The most immediate benefit of a year-end giving project is, of course, increased giving. We can all celebrate the result...but planning a year-end giving initiative with care, and executing it with excellence, will add far more value. Why should this project be such a high priority?
1. It prompts spiritual growth. The intersection of faith and finances creates the opportunity for more individual spiritual growth than any other outlet. As a person aligns his or her finances and with faith, huge leaps of spiritual growth take place.
2. It normalizes the giving conversation. Most churches are very reluctant to talk about money. By avoiding this conversation, churches are actually ensuring a negative outcome when it comes to generosity, and limiting the natural opportunity for spiritual growth. When church leaders allow people to mentally separate faith and finances, they actively dismiss matters of finance from their spiritual lives. Silence is simply a bad option.
3. It provides an opportunity to talk about mission and vision. Givers in your church constantly look at the organization and wonder where and how they fit in. An annual vision weekend or generosity series rarely creates any long-term traction in the lives of your givers. Givers want to play a part in the larger story. It is critical that you take every possible opportunity to discuss, in a meaningful way, the church’s mission and vision, as well as the roles finances play in supporting the on-going ministry of the church.
4. Holiday giving is a great opportunity for a person to give for the first time. If your church is attracting new people, presenting this year-end project in a compelling and creative way will encourage their giving sooner rather than later. If your church is like most, 50% or more of your regular members and attenders give nothing or close to nothing. An exciting and well- presented year-end initiative can help change that. A person must give a first gift in order to become a regular investor in the ministry of your church.
5. It gives leadership practice talking about the church’s mission and finances. This type of project is a catalyst for an easy-to-understand conversation about the value and impact of generosity. It is a very natural on-ramp to giving and provides a great opportunity for your church’s members and attenders to invest in the mission and vision of the church. Year-end projects can serve as the perfect laboratory, giving you and your leadership a very safe and low-risk platform to communicate mission and vision and to challenge people to get involved.
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