The gap between $0 and $10 is a lot harder to close than the gap between $10 and $100. Once someone is giving to your organization, encouraging them to increase their giving may be somewhat easier. They may have already put trust into the ministry and have experienced the blessing of God in their lives. The challenge lies in helping people take that first step. Whether they are new or have been around since you took the hitching post out of the front of the church, here are some key steps to help them take this faith step.
Have the Right Attitude
It’s not about money. It’s about heart. If your goal is to increase the annual budget or to meet current expenses, we need to take a step back and check to see if a course correction is necessary. Giving has to be something we want forpeople, not something we want frompeople. Use wisdom, however our ministry expenses and church budgets should be formed based on the church’s mission, not the pocketbooks of its people.
Invest in Them First
The whole idea of giving is encapsulated in John 3:16, God so loved…He gave. Keep in mind, if God only loved us, we would still be going to hell. The gift redeemed us. Love will cost us. Take some time to invest personally into the family. Show up at their daughter’s softball game, grab some teenagers to help them load in a new fridge. (Don’t forget point #1.) Giving to get is not what we’re after. We are investing in people regardless of the outcome. It’s what Christ did for us. The message we’re conveying is: We are most like God when we give.
It’s time to make places and spaces to give. If the only time someone can give to our church is atour church or during a service, then we’re saying, “Our vision only needs the people inside these four walls to make it happen.” (Provided they bring cash or their checkbook.) One of the top ten reasons a church fails is due to lack of giving options. To create a channel for people to be spontaneous, like giving on a Tuesday morning, online giving is a must. Generush makes it simple and affordable. No church, no matter the size, should be without it.
Create New Opportunities
This is where the fun really kicks in. Find a need and meet it. Tithes and offerings, missions giving, building fund, debt reduction – these are long-term giving options. Create a new short-term giving opportunity where a first-time giver can feel like they can get in on the ground floor – one that takes them beyond the church property. Many homeless shelters need socks in the winter. How about challenging people to give up a coffee for a month and give a little for the sock cause? You get the idea. Small opportunities are more effective than big ones. Compare these statements: “We need to raise $2000 to help.” “If everyone gave $20, we could make a massive impact.”
Show the Result
Without stories, vision leaks and dries up. At some point, we’ll have to stop talking about the socks and start showing warm feet, smiles and hugs. When we see the connection between giving and life change, we realize we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. Don’t wait – share numbers, photos, videos or stories as soon as possible and as often as you can.
Move non-givers to casual givers, casual givers to faithful givers, faithful givers to generous givers, and generous givers to sacrificial givers. Do you have a strategy? Visit Generush.org and close the giving gap.