This Easter, several members and visitors who don’t regularly attend services, will be present (virtually or in-person). Aside from strengthening your community, the increase in attendance gives you a chance to increase tithes and offerings. But asking for gifts, especially on Easter, can be uncomfortable for pastors and clergy. That’s why we’ve included six simple guidelines along with our Easter Giving Kit to help you increase tithes and offerings for Easter Sunday. This Easter Giving Kit includes…
As a pastor, clergy or church leader, you’re called to share the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. But church leaders have other responsibilities as well – asking for tithes and offerings. These connected, but different, missions can create uneasiness when it’s time to care for the financial stewardship of the church.
So, when it comes to asking for gifts, don’t be afraid to ask. Your members and visitors know the great work your church does, and they value it. That’s why when you ask for the tithes and offerings necessary for the church to continue its mission, they likely won’t be put off.
Your members and visitors will understand and welcome your request for tithes and offerings, but you’ll have to do more to inspire them to give. After working with tens of thousands of churches over two decades, one of the biggest mistakes Vanco sees churches make is forgetting to share the good that came from their members’ gifts.
Remember, givers are overwhelmed with calls to donate every day. And, though they would like to give to many causes, they simply don’t have the resources to donate to each one. That’s why churches need to share the good they do. And, when it comes to sharing, it’s much better to show than to tell.
Don’t just tell your congregation about the amount of money you raised or the number of volunteers that participated in a fundraiser. Tell a story of how your church’s action helped a local student attend college, or how volunteers and dollars ensured local children had backpacks for school.
These human elements give members the feeling they’re contributing to something significant with their tithes and offerings.
We all know that when we receive a gift of any kind, we should express our gratitude. So, when members and visitors volunteer to help with fundraising or offer money, it’s important to give thanks. Don’t simply rely on a collective thank you announced to the entire congregation from the pulpit. Go the extra distance. Provide handwritten thank you notes or cards to your volunteers and donors. Or, be creative with your thanks. For instance, you could show a video of your clergy expressing thanks and calling out members by name. Whatever you do, make it personal and always show them the good their donations helped achieve.
At Vanco, we’ve seen the trend of churches growing giving by offering simplified giving methods that use electronic methods rather than paper. In fact, we found 90% of Vanco clients that are growing donations by more than 10% year-over-year also offer members and visitors the option to give by credit or debit card (See the rest of our data in our Churchgoer Giving Study). Churches that use these eGiving tools are well prepared to accept gifts during holiday attendance increases.
Giving works the other way, too. Having a method for people to give online with a text or on a mobile app makes giving simple for attendees who feel passionately about your church’s mission but find themselves unable to attend due to distance or time constraints.
According to a Pew Research Center report, Google searches for the word “church” spike during the Easter season. This is because there are a number of infrequent churchgoers. These people may have attended your church in the past and are refreshing their memories on the times of your Sunday services. Or, they may be individuals who have never attended before.
Whatever the case, these folks offer your church the chance to grow its membership. That’s why when new guests attend during the season of Lent up through Easter Sunday, your church needs to make them feel welcome.
One technique churches use to greet members and visitors is a welcome form (here’s a good example). These forms usually provide a short welcome message and fields for churchgoers to enter their name, address, phone number, membership status, if they desire a call from the pastor and if the church can help in the attendee’s spiritual journey.
By passing these booklets, forms or cards around during the offering, churches can better serve visitors, occasional guests and members by quickly responding to them when they are in need.
No matter what information you gather with your form, follow up on newcomer visits with a call, letter or email message quickly.