-to-understand conversation about the value and impact of generosity. It is a very natural on-ramp to giving and provides a great opportunity for your church’s members and attenders to invest in the mission and vision of the church. Year-end projects can serve as the perfect laboratory, giving you and your leadership a very safe and low-risk platform to communicate mission and vision and to challenge people to get involved...

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