Are you prepared for the two minute warning when it comes to increasing your giving?   If you are a football fan then you know what the two minute warning is.  In professional football it is when the official stops play to tell the coach there are two minutes left in the game.  The difference between winning and losing often comes down to which team preforms the best in those last two minutes.   Winning teams have set two minute drills they run which they practice repeatedly throughout the year.

How important is the fourth quarter?  Ask the Atlanta Falcons that question!  In Super Bowl 51 the Falcons were ahead of the New England Patriots 28 to 9 at the start of the fourth quarter but lost in overtime!  They basically imploded in the fourth quarter.  Probably every member of the Falcons will think about that last quarter for the rest of their lives.

24% of a charities annual giving comes between Thanksgiving and the end of the year.

That is why end of year giving is crucial for you and your church.  What is your percentage?  It might not as high as non-profits but I would guess that a significant amount does come in the lst weeks of the year.  In my experience most churches fail to capitalize on this key period of time.

If so much potential dollars comes at the end of the year why are we not better prepared for end of year giving?  Are you right now running behind budget so that you really need a good close out to the year?  Do you have a plan to see a giving increase in those last few days of the year?

Here is my four step method towards creating your end of year appeal. 

Step One: Craft a Meaningful Message – Your appeal or “ask” must motivate people to give. So, make it about more than simply making budget.  Tell them why making budget is important. Every “ask” needs a driver.  A driver is the motivation that gets me to dip into my pocket and give you more money.  Help donors see the connection of how their gift will impact that world.  That will drive them to give.

Step Two: Construct Platforms to Support Your Message – A recent Blackbaud report on charitable giving found that successful charities use multiple channels to make their appeals. The church has for too long relied upon only one channel, the weekly offering. To create the platform of support for an effective end of year appeal you need these platforms…

  • A dynamic website that tells your story of life change!
  • Online giving – Be sure you provide multiple ways in which donors can give digitally. Mark sure your giving button is easy to find on your website.  Charis Giving Solutions
  • Direct Mail letters. Snail mail is still non-profits best means of collecting money.
  • Self-addressed postage paid envelopes. Every direct mail piece sent should have one included making it easy for donors to send back their contribution.
  • Social Media platforms – Use Social Media to tell your story asking people to support it with a direct link to your giving pages.
  • Print pieces. Think bulletin and newsletter announcements.

Step Three: Create a Plan of Action to Get Your Message Out – I always say, “get a plan and work your plan!” Planning helps us be more effective. Without plans nothing gets accomplished.  Without plans appeals appear haphazard and desperate.  I make my living designing specific plans of action for churches.  For a plan that is already done for you get my “The 2017 2 Minute Drill,” here 2 Minute Drill

 Step Four:  Celebrate!  Your donors are going to want to know, “How’d we do?” So, tell them AND remember to thank them for their generosity.  Tell them how their gift mattered and what you did with the gifts.  Why is celebration and thanks important?  You are always working to set up the next “Ask.”

Do you have your 2 Minute Drill ready and in place?  Get mine today at… 2 Minute Drill

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach