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Increase Church Giving By Saying Thank You

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Published on May 24, 2012

http://thecharisgroup.org/2012/05/31/...

Churches are sometimes their own worst enemies when it comes to raising funds. The list of things they do wrong could fill book after book. There are at least two major mistakes they make that I want to point out in this post in hopes that you and your church will avoid them. Making these mistakes can and will cost you thousands of dollars in support.

Not long ago I did a webinar for Urban Awareness USA on giving. In one of the segments I talk about the importance of saying thank you.

Here are the two major mistakes with regards to saying thank you that you need to be aware of and avoid...

Deadly Mistake Number One: Taking donors for granted. Too many churches just assume that members will give. Of course your members are suppose to give. Of course it is a biblical requirement. Of course it is our obligation. You however should not take that for granted.

Thirty six years ago my wife married me. She loves me, faults, there are many, and all. As Christians we understand that we are obligated to love one another. Yet it would be a tragic mistake if I did not continually tell her I loved her and worked to show her by my actions that I love her. I assume she loves me. I will never take her love for granted.

When I was a Senior Pastor I had a man come to see me to explain why he and his wife were leaving our church. He had come to know Christ while listening to me preach one Sunday. I was stunned. His reasoning further stunned me when he said, "You never tell this congregation that you love us." Of course I loved them! I had however made a cardinal error. I had assumed that they knew I loved them. Assumption is a nasty disease that will hurt you.

Lesson Number One: Don't take your members donations for granted!

Deadly Mistake Number Two: Never saying thank you. Have you ever held a door open for someone and they never thanked you but simply breezed through like that was what you were suppose to do? How did it make you feel? It probably caused you to be slightly indignant. It might have even made you question ever holding open another door. If you never acknowledge the donations made by your members you give them the same mis-givings. Never saying thank you is much akin to taking donors for granted. Together they can combine to make a one two knock out punch to your ministry.

The other day I read a fundraising blog that gave the advice of personally writing to top donors. They talked about how in this rush to use technology that sometimes a personal touch can go a long ways. I have to confess that I do so much on a computer that I can hardly write by hand! However think about it. Do you still go to the mail box daily in hopes of something other than bills? How would your donors respond to a thank you note written by you? While you might not be able to do that for all your donors should you not find some way of saying thank you?

Think again about my illustration of opening the door for someone. When a person smiles at you and thanks you for your kindness how does that make you feel? It makes you feel like doing it again and again. So, why would it be any different to do this for your donors? You should develop multiple ways to thank your donors both publicly and privately. It could mean in the end thousands of dollars to your ministry.

Lesson Number Two: Continually thank your donors!

I wonder how many gifts are lost because we take for granted that people will give and then when they do give we never say thank you? Don't make these mistakes in your ministry.

Here are some practical steps you can take this week to say thank you to your donors. Write a personal note to your most significant donors simply saying thank you. Consider sending a small book as a token of appreciation. You might sign the copy with a word of thanks for their support. Make sure in all your giving statements to all donors you express thanks for their gift no matter how small it is. When significant gifts come in write a personalized note expressing thanks for what their gift means for accomplishing ministry. Periodically during the offering spend time telling what gifts to your church accomplish and thank those that give.

Don't take your donors for granted! By taking the time to say thank you you increase the chances of raising the funds you need for ministry.

Mark Brooks
Founder and President
The Charis Group

http://thecharisgroup.org - Increase giving in your church with help from the Charis Group and Mark Brooks. 1.800.750.7095

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