Wondering how to craft a Giving Tuesday strategy for your church? Keep reading for a few helpful tips!
Between fall conferences, Christmas planning, and preparing for the year ahead, you may not have given much thought to Giving Tuesday.
But with the right strategy, this global day of charity can be an incredible opportunity for your congregation to practice generosity while making major progress toward your church’s special projects and initiatives.
Wondering how to craft a Giving Tuesday strategy for your church? Keep reading for a few helpful tips!
Established in 2012, Giving Tuesday was a response to the consumerism of post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzies. After a weekend full of Black Friday bargains and Cyber Monday sales, Giving Tuesday emerged as a much-needed day of giving back, focusing on supporting nonprofits and charitable organizations rather than spending.
Today, Giving Tuesday is among the most popular days for charitable gifts, with an impressive $3.1 billion generously donated in the United States alone during the 2022 event. Giving Tuesday has also become a popular day for volunteering, community service, and other acts of kindness. It seems this global celebration of generosity keeps becoming more and more popular, and I have high hopes for the impact of Giving Tuesday 2023.
Can churches participate in Giving Tuesday? The answer is a resounding yes! While it’s true that a lot of Giving Tuesday donations traditionally go to secular nonprofits, churches that engage in community outreach and philanthropy are especially poised to participate in Giving Tuesday. Just like any nonprofit or philanthropic organization, your church has a unique and compelling mission that can resonate deeply with congregants and the wider community. Whether you are raising money for global missions, social service projects, or the completion of a new building, Giving Tuesday can help propel you forward in your mission.
The key to success on Giving Tuesday, then, is learning how to communicate that mission through the power of story.
While many people donate to their home church because of a greater commitment to tithing and generosity, there are others who prefer to donate to specific causes and initiatives. This subset of your congregation is less likely to contribute to a general fund. Instead, they want to understand the what, the why, and the how of your church’s fundraising plans so they can partner with specific initiatives.
There are also people in your congregation who are planning to make an end-of-year charitable gift above and beyond their normal tithes. These donors are looking for practical ways to bless the community while also receiving a helpful tax benefit.
This is where storytelling comes into play. Storytelling is about effectively communicating your church’s mission and vision, along with the tangible impacts of your initiatives. Does your church have plans to build a community garden that will help feed people who are displaced from their homes? Tell the story by explaining the what, the why, and the how!
Is your church building an elementary school to offer free education in an impoverished region of the world? Tell your congregation about it, and tell them in a compelling way! Sharing the journey of your projects, including the successes and challenges, creates a compelling narrative that can inspire generosity.
At my church, we are leading up to Giving Tuesday with informational brochures, weekly video testimonies, and intentionally planned social media campaigns. We are vision-casting so that our congregants can determine how they want to participate in this larger story, whether by giving, serving, praying, or spreading the word.
However your church chooses to communicate the what, the why, and the how, lean into storytelling this year!
In addition to compelling storytelling, financial transparency is vital for cultivating trust and encouraging generosity within your congregation. Financial transparency is about more than just numbers; it’s about clarity and connection. Clear, concise financial reporting, complemented by engaging stories, helps transform abstract figures into relatable narratives that connect congregants with the impact of their donations. Whether you choose to publish a financial report on your church’s website or host a few financial Q&A sessions for members of your congregations, financial transparency isn’t just a good thing – it’s essential.
As you gear up for Giving Tuesday, it's important for churches to balance requests for generosity with awareness of donor fatigue. It's certainly appropriate to discuss giving in a church context, but it's also vital to approach this topic sensitively within faith communities. Messaging should focus on presenting opportunities for partnership with God's work, not exerting pressure or inducing guilt.
Giving Tuesday isn't just about financial gifts; it's a chance to honor all forms of giving and to trust in the Lord's direction as we steward our time and resources. Giving is about stewardship, and stewardship is part of a larger discipleship conversation. Thus, while Giving Tuesday is a once-a-year campaign, it shouldn’t feel grabby or gimmicky. It should feel like a natural extension of a church community that is humbly working to serve God with their time, talents, and finances.
When it comes to mobilizing your congregation for Giving Tuesday, a key strategy is to personalize the experience for each donor. Show them how their individual contributions, no matter the size or form, make a real difference. You should also help your congregants understand how giving will positively impact their individual lives. When we give, we trust God with something that is very important to us – financial provision. Accordingly, each act of giving is an opportunity for our hearts to become more and more trusting of the God who loves us and created us.
Social media is a powerful way to discuss your Giving Tuesday goals outside of the Sunday experience. From Facebook to Instagram to YouTube, social media platforms allow you to engage not just your immediate congregation but also a wider audience of potential supporters who might resonate with your mission. Need help with social media ideas? Check out this list of social media ideas for churches.
People are often inspired and driven by clear, attainable goals. This is true whether you're setting a specific fundraising target or aiming to recruit a certain number of volunteers for a project. For instance, a clear financial goal for a new community program or a specific number of volunteer hours needed for a church renovation can create a sense of urgency and purpose. By establishing these clear goals, you not only provide a roadmap for success but also a compelling reason for your congregation to come together and contribute!
Remember, not everyone can contribute financially to Giving Tuesday, and that is totally okay! It's important to recognize and value the diverse ways people can support your church's mission. Encourage your community to get involved through volunteering – their time and skills are invaluable assets. Spreading the word about your church's initiatives is another powerful way to contribute. Every action, big or small, plays a crucial role in the success of Giving Tuesday and the ongoing work of your church.
Finally, remember to celebrate your successes and express gratitude to your donors! No matter the size of the contribution, every donor wants to feel appreciated. Plan to send thank-you notes, create appreciation posts on social media, or even host a post-Giving Tuesday event to acknowledge and thank your contributors.
Giving Tuesday offers more than just a chance for fundraising; it’s an opportunity to mobilize your community, help your congregation grow in discipleship, and make a powerful impact through generosity.
As you get ready to weave these tips into your Giving Tuesday strategy, make sure that you have a giving platform that will support your church’s needs and goals! This platform should be user-friendly, secure, and versatile enough to handle various kinds of donations. Breeze’s church management software system makes it easy for donors to give online or through text messages. Get a free trial of Breeze by clicking here.
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