By Gina Calvert

The Most Important Year-End Giving Ask for Churches

December is historically a big month for donations. 30% of charitable gifts are given this month and 10% are given during the last 3 days of the year. (Source)

So it’s a key time to make an appeal, but there’s something we’ve noticed churches have trouble doing. Before we get to that, you need to know these surprising facts about generosity that will strengthen your year-end giving ask.

Year-End Giving: People want to give.

Have you noticed in any large scale emergency how unbelievably generous people can be?

In 2010, with no prior knowledge how to give via text, $43 million was quickly raised—primarily in $10 increments—for the Haiti earthquake. This was most people’s introduction to mobile giving. (Source) The outpouring is still referenced today to promote the ease and effectiveness of mobile and text giving.

But that was then. What about now?

It’s still true! Ten years later, in a year of unprecedented events and challenges (including a pandemic!), charitable giving reached a record $471.44 billion in 2020. (Source)

But is that generosity reaching the church?

Year-End Giving: People want to give to the church

Several studies show there’s good news:

  • Believers are more generous than non-believers
    Philanthropic studies show that people with a religious affiliation give away several times as much every year as other Americans. The Panel Study for Income Dynamics reports annual charitable giving of $2,935 for the participating church attenders versus $704 for the non-attenders. They give more frequently, too, and not just to religious organizations. (Source)
  • Religious organizations receive around one-third of all monetary donations annually.
    In 2020, this came out to $128.17 billion. Religious giving has remained steady at right around the 30% mark of all charitable giving for several years now. (Source)

This is kind of amazing, too: The least likely reason for people to give While people may take advantage of tax breaks for giving, studies show it is the least likely motivation for doing so. (Source)

Year End Giving: The Ask

This is an astounding statistic: Our data shows that text-to-give gifts spike during church announcement videos, nearly to the same level as web gifts throughout the week!

What this means: People want to give but sometimes they just need to be reminded. If it’s easy and they can give in the moment of inspiration, they’ll do it. But let the moment pass … and they will get busy and forget, despite their best intentions.

Top 2 things you need to know about your ask:

1. Generosity to churches is a result of:

  • Gratitude + Trust in God
  • A sense of belonging
  • Financial health
  • Giving preferences
  • Ongoing generosity conversations
  • Feeling appreciated
  • Feeling moved
  • Being asked!

Did you catch that last one? The big thing is to actually ASK!

Are you asking? Or, to avoid putting pressure or feeling uncomfortable, are you simply pointing to your giving options with a smile and a shrug?

YOU MUST ASK.

Even if you haven’t done a great job of inspiring, appreciating and engaging givers this year, make the ask and sow seeds in 2022 for the other factors listed here that impact generosity.

2. Top reason people don’t give when asked

Not knowing the impact of their gift is the top reason for not giving when asked. (Source) So include with your year-end ask a summary of the impact gifts have had in 2021 and your vision for impacting your community in 2022. Follow these 8 tips for making your Ask compelling.

If you’re looking for a giving platform that can help you inspire givers, show appreciation, and have conversations about generosity, consider starting 2022 with a demo of Vision2. You’ve never seen anything like it!