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5 Mistakes That Will Doom Your 2018 Budget Before the Ink Dries

5 Mistakes That Will Doom Your 2018 Budget Before the Ink Dries

There are 5 mistakes that will doom your 2018 budget before the ink dries!  Right now across the country churches are starting their budget planning process.  Almost all of them are dooming that budget to failure before the ink ever dries.  There are five major mistakes most churches make when it comes to setting the budget. The five most common mistakes churches make in budget planning are… They over estimate their potential thus increasing the budget by too much. They base the budget on need not reality. They ignore trends or never are aware of them. They set it and […]

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Four Easy Ways to Improve Your Offering

Four Easy Ways to Improve Your Offering

Your church has a better chance of making budget this year if you will use these four easy ways to improve your offering.  With giving to the church declining we need to take seriously our approach to the offering.  The following four steps will help. First, Pass the plate!  If you are not passing some plate, bucket, basket or other means by which people can put money in you are losing funds.  One recent study found that churches that don’t pass the plate raise on average 15% less than churches that do pass the plate. I find it interesting that one […]

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5 Reasons Why Churches Are Struggling to Meet Their Budgets

5 Reasons Why Churches Are Struggling to Meet Their Budgets

Giving is declining and to reverse this trend you need to know the 5 reasons why churches are struggling to meet their budgets.  It is true that last year giving to religion actually increase by just over 1%.  Yet the trends overall the last twenty years shows that giving to the church as a percentage of American’s disposable incomes is dropping.  At that current rate of decline by the year 2050 Americans will only give 1% of their disposable incomes to the Church.  At that point in time hundreds and thousands of churches will go out of business.  Why is […]

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If You Want to Raise Money You Better Have a Vision!

If You Want to Raise Money You Better Have a Vision!

If you want to raise money you better have a vision!  You need a vision for each and every time you ask people to give to your church whether it is this Sunday’s offering or a special need. Good vision trumps bad economy!  I have been saying that for years now.  Even before The Great Recession I would get asked how the economy was going to effect a churches giving.  So at one point I wrote an article that had that phrase in it. Vision drives everything!  One of the three reasons people give to anything is because they believe […]

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10 Tips for Writing Better Direct Appeal Letters

10 Tips for Writing Better Direct Appeal Letters

Here are my 10 tips for writing better direct appeal letters.  Direct mail?  Why would you want in this digital age to send an appeal letter through the mail?  They work!  While online giving is steadily increasing it still represents only about 10% of all giving to charities.  The bulk of charities dollars comes through direct appeal letters.  The bulk of a churches dollars comes through the weekend offering.  Yet IF you have an effective direct appeal approach you can add to what comes in the offering plate.  Also, direct appeal letters can and will help for those times when […]

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Online Giving Grew 8% in 2016 But Don’t Forget Snail Mail!

Online Giving Grew 8% in 2016 But Don’t Forget Snail Mail!

Online giving grew 8% in 2016 but don’t forget Snail Mail!  If you have followed me for any length of time you will know that I am a huge proponent of online giving.  I believe digital giving is here to stay and the sooner we accept that the better off we will be.  Having said that let me state that online giving still only accounts for 10% of all charitable giving! What this means for you and your church is you had better not have all your eggs in one basket!  I have been preaching multiple platforms for some time. […]

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10% to 20% of Your Time Should Be Spent on Stewardship

10% to 20% of Your Time Should Be Spent on Stewardship

10% to 20% of your time every week should be spent on stewardship!  I made that comment recently on one of our Monday Morning With Mark The Stewardship Coach webinars.  I could almost hear guys falling off their chairs.  I know, on top of your busy week here I am adding more to the work load.  Yet I firmly believe that you MUST spend time in stewardship planning to be fully funded. How can you spend 10% to 20% weekly?  It is not as hard as you might think and you don’t need an alarm clock sitting on the conference […]

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Does your program REALLY work?

Does your program REALLY work?

Mark, I am very intrigued by your program.  My church has been in a giving decline for several months now!  It’s very stressful.  And I’m deeply concerned.  I really have just ONE question: Does your program REALLY work? That was a question a pastor sent me through Twitter just a few days ago.  It’s a great and fair question.  After all before you spend $365 dollars on a program, even though that is far less than others, you need to know IF it works.  How did I answer?  I gave him several quotes from real life churches that used my […]

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Who Owns Making Budget at Your Church?

Who Owns Making Budget at Your Church?

If you are going to be fully funded this year you have to answer the question of who owns making budget at your church?  This is perhaps the most crucial key towards being fully funded.  It is the difference between having the money in July for that camp or event.  It ultimately could be the difference between whether you get a raise next year or even if you get paid this year. If no one “owns” an event or task it is questionable if it will ever happen.  Owning something doesn’t mean you actually own the rights or you possess […]

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5 Steps to Use the Power of the Pulpit

5 Steps to Use the Power of the Pulpit

I want to give you 5 steps to use the power of the pulpit that WILL increase your giving!  George Barna says churches need to be “humble self-promoters” and there is no better place for that to occur than the pulpit.  The sad truth however is that many pastors never use their greatest tool, the pulpit to cultivate giving.  They incorrectly feel that any talk of money or finances will drive people away.  If you are to make it through these challenging economic times you must develop a compelling message from the pulpit or platform. Your approach on stewardship preaching Don’t […]

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Special Offer – 14 days of Giving365 for only $1.00

  Click to Get Started “As of the end of November, 2016 contributions were up 17% over the same period in 2015. We attribute much of this to your leadership!  I extol your praises, and the value of your services, at every Finance Committee meeting.”  Pastor Steve Heyduck Euless FUMC Euless, TX  “Our church, Westminster Presbyterian has been a subscriber to the Stewardship Coach for 2 years now, and Mark’s weekly insight has been instrumental in helping us increase our giving.”  Gerry McShane Church Administrator Westminster Presbyterian Church West Chester PA “Mark Brooks and Giving365 has helped me influence a […]

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