Every December 31st, the line for thrift store drop-offs almost rivals those of Black Friday a few weeks prior. Huge spurts of giving and donating in December are yearly phenomena as the fiscal year cascades to a close and holiday cheer inspires generosity.
This additional year end giving, for many churches, helps close the gap where tithing doesn’t match budget expectations. At Kindrid, we work to help churches create a culture of generosity that goes above-and-beyond regular tithing. The end of the year is a great time to call your church into a season of extraordinary giving.
Instead of just hoping the holidays stir your congregation to give more, here are three ways you can challenge everyone towards year end giving that inspires year long giving.
1. Bless a ministry abundantly
Challenge your congregation to multiply the collective impact of your giving by funneling all of your December generosity to one of your ministries that serves the needs of your neighborhood.
An easy way to do this is by using a text or online giving solution that lets you pick a keyword. You could use “ChristmasChallenge,” for instance, which would designate any gifts given before the end of the year to the chosen ministry.
Make sure to stay in touch with that ministry throughout the year by encouraging your congregation to volunteer additional time, treasure, or talent and regularly update your church about the impact their combined year-end giving created.
2. Start a year-long campaign
Whether it’s new carpeting, a refresh to the welcome station, or better sound equipment, ask any church if they have any special projects on their “Dream” list, and you’re guaranteed to hear an emphatic “Oh yes” in reply.
If there’s a special project your church would like to start, there’s no better time to launch than December.
Yes, it’s a crazy time with Christmas festivities. But 40% of gifts are made at the end of the year, which means you could kick start your campaign with some great momentum to carry into the new year.
3. Create a Generosity Fund
Because so many people do most of their giving at the end of the year, many local charities and community groups face a drought of gifts and volunteers in the spring and summer. This year, your church could be the solution.
Divide up your church’s small groups, campuses, or Sunday school classes into 10 groups. Assign each group a month of 2016 and ask them to pick a local charity to generously bless that month.
Challenge each group to give abundantly in December towards this “Generosity Fund” (another great time to use a keyword!) which will then be evenly distributed between the 10 groups so they can give during their assigned month.
Encourage the groups to share their time, as well as their money, and give them space during a service to share about the ministry they chose and the way your church was able to bless them during a dry time.
Evan McBroom, creative director of Fishhook, says it best, "Your year-end offering communication begins in January.” Cultivating a culture of generosity that inspires year-long giving, not just year-end giving, can’t be done in one month. But you can get a great head start for 2016!