Has your church participated in Giving Tuesday? Whether you participate every year or you’ve never even heard of it, it could be a valuable opportunity for your church and your community.
So, how do you get the most out of it? We want to share with you 5 ways you can increase Giving Tuesday engagement in your congregation to see bigger results. But, first, let’s make sure we’re on the same page for what Giving Tuesday is and why your church should participate.
What is Giving Tuesday? And why should I participate in Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday happens each year on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which means Giving Tuesday is on December 1 this year. It was created to be “a day that encourages people to do good.”* And the best part is, any organization is welcome to participate in Giving Tuesday.
According to Giving Tuesday’s official website, $511,000,000 was raised solely through online participation and $1,970,000,000 was raised through online and offline donations in 2019.* That’s a lot of money that can do a lot of good in our communities and the world.
Let’s think about it. People are buying most of their Christmas gifts during this time. From Black Friday to Small Business Saturday to Cyber Monday, there’s lots of spending going on. So, why not provide your church with an opportunity to take a break from the spending and give? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with spoiling your friends and loved ones with Christmas gifts. But what if we, as The Church, made it our mission to do something more during the holiday spending rush?
Giving Tuesday provides you with a way to encourage thoughtful giving in a season where it can easily fall by the wayside. It’s an opportunity to refocus people away from the commercial side of Christmas. It’s a time to bring churches and organizations together to support a cause.
Let’s look at 5 ways you can the most out of it.
1. Connect Giving Tuesday to a Specific Need or Cause in your Church
Share a specific need and goal with your church. This could be a goal that every attendee donates a small amount (say $10) on Giving Tuesday to the church. Let your givers know where they should give. This could be to the General Offering or a Donation Category within SecureGive dedicated to a specific fund. This is a great way to raise money to launch a new campus, pay off church debt, or support your Christmas initiative.
Here’s the key: make it specific. Let your congregation know that every dollar they give is going to a specific need or cause that will make a difference. Giving usually means making a sacrifice and people want to know that their sacrifice is worth it.
On Giving Tuesday, update your givers on social media as you reach your set goal. Share stories, images, and posts throughout the day updating your attendees about your progress. This will not only be a fun activity for your church to follow along with but it will be a great reminder to give and an easy way to encourage participation.
2. Partner with Community or Parachurch Organizations
Part of doing ministry is finding needs and meeting those needs. Take a close look at what’s going on in your community. Who needs your help? Maybe your local blood bank is running low on supplies. Host a blood drive at the church on Giving Tuesday to reduce the shortage.
All of our communities have organizations that are working hard to help people. For many of these organizations, the needs they meet continually rise throughout the holidays. This is a perfect opportunity to restock their shelves and provide more resources that they can in turn send out.
3. Provide a Simple, Tangible Way for People to Give
Consider giving your church a challenge for the day, like “skip something, give something.” Tell your givers to skip their $10 drive thru meal from Chick-fil-a to give $10 to your designated fund (whether that’s directly to the church, a specific fund, or a community partnership) instead.
Share numbers with them. Let your givers know that through their $10 gift 5 people are fed that night with a hot plate. Or that with their collective $5 contributions, your church is able to purchase 100 coats for the homeless. Or that with their collective $15 gifts, you’re able to pay cash to put a new roof on the church building.
4. Provide Non-Financial Opportunities
Not everyone has resources to give a lot financially, but everyone has something they can give (time, talents, etc). With this in mind, consider offering a non-monetary way to participate in Giving Tuesday.
Evaluate the needs in your local community. Consider partnering with a dream center, homeless shelter, or food bank in your community to offer volunteer opportunities. Or, seek out the needs of individuals in your community. There are likely countless wheelchair ramps that need to be built, yards that need to be landscaped, and houses that need to be painted. Chances are, you have people in your church well equipped with the skills to make a huge impact in your community.
You can also encourage your givers to volunteer directly at the church. Consider creating prayer teams to pray over requests, have groups that can help write “thinking of you” letters to elderly members, have a group that paints rooms in the church, or one that gets arts and crafts ready for children’s church this Sunday.
5. Set a Participation Goal Instead of Monetary Goal
Make it a goal for every person in the church to participate in some way (giving, volunteering, etc) instead of setting a dollar amount as your goal. This will build a sense of community and make your givers feel like they are a part of something big. This also shows that when The Church comes together, lots of little things add up to being able to do big things.
Just like the story in Matthew, God can multiply our small gifts in the same way He multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish to feed the multitude. Even though you’re asking your church for a small gift, God can accomplish great things through it. When you do this, you’ll see that a church that mobilizes everyone will always be able to accomplish a lot more than a church that relies on a few generous donors.
Giving Tuesday is a great way to remind people what the Christmas season is all about. It’s not just about gifts and decorations, it’s a time to reflect and be generous. No matter what goal you set out to accomplish, be specific. Provide ways for people from all backgrounds and financial situations to get involved. Join with thousands of other organizations and see generosity flourish on Giving Tuesday.
If you’re looking for other ways to maximize this Christmas season and end 2020 financially strong, we’ve got a few other great resources for you. Find your free Guide to End of Year Giving and a free Christmas sermon series here.
* Information from the official Giving Tuesday website, https://www.givingtuesday.org/5 Ways to get the most out of giving tuesday