Why You Shouldn’t Send Annual Contribution Statements

We did a study last year and learned that 9% of churches didn’t send any form of annual contribution statement.  I’m no lawyer, but that’s potentially illegal.

When people give money to your church, the IRS wants you to send them documentation.  Most churches choose to send a statement with a letter from the pastor at the end of the year. Most churches only do the minimum required by law.

We can do better!

Instead of sending boring annual contribution statements, I want to challenge you to do something far more meaningful (and helpful).

Send quarterly contribution statements.

Four times a year, communicate with your donors and let them know where they stand.  Take time to tell them how their contributions are making a difference, show them what’s happening with the money, and say thanks.

It’s pretty simple, actually.

1. In April, send a letter from the pastor along with a year-to-date contribution statement.  Let them know they will get an official statement at the end of the year for tax purposes, but you just wanted to let them know what’s happened so far.

2. In July, send a one-page letter that’s mostly a picture.  Find a picture that communicates your vision…maybe all of the students on the mission trip or a small group serving in the community.  Write a caption that says, “just wanted to let you know your giving makes this happen.

3. In October, send a testimony or a story from someone who has been impacted by the church.  Leave off the bullet points and let someone talk in their own words.  Include a giving update.

4. In January, send the official statement along with an annual report.  People kind of expect this so work hard to make it meaningful.  Just think about what YOU would want to get from an organization you support.

Do you see how powerful this can be?  Instead of communicating boring information once a year, you’re connecting the dots for people.  This level of communication is always worth the price of a stamp!

The Giving Rocket Core Coaching Program gives you access to four contribution statement templates ready for you to customize and use, plus tons of other done-for-you resources.