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Faith Leaders 5min read

3 Keys to a Successful Year-End Giving Strategy

year-end giving

With just weeks left in the year, there’s still time for your church to activate a successful year-end giving strategy. Even a few unique factors are working in your organization’s favor to end 2022 strong.   

For the first time since 2016, Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. It won’t fall on a Sunday again until 2033. “If Christmas falls on Monday through Saturday, churches might be closed on Dec. 25 — but almost never on a Sunday,” according to Christianity Today.

With the dawn of the hybrid church, however, organizations have more options this year. In the place of an in-person Christmas service, some churches may offer a pre-recorded Sunday service, which will stream “live” on Christmas day.

However your place of worship chooses to handle church on Christmas, it’s still Sunday. And while every Sunday is important, a few Sundays stand out each year, such as Easter, Mother’s Day, and now Christmas.   

On these special Sundays, churches are likely to see more guests than on an average Sunday. A large Christmas audience, both in-person and online, can draw more donations for many churches.

There’s still time for year-end generosity 

The opportunity to encourage your givers to do even more good before the end of the year doesn’t end there.  As faith communities prepare for New Year’s Eve services, Dec. 31 is known in fundraising circles as the most critical giving day of the year  for reasons including the annual deadline for tax-deductible contributions and year-end giving. 

Additionally, New Year’s Day falls on the first Sunday of the month in 2023. This creates yet another opportunity to help position your organization for a solid financial start.

We know how important the first worship day of the month can be for an organization’s bottom line. For many churches and places of worship, the first Sunday worship day will likely be the highest giving day for the entire month. 

Both the amount given and the number of donations made on first Sundays are higher. In fact, each is 4x higher (411% and 425%, respectively) than on an average day. This is based on Givelify’s analysis of 2021 weekly data from our online and mobile app platform. 

With all these factors working in your favor, here are three keys to a successful year-end giving strategy. 

Key #1: Say “thank you” to those who give 

People feel more generous when they feel appreciated, according to research. Donors who receive a “thank you” from your church for their giving will likely give more in the future. 

Thanking your donors meaningfully encourages them to continue enthusiastically giving. So before making that year-end request, thank your donors for all they’ve contributed throughout the year. The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to highlight all you have accomplished in the previous year thanks to your givers’ generosity.  

Key #2: Speak to gift impact 

The holiday season presents a fantastic opportunity for pastors and faith leaders to tell a meaningful story. This is the time to talk about the tangible impact your  donors’ gifts have made throughout the year. Provide examples of how donor dollars were spent. 

It’s also a wonderful time to cast a vision for the year ahead about how giving will change a life, a family, their communities, and beyond.  When donors know their gifts are truly making a direct impact on a situation, program, ministry, and more, they feel empowered and more connected.  

It’s always helpful to let your congregation know as often as possible and in as many formats  from the pulpit, via a brief demonstration video, via an email or text, and on social media  that their everyday giving makes a difference. 

Key #3: Make the year-end giving ask 

There are some faith donors who may be encouraged to give by knowing the impact of their donations. And there are others who view giving as more spiritual than transactional. And some may fall into both categories.  

According to the 2022 Giving in Faith report, pastors and faith leaders confirmed that driving engagement and nurturing community are key to inspiring generosity and cultivating giving.  

Pastors who build community, deliver impactful sermons, and make givers feel welcome  all components of the worship experience  encourage generous giving, the report says. 

Because you have laid the groundwork and have nurtured giving all year long, make the year-end ask, and let the generosity of your members, guests, and online worshippers surprise you. 

Share with your members that with Givelify’s mobile app, they can give any amount instantly and securely from anywhere and at any time — even if they are traveling for the holidays.  

Whether it’s during worship or on the go afterward, from your website or ours, or even on social media, Givelify eliminates the barriers to consistent giving. 

Wishing you year-end giving success 

We hope these keys to a successful year-end giving strategy provide inspiration to help your church or place of worship meet or exceed your annual fundraising goals as you can continue to provide spiritual guidance and champion your communities.  

We wish you happy holidays and a joyful, safe New Year! 

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About the Author

Amy is a strategic marketing professional with decades of experience in the marketing fundraising sector, helping customers tell their stories and grow revenue in innovative, data-driven ways. As the Product and Customer Marketing Manager at Givelify, her drive for success is in developing product feature launches that enable a true best-in-class user experience.

Amy Andersen