What is the Impact of Giving Statements?
Are you maximizing the impact of your giving statements? Not only is it important to remind givers of their financial stewardship, but the timing can significantly impact your ability to accomplish your ministry objectives.
In early March, the first giving statement should reflect giving through the end of February. Members often increase their giving in the new year. Some make a New Year’s resolution to be more faithful and regular in giving throughout the year. Unfortunately, like many resolutions, they are short-lived and soon old habits return and people fall behind. This first statement provides an early reminder to keep givers current.
The second giving statement, sent early in June, should reflect giving through the end of May. This statement reminds people of giving prior to the summer when attendance may be more sporadic. Also, the statement provides an opportunity to share the exciting ministry that occurs over the summer months. Vacation Bible Camp, summer worship, and other ministry depends on the financial support of your members.
The third giving statement should be sent in early September and reflect giving through the end of August. In the fall, church school and other programming is ramping up and attendance tends to increase. This statement enables you to share the fall schedule, and remind people where they are in their giving.
In early December, prior to the end of the year, the fourth statement serves as a final reminder to givers. Those who receive end-of-the-year bonuses or defer charitable giving to December will be reminded to keep the church in their plans. Most churches receive a large percentage of their total gifts during the last six weeks of the calendar year. The timing of this statement keeps the church in mind amidst all the other non-profit solicitations your givers receive.
The last giving statement is the year-end statement and serves as an official tax document. Donors must receive this statement by January 31. One additional note about year-end giving…the delivery date of the gift defines the year in which the donor receives credit. Delivery can be made by physically placing the gift in the church’s possession (in the offering plate or delivery to the church…and yes, dropping it through a crack in the front door counts!) or by mailing it so that it is postmarked by December 31. If the gift is made by check, the date on the check has no bearing on the delivery date, and thus, no bearing on the year in which the donor receives credit. A check dated December 29, 2017, but placed in the offering plate on January 7, 2018, is a 2018 gift, not a 2017 gift.
Make the most of giving statements to ensure your ministries receive the financial support they deserve.