Tuesday, January 25, 2022 01:48

Send Giving Statements More Often–Idea #7

iStock_000007088099X Giving Bible & Wallet

Long ago I learned a key principle of communication:  You cannot over-communicate. As Bill Hybels puts it: “Vision leaks.”  Put differently, about the time you are sick of communicating and you can’t stand the thought of talking about it again, the average person is just beginning to get it.

“It” may be vision.  “It” may be the reason for a capital campaign.  “It” may be the life changes God is bringing through your church’s ministry.  Whatever “it” is, as the leader, you think everyone is getting “it.”  But there are many different learning styles, and some people don’t tune in unless the message is delivered in their preferred style.  Also, the average parishioner is not in church every week.  Therefore, you have to deliver important messages using various channels and deliberate repetition.

Most churches seem shy to communicate about financial matters.  I guess they are afraid of over-communication.  OK, I understand.  (And if the message is negative, perhaps there is such a thing as over-communication.)  However, the giving statement is a perfect opportunity to communicate with givers about all kind of stewardship matters.  That’s why I recommend that you consider increasing the frequency of sending giving statements to quarterly.

I know that if your Financial Secretary is a volunteer, then that may sound onerous to them.  Yes, there is a significant cost of time and postage involved, too.  But please consider it.  Here’s why.  Studies show that if you want to be top-of-mind with your message, the very least you must do is communicate quarterly.  (How often do you get mailings from Christian non-profits that you support?)

Of course, for a long time now your church has never sent a giving statement without a letter saying “THANKS!”  And you always use this letter as an opportunity to communicate your message of life change happening because of your church’s ministry, right?  People give to vision.  They don’t give to need.  And so every opportunity you can take to say thanks to your supporters is another opportunity to also communicate vision.  When people know that their giving is making a difference, they want to give more.

Use those personal testimonies that we encouraged in “Idea #3.”  Get them transcribed and edited.  Or simply extract a powerful quote.  It’s another way to leverage work you’ve already done, strategically repeat a good message, and deliver it again through another learning channel.

I like the giving statement because people expect you to talk about stewardship matters in that type of communication.  However, if you simply cannot move to a quarterly statement, then find another way to tell the good news.  Put testimonies in your newsletter.  Utilize your pastor’s blog. Put the stories onto your website. 

Whatever you do, get the word out.  God is alive!  The Spirit is moving in your church!  Jesus is in the life-transformation business!  Hearing those stories inspires faithful giving. 

(c) Linden D. Kirby. Excel Mnistries, Inc. 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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