How to Engage Your Donors Using Contribution Statements (I’m serious)

Giving statements may be one of the most under utilized ways to improve the culture of generosity in your church. Most churches I talk to send them out once a year, and then it’s only because it’s required. The use of multiple giving statements, throughout the course of a year, can be a fantastic addition to your generosity toolbox. So, how does it work? Keep reading…

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Contribution Statements: The normal way:

  • Statements go out once a year
  • Statements communicate cold and transactional financial data
  • Statements provide no update regarding the church’s ministry
  • Statements offer no thanks to the donor for their financial sacrifice

Contribution Statements: The better way:

  • Statements go out four times per year
  • Statements include a thoughtful and well-written cover letter designed to:
  • Update the donor regarding the exciting ministry and life change occurring as the result of the work of the church
  • Thank the giver for their generosity
  • Let the donors know how their generosity has made a difference in the lives of others
  • Promote online giving
  • Provide encouragement to the church’s donors

Using a quarterly contribution statement plan, mailings should go out in the following months:

  • January
    • This has traditionally been the only statement donors receive. Now it becomes on of four they will receive in the course of a year.
    • This mailing will include their year-end giving statement from the previous year.
  • April
    • This mailing will be used to update donors about how their giving has made a difference in the most recent 90-day period, by sharing highlights of church’s work.
    • This mailing will also promote online giving prior to summer. Online giving is one of the best ways to ensure consistent giving during the summer months.
  • August
    • This is over a month after the second quarter has ended, but the timing is designed to coordinate with back-to-school.
    • This mailing will update your church’s givers in regard to ministry highlights from the second quarter. They should be reminded that their giving made this ministry possible.
    • This mailing can also be used to encourage donors to make up any giving weeks that may have been missed during summer travels.
  • December
    • This mailing should go out on or before December 15. This is well after the end of the third quarter and prior to the end of the fourth quarter, but the timing is strategic.
    • This mailing will share with the church’s givers, ministry highlights and life-changing stories, from the third quarter.
    • This mailing will let givers know where they stand with their year-to-date giving. Many times people believe they have given more than they actually have. When they receive a statement, prior to the end of the fourth quarter, there is still time for them to make adjustments to their year-end giving.

Following the quarterly contribution statement plan, these mailings will contain two pieces:

  1. A cover letter, signed by the Sr. Pastor, sharing recent ministry, future vision, and expressing gratitude for the generosity of the donors.
  2. A contribution statement showing the giver’s YTD contribution data through the mostly recently completed quarter.

This system is a fantastic way to more fully engage your donors in the life of the church.

For a more complete explanation of the Quarterly Contribution Statement system, complete with sample letters, click here to receive the FREE 28-page Guide to the Use of Quarterly Contribution Statements.

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Question: are your church’ donors always aware of the ministry successes made possible by their generosity?

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