Everything you send to your church members communicates the core values of your church. That includes your Annual Giving Statements. Share your values with a few simple tweaks to your statements this year.
You can touch your donors’ hearts and encourage deeper generosity by following these guidelines:
1. Include a cover letter on top of the giving statement. This should be a letter printed on church stationery, and hand-signed by the senior pastor.
The letter should be very personal. Include an inside address, and use first names in the salutation. Highlight your congregation’s values and tell one story that communicates those values. Be sure to thank members for their faithfulness in giving.
Finally, add a P.S. after the signature. Make this the most important statement of the entire letter – inspire and/or affirm. This is the one part of the letter that is most likely to be read by your members.
Remember: cover letter on top, giving statement as the second page.
2. Send the statements out by first-class mail in a personally-addressed church stationery envelope.
This is not a place to skimp and save. I’ve seen many churches that expect members to pick up their own statements “in a box in the narthex.” Perhaps that’s okay (not great!) for quarterly statements. Make this Annual Giving Statement of higher value. Your members need their statements for tax purposes anyway. Be sure they get it by sending with a first-class stamp. The more colorful the stamp, the better.
Use church envelopes, and print the mailing address directly on the envelope. No labels. This is a very easy task for a mail merge and any printer sold in the last twenty years. It’s actually no more difficult than printing labels and taking the time to stick them on envelopes. The difference in effect, however, is priceless.
My clients send out statements in this way. (In fact, I have them include a cover letter every quarter!) They have told me repeatedly that members express appreciation for the extra touches, especially the letter from the pastor. It is very much appreciated. And I think it helps people think profoundly about the importance of being generous givers as Christians.
Tell me what you think…
If you need help, please be in touch. The sooner the better.
The Image: Église Notre-Dame du Raincy may be one of the most unique church buildings in the world. Designed by French architects Auguste Perret and Gustave Perret, it was built in 1922. The interior views are stunning, to say the least. For more information, visit the Wikipedia page. And for views of the interior, visit this Google image search.