1-10 Blog

Making the Most Of Giving Statements

January is a major month for churches and nonprofits to develop and send out giving statements. A top priority within the new year, giving statements are financial records provided to donors who gave within the previous year.

But what if we told you that giving statements can be so much more than a charitable record for tax purposes? What if a team of multiple staff members from your organization (people from leadership, communications, and finance) created a compelling piece that tackled so much more than the “basics”?

The truth is you can produce a giving statement that makes an impact on donors. Afterall, this is one of the few times throughout the year that you will have the attention of ALL of your donors. Use your giving statements as a tool for further discipleship and engagement.

How? By including a message with your giving statement. If you send giving statements digitally, consider including this message as text with the email or as an attached PDF. If you send giving statements in the mail, print a small insert to go along with it.

Here are 5 elements to include in your message to enhance your giving statement:

1. Connect donors to the heartbeat of your church or nonprofit.

Your organization’s giving statement is a great place to highlight your core values and mission.

Reinforce what makes your organization unique. This could be through a slogan, tagline, or sentence that is commonly used. In a local church, it could also be a couple of sentences highlighting your discipleship pathway. Whatever you choose, make sure that somewhere in this piece, the heartbeat of your organization is clearly captured.

This reminds donors of the “why” behind the “what”. It creates confidence in their involvement and investment.

Here’s an example of how to include this in your messaging:

“We believe that being part of a local church is a great blessing. This is more about partnership than privilege. Our church is a movement of truth, love, and community. As a partner, thank you for faithfully giving to (insert church name). Because you give, (insert mission statement).”

2. Invite donors to an upcoming opportunity.

Your giving statement is a great way to share upcoming events and opportunities.

Whether your organization is hosting an event, launching a group, or needs new volunteers, utilize the giving statement as a method for mobilizing people to engage and live out your mission. Consider using the model “pray, promote, and/or participate” when you present opportunities.

Here’s an example of how to include this in your messaging:

“We’ve got exciting opportunities for you!

Pray: We’re believing God for so much MORE in 2022. Join us for a zoom prayer call on (insert date) at (insert time). CLICK HERE

Promote: We are launching a new campaign to increase awareness about the foster care crisis. Will you share this link (insert link) on social media?

Participate: Our organization is praying for 50 new volunteers by the end of March. If you’ve never volunteered at our facility before, would you be one of them? SIGN UP NOW”

3. Teach what the bible says about generosity.

Your giving statement can and should be a teaching moment. Reinforce what your church or nonprofit believes on the topic of money through God’s word.

Sharing scripture or a biblical concept is an important way to disciple donors who are entrusted under your leadership. Believe it or not, your donors want to be discipled. They desire to understand the value of generosity and what the Bible teaches.

As you empower generosity, this is a great way to remind people not to simply take your word for it that giving is important and should be prioritized. Rather, they should take God’s word for it!

Here’s an example of how to include this in your messaging:

“Proverbs 11:25 says ‘A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.’ In other words, as we are faithful to give the money that God has ultimately given to us, we will personally be revived, filled with joy, and given more opportunities to give! The world of the generous grows larger and larger for God’s glory!”

4. Briefly and clearly share your 2022 vision.

Vision is vital. The Bible tells us where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).

People need vision. It keeps us moving with clarity in a certain direction toward a certain outcome.

A donor’s level of investment and involvement within your organization hinges on your ability to communicate vision effectively and clearly. Why? Because people get behind people they trust, and a vision that they know they can ultimately achieve with you. People want to make a difference, and want to know that their giving has greater impact.

Leaders know that vision is important to have, and yet vision can be so hard to communicate in a way that everyone can hear. As you and your leadership team refine your organization’s vision in 2022, be sure to clearly and briefly share your vision on a regular basis.

Here’s an example of how to include this in your messaging:

“We are moving our vision forward. God wants us to expand the reach of our organization and grow His Kingdom in 2022 by focusing on key partnerships within our local community! We want to see real, tangible and physical needs met, but through a Gospel lens. We plan to meet the spiritual need alongside every outreach opportunity we get. This will take an army of faithful givers and volunteers to expand our reach. Thank you for the ways you continue to give and serve. We believe there is MORE in 2022 (Ephesians 3:14-21)!”

5. Invite donors to participate in your vision financially.

Once you’ve clearly articulated your organization’s vision, don’t be afraid to make an ask associated with supporting that vision financially.

Too often, I see leaders hold back. They are not afraid to present the needs, and they are not afraid to share the impact their organization is having in their communities. But, they hesitate to ask people repetitively for financial gifts.

Don’t assume people know when to give, or what to give, or why to give. And, don’t assume people know to give when you present a need. You need to directly ask.

You may feel like the amount that you’re communicating is too pushy or too much, but when you feel like you are over communicating, you are probably communicating just enough.

In your giving statement, repeat the importance of faithful, consistent giving. Guide your donors to set up an online giving account and help them establish an ongoing gift through that account. If they already have one, encourage them to reevaluate their giving and to take a step in faith and increase their monthly giving as the Lord leads.

Here’s an example of how to include this in your messaging:

“Thank you for faithfully giving to (insert organization’s name). Your ongoing financial gifts allow us to provide ongoing support to (share the need you are meeting). Without your partnership, we would not be able to continue to fulfill and even expand our mission! As we continue to expand (insert a particular need), would you prayerfully consider giving a little extra each month? When you give $____ per month, we can feed _____ people.”

 

Everyone needs a giving statement for charitable tax purposes, so make the most of this moment. Whether donors glance at the statement or read it line by line, your giving statement is a rare moment when you have the eyes of ALL givers at the same time. Leverage this opportunity and make a meaningful impression going into 2022. “Wow” your donors by going beyond what they expect or imagine.

Lauren France
Director of Stewardship at | lauren@securegive.com

In her role overseeing stewardship at SecureGive, Lauren equips local churches to effectively communicate generosity and grow giving through discipleship. She coaches ministry staff, writes content, and develops resources that help churches create a culture of generosity for sustainable and lasting financial health. Prior to SecureGive, Lauren served within a multisite church stewardship ministry engaging 10,000+ people and worked 5+ years in nonprofit development.

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