September-23_Blog

How to Nurture Active and Recurring Givers

Active and recurring givers play a huge role in funding the ministry of your church. (We’ll talk about what each of those are in a moment). Even though they may already be consistently giving to your church, you still need to nurture them as they continue their faith and giving journey.

So let’s dive into the nitty gritty of communicating with active and recurring givers. We’ll examine who fits into these categories, how often you should communicate with them, the method of communication that works best, and what to include in your communication.

Active Givers

What is an active giver?

An active giver is someone who gives sporadically. So instead of making a recurring donation for $75 every Monday, this giver might skip a month here or there, make a single donation in a month or make multiple donations within a week.

How do I communicate with active givers?

Once you’ve determined who your active givers are, you should plan to communicate with them seasonally or 4 times a year. This communication can either be an email or a mailed letter. We suggest to communicate with this giver through the medium they used to donate. So if they made a donation online or through the mobile app, send them an email. But if they gave traditionally with cash or check, send a mailed letter.

What do I include in my communication with active givers?

In your communication, encourage your active givers to set up a recurring gift. And in doing so, give them the practical and the purposeful. The practical reason for establishing a recurring gift is that it’s easy and convenient. In a few simple steps, you can set up your online giving account and all future transactions. Here, you can provide brief instructions on how to go about setting up the recurring transaction and the contact information of someone at your church that can help them if they get stuck. Next, highlight the purpose. Through a recurring transaction, givers can plan and wisely budget their gifts. Breaking tithes down to 12 times per year also empowers growth in your giving. Not to mention, giving monthly online paperlessly helps the environment and it also makes things easier by removing extra processing steps for your church that are associated with cash and check.

Remind your active givers that we automate the important. A person’s bank account shows the true desires of their heart.

Remind your active givers that we automate the important. A person’s bank account shows the true desires of their heart.

How do I disciple my active givers?

Disciple your active givers by sharing the “first fruits principle” that empowers people to give to the church first and because of this they are able to offer their best financially (Proverbs 3:9). Encourage your givers to be loyal, steadfast, and disciplined in their giving. God’s faithful to us and we’re called to be faithful to Him in return (1 Corinthians 4:2). Whether we’re in need or in plenty, giving monthly teaches us to be consistently content with what we have and are able to give (Philippians 4:11-13). Emphasis that discipline leads to delight (Hebrews 12.)

But also keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere. When you first go to the gym, you don’t squat 100 lbs right away. You first start with the 5 lb weight and work up from there. Your active givers are the same way. These donors have started “going to the gym” and have strengthened their muscles with the 5 lb weight. They’re ready to move up to squatting 20lbs and are on the way to being faithful stewards who can squat the 100lbs. Their faith and giving is maturing and will continue to strengthen with consistency and proper “form.”

A recurring gift will help take your active givers to the next step in their giving journey. In your communication, highlight the practical and spiritual benefits of a recurring transaction and how setting up one will help strengthen their stewardship.

Recurring Giver

What is a recurring giver?

A recurring giver is someone who gives on a schedule. This schedule could consist of either weekly, bi-weekly, twice a month, or monthly donations. And while it may be one of your goals to get new givers in your church, it should also be one of your main goals to transition active givers to recurring givers.

Your recurring givers get it. They understand what stewardship is and the need for it.
You won’t need to disciple them or define stewardship for them, like you have with first-time and active givers. Recurring givers are mature in their faith.

How do I communicate with my recurring givers?

Once you’ve determined who your recurring givers are, you should plan to communicate with them once a month. But with their strong maturity in faith, how do you approach communicating with these givers? You embrace the mindset: everyday giving needs every day examples.

And the best way to tackle every day examples is by including numerical values. Share with your recurring givers how their $500 monthly gift enables your church to sponsor a missionary in Africa. If your church supports a local food bank, share how many meals you were able to provide to the community with their $400 a month pledge. Or maybe you offer the ability for individuals in your church to sponsor a child to go to summer camp. Share how many children were able to attend camp because of sponsors like them and share the number of how many kids accepted salvation during camp. Or share how their weekly $250 donation contributed to completely paying off the church debt before your 2 year goal. No, their monthly donation doesn’t pay the church mortgage alone, but it does show the power of the collectivity and what you can accomplish through it. Give practical, tangible examples so these givers can see just how much life change they are able to support your church in accomplishing.

How do I challenge recurring givers?

Periodically, present your recurring givers with a challenge. For example, the “skip something to give something” challenge. Encourage givers to skip their morning latte or lunch out once a week and to instead give the money that they would have spent on something “extra” to the church. It’s a small sacrifice on their part that can make a big impact through your ministry. Again, share practical numbers with them while presenting any challenges. Let them know that by increasing their recurring gift $10 every week, 5 more meals will be able to be served through our local food bank to those in need. For the price sacrificing of one Starbucks latte, they are able to significantly impact five more people who are in need.

Emphasis that how we live impacts how we give when presenting challenges like “skip something to give something.” Small choices and purchases add up. The way a person spends money impacts their ability to give money. One directly affects the other. Teach how their lifestyle and their generosity go hand in hand (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).

It’s a small sacrifice on their part that can make a big impact through your ministry.

Conclusion

Segmenting your communication based on types of givers will help generosity thrive in your church. When you speak to each giver where they are in their specific giving journey, you can help them mature in their faith and generosity. The post is part of a multi-part blog series. Check out last week’s about following up with first-time givers and stay tuned for next week as we talk about lapsed givers.

Mikia Hundley
Creative Content Manager at

Mikia has dedicated her professional career to serving churches and ministries. She works to assist organizations in improving their communication and develops resources on leadership, generosity, and stewardship.

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