Generosity Improving Changes to the Bulletin You Need to Know

When it comes to giving, the humble worship bulletin can do more than just show finance numbers. It can actually improve giving at your church and teach people what it means to be generous. Despite its lowly reputation, the worship bulletin remains one of the best... read more

Instead of Despair, Make Giving About God

At some point during the year, despair sets in. Giving is falling behind and expenses are exceeding budget. If something isn’t done soon, next year’s programs will have to be cut. The ship is sinking quickly. But before despair sets in, consider a... read more

How to Demonstrate a Return on Investment to Your Donors

One of the most frequently cited reasons for making a charitable donation is the donor’s desire to make a difference in the world. People want to see their donations at work. Donors want to know their gift is making a difference, and they want to see a return on... read more

Are Your Leaders to Blame for Poor Giving in Your Church?

Has your giving declined despite your best efforts? Are you frustrated by the inability of your church stewardship leaders to put together a strong annual giving program? The problem could be you have recruited the wrong people for the job. Here’s what to do.  ... read more

Get Micro, Go Macro! – Leadership Strategies that Actually Work

Jesus said, “Come, follow me.”   Most of us are familiar with the adage, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” This is often voiced by pastors and congregational lay leaders who understand “We need more leaders!” A typical plan of action for this big task... read more

How to Avoid the Epidemic Killing Our Churches

An epidemic of Biblical proportions is significantly impacting churches of today. Currently sweeping across the landscape of Christianity, this epidemic disables and ruins countless churches every year. This deadly disease is debt. The debt epidemic begins innocently... read more

Is Fear Impacting Your Ability to Make Giving Easy?

Have you observed how church giving has changed over the past decade? Have you noticed the offering plate makes its quick trip through the congregation and comes back mostly empty? Times have changed. How people donate has changed. Churches must adapt and make giving... read more

How to Create Your Stewardship Language and Why You Need To

How does your church talk about money and giving? More to the point, what does your church believe about stewardship and generosity?   Growing a culture of giving and generosity requires your church to have a common stewardship language. Money is tangled up in a... read more

How to Adapt to Attract Millennials: This Month’s Top Stories

This month has seen a surge of information on Millennials and how to engage them in giving and ministry. This critical generation is likely to forever change the face of giving and philanthropy. Here are some top stories:   Engaging Millennials in Small Groups... read more

How to Make the Offering About Love–An Offering Talk for Sunday

Instead of simply calling the ushers forward, help your congregation understand deeper meaning and connection inherent in the offering time of worship. Use what I call an Offering Talk to connect the offering to the giver’s relationship to God. An Offering Talk... read more

Everything you need to inspire generosity.

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10 Lit Ways to Engage with Millennials in Ministry & Giving

The Secret is Engagement

In this informative and fun 1-hour webinar hosted by Church Executive, learn how to reach and connect with Millennials from ministry experts Kristine Miller and Len Wilson from Horizons Stewardship Company.

Dispel myths and discover basic truths about the Millennial generation and the key events that are shaping them, including latest research and best practices for your ministry setting.


You’ll learn:

(1) What is true (and what isn’t) about the Millennial generation
(2) The latest research findings about Millennials and their views on philanthropy and giving
(3) What engagement is, and why it’s the No. 1 key for this generation
(4) How to develop messages, channels and communication tactics for reaching Millennials in your church.

 

 

To access the full webinar, click here.

You can find the presentation that accompanied this webinar by clicking here.

 

 

 

Get more great content on how to improve giving in your congregation with a free Giving 365 membership. Click the Giving365 logo to sign up or access your account if you are already a member.

Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource

Register for our Rich Church, Poor Church Seminar by Oct 8

Rich Church, Poor Church – Keys to Effective Financial Ministry Seminar

with Dr. J. Clif Christopher

 

Registration Due by Oct. 8

 

If you have ever struggled with how to grow generosity in your church, you won’t want to miss this stewardship seminar.

You and your team will receive valuable insights and knowledge of best practices from Clif Christopher, founder and president of Horizons Stewardship. Clif is the author of several stewardship books and is a sought-after speaker on this important topic. This seminar has received the endorsement of Bishop Trimble and is co-sponsored by the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana.

More details can be found by clicking here or the clicking the “View Event Flyer” button below, including the very economical pricing for individuals and teams ($100 maximum/church).

If you have any questions, email Greg McGarvey (gmcgarvey@horizons.net) or Herb Buwalda (hbuwalda@horizons.net).

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Click here to find out more and register for the Oct. 11 Seminar in Indianapolis, IN.  

 

View Event Flyer  

Ways to Increase Donor Motivation

172

 

That is how many times I have donated blood. My first donation was through a blood drive when I was in college. It was a relatively painless experience and home-made cookies were offered as motivation! I started donating after that, but for years I did so sporadically.  At some point, I learned my blood type was O negative, a classification fitting only 7% of the population. As a universal blood donor, anyone in a medical emergency could receive my blood. After a brief uptick in my donations, life interfered and my motivation to donate waned.

When I was making my 50th or so donation, I learned something else. In addition to being O negative, I am also CMV negative.  Blood with these two qualities is the only type that can be given to newborn babies. As a donor, I am referred to as a “baby quad” because one pint of my blood can be divided and given to four different babies! After I knew this, I began to make the effort to donate every six weeks. I did this for a time until life got busy again.

Eventually, donating felt more like a duty than a joy and my motivation dwindled.

 

Months would pass without a donation. Finally, after several reminder phone calls from the blood center, I scheduled a time to donate. On the morning before my donation, I spoke with someone on the phone and happened to mention I was giving blood later that day. When I revealed, I am a “baby quad,” the voice on the other end got quiet. After a brief pause, through tears, she said, “Thank you.”   She explained that a few months earlier she had given birth and her baby daughter had required over a dozen blood transfusions. And then she said, “My daughter is alive today because people like you are willing to donate their blood.”

 

That moment reminded me of the reason I donate: giving blood truly is the “gift of life.”

 

Regardless of the type of donation, the primary motivation for giving is belief in the mission the gift supports. Knowing that my blood donation could help save the lives of newborn babies inspired me to donate again! It is up to church leaders to help donors connect the dots between their gift to the church and the church’s ability to do life-changing ministry. Showing your donors how their gifts are making a difference in the world will motivate them to give again.

Here are some ways to increase donor motivation.

  • Keep your mission front and center as a reminder of the importance of giving. The mission of your church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Do not assume everyone understands this single purpose. A recent study by Barna found that 51% of churchgoers state they have never heard of the Great Commission.
  • Have a clear and compelling vision that lifts up the unique ways your church is living out its mission in your context.  Without a clear vision, the church can become inwardly focused and self-serving. A clear vision has the power to shape and connect everything that the church does, both uniting and energizing the congregation in its life and purpose.
  • Create a Vision Statement that is simple and easy to memorize. State it regularly in sermons, in the liturgy, on communication platforms, and on the website.  In 10 Prescriptions for a Healthy Church, author Bishop Bob Farr says “I have never seen a church grow by hanging a mission and vision statement on the wall. On the other hand, I have never seen a growing congregation that didn’t deeply understand their mission and vision.”
  • Share stories of lives impacted and changed through your ministries. It is interesting to learn that 15 or 30 or 100 students went on a mission trip. But it is inspiring to hear one story of how a student’s faith was impacted by that experience. It is rousing to hear a story from someone whose life was changed forever by those students. Facts and data inform the mind but stories touch the heart. Donor motivation requires both.

Help donors stay motivated by connecting their generosity with your mission.

  • Preach on the theology of money and giving. While people will not contribute to the church because it needs money to pay its bills, they will be moved by a biblical message that shapes values and offers guidance on how they can faithfully use their resources.
  • Express gratitude. While receiving thanks may not be the only reason why people give, donors do want to feel their gifts are appreciated. A personal thank-you note is an opportunity to let your supporters know you value them and what they do. Gratitude is key to donor motivation.

 

It was just a simple, heartfelt “Thank you,” but it reminded me of the importance of my donation and reconnected me to the joy of giving. Maybe those who support your church need a reminder as well.

 

Donation #173 is already on my calendar.

 

 

 

To access Horizons’ free stewardship resources, click here to sign up for Giving365.

 

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