The number of new donors is one of the most important giving metrics churches should be watching. You can gain significant insight from that information.
If your church is seeing an increasing number of people giving for the first time, this shows your engagement is growing and you’re likely doing a good job communicating about giving. Conversely, if you’re not seeing many people give for the first time, there’s a good chance either your church growth is stagnant or people are attending the church but not being disciplined in the area of giving.
In either situation, just knowing how many new donors have given to your church is not enough. You need to know who each person is, how to contact them, and how much they gave. But why is this information so important? Here are three ways to leverage this information to increase generosity in your church.
1. Follow-Up with New Givers
Following up with your church’s new donors is crucial. When someone gives to your church for the first time, they should immediately get an email receipt thanking them for their gift. If your automatic email receipts do not include a “thank you” for giving, they should. In SecureGive you can easily customize the text in your email receipts. If your church uses SecureGive and you’re not sure how to do this, our team is alway here to help. If you’re not using SecureGive and you don’t have the ability to customize your email receipts, our team would love to show you how SecureGive can help your church.
However, an email receipt alone is not enough. Send additional follow up with your first-time donors within the first few weeks of their gift. In this correspondence, thank them again for giving. Their giving is bigger than just a donation. It’s making a ministry impact. So, next make sure to tie their generosity back to the mission and vision of your church.
Their giving is bigger than just a donation. It’s making a ministry impact. So, next make sure to tie their generosity back to the mission and vision of your church.
Finally, highlight that God cares about the heart, not amount. Jesus valued the few coins of the poor widow above the extravagant gifts of the rich. This is a critical time to remind your new donors that giving is an expression of our heart rather than a transaction.
Here is an example of what to communicate in this follow-up communication with new donors:
Dear [Insert First Name],
Thanks so much for giving to the ministries at [Insert church name] for the first time. As a church family, we find and meet the needs all around us. When you give, you help to meet specific needs.
[Insert 2-3 examples of ministry impact here impact here] These are just some of the ways your giving accelerates the vision God has given [insert church name].
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).” Our lives are most meaningful when we use what God has given to us, including our time and finances, to bless those in need. We are blessed to be a blessing.
One of the most practical ways we live out our faith is through giving. We’ve made it as easy as possible to give on a regular basis. You can even automate it by creating a recurring gift. CLICK HERE [insert your church’s giving URL Link] to set up an ongoing gift in less than a minute.
As you give, lean in. Pray and ask God what you are to do and ask Him for the faith to follow through. If you have questions or need any help, don’t hesitate to reach out. Thank you again!
Excited for Our Legacy,
[Insert Pastor’s Name]
[Insert an email address]
Not every church staff team will have the bandwidth to create a weekly process for emailing or texting new donors. In this case, we recommend creating a process that empowers your church staff to engage this group monthly.
For example, place an automated reminder on your calendar for the first Monday of each month to thank last month’s new donors. Follow-up communication with your new donors is vital to growing generosity and increasing discipleship.
With SecureGive’s New Donor metrics, you have first-time donor information at your fingertips, enabling fast follow-up. If you’re not sure how to find this information on SecureGive, we’ll cover that a little further down.
2. Identify Giving Capacity
While God cares more about the heart of the giver over the amount of the gift, identifying the giving capacity of new donors can be helpful for a couple of reasons.
First, the amount of the gift may reflect their level of confidence within your church. When a new donor gives a large gift to your church, they are communicating that they are deeply invested in the impact that your church is making. They are also communicating that they trust your church’s leadership and understand the vision. This donor wants to play a role in furthering the mission. Continue to engage them and share ministry impact on a regular basis.
They are also communicating that they trust your church’s leadership and understand the vision.
Second, when you identify giving capacity early on, you may identify those who have the spiritual gift of giving more quickly. Believers are given different spiritual gifts for the building up of the Church. There are people in your congregation that have the spiritual gift of giving, and they are called to give generously (Romans 12:8).
Of course a large monetary amount does not automatically mean this spiritual gift is present (this gift can be present in people who have less and therefore give less). However, identifying their giving capacity early on will allow you to engage this new donor in a deeper discussion and discipleship. You’ll be able to determine if they have the desire to give above and beyond the tithe. If they do, you can engage them with additional giving opportunities.
You may feel uncomfortable with the idea of identifying and nurturing these unique givers. That’s understandable. But don’t shy away. This is a group within your church that may need to be encouraged to step into their spiritual gifting just like anyone else. Just keep it simple. Maintain transparency and integrity. And remember the goal is to build disciples that fully fund ministry.
3. Convert New Donors to Recurring Donors
If you want to build disciples that fully fund ministry, you have to help new donors take the step to becoming recurring donors.
A recurring donor is someone who sets up an automated, ongoing gift. With SecureGive this can be set up to happen on a monthly, bimonthly, biweekly, or weekly basis. When people in your church create recurring gifts, their giving becomes consistent and they’re likely to give more overall. Recurring giving is vital to the stability and health of your ministry.
The key to converting a new donor as quickly as possible? Engage them and follow up. Never underestimate the power of consistent communication. Your initial communication (like the new donor follow-up email we outlined above) should always thank them for giving, tie their generosity back to the church’s mission and vision, teach a biblical principle, and provide information on how to set up a recurring donation.
SecureGive studies have revealed time and again that churches who communicate immediately and consistently with new donors on how to set up a recurring donation will see them convert much faster to recurring donors.
SecureGive studies have revealed time and again that churches who communicate immediately and consistently with new donors on how to set up a recurring donation will see them convert much faster to recurring donors. Oftentimes in 30 days or less. If they do not communicate, it takes on average 60-75 days for them to convert.
With the right information at your fingertips, you can nurture these newly engaged churchgoers and lead them into continued generosity.
How do you access this information in SecureGive?
Now that you know the importance of New Donor metrics and what to do with the information, how do you find it? If your church uses SecureGive, it’s incredibly easy. In fact, it’s three steps that take a few seconds:
- Go to your SecureGive Analytics dashboard
- Click on the New Donor box
- View the information
It really is that easy. You can filter the information by date range, campuses, and transaction type. You can also sort by fields like Total Amount to see those who gave the largest gifts. In just a few seconds and a couple clicks, you can gain important information and insights into the new donors at your church.
Having the right information about new donors is important. But, when you can leverage it to nurture generosity in your church, you can increase ministry impact. Leverage your new donor metrics to effectively follow-up with first-time givers, identify giving capacity, and covert new donors to recurring donors.
If your church doesn’t have access to metrics about new donors, our team would love to show you how SecureGive can help you utilize these tools to increase generosity.