“Having money beats not having money,” a pastor emailed us last week.

While there are churches in all kinds of settings doing ministry in all kinds of ways, money does seem to be a common denominator.  Resources can make ministry happen.  Finances can facilitate ministry.

You don’t need a car wash or a capital campaign to increase giving to your church.  Here are five proven strategies

1.  Do a giving talk.  Whenever you pass the plate, you have the opportunity to talk about money.  It doesn’t have to be weird.  It doesn’t have to be forced.  In fact, its a disservice to just pass a plate without offering an explanation.  If you’re going to receive an offering, you might as well make it meaningful.  Just enter your email address below and we’ll send you three giving talk scripts – one based on a story, one based on a stat, and one based on a Scripture.  Use them to set up the offering.

2.  Introduce a new way to give.  If you want to reach new givers, offer a new way to give.  Maybe it’s a digital giving kiosk or offering envelopes.  You can go new-school or old school, but when you offer new ways for people to give, new people will jump into generosity.

3.  Start thanking donors.  There are nearly a million Google searches a month for “fundraising” and less than 10,000 for “thanking donors.”  Therein lies the problem.  If you want to increase giving, thank people for what they already give.  This is more than a generic thanks from the pulpit.  Thank people personally.  Send hand-written notes.  Don’t just feel grateful – say thanks.  This is why we created this revolutionary product – it’s a blank thank you note a very readable booklet you can send to your donors.

4.  Make it someone’s job.  Finance teams do an incredible job counting the beans, but whose job is it to create them?  In many churches, it’s nobodies job to increase giving.  Sure, there are people to pay bills and code everything correctly, but who wakes up thinking about stewardship and helping people follow Jesus with their finances.

5.  Talk about automated giving.  In 2012, we survey over 1,000 churches and learned the #1 indicator of churches who see giving surpass their budget was emphasizing automated giving.  It’s not enough just to offer it, you need to emphasize it and create an intentional communication strategy that moves people to that option. 

These simple things can help you increase regular giving to your church.  It’s regular giving, not those special projects, that makes ministry happen throughout the year.  More money means more ministry.

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