You made it! It’s the end of another year, which means the it’s start of putting together annual church year-end statements. These statements are a very important facet of wrapping up a year of generosity. Churches can make the most of their statements by thanking members for their contributions. Think of it this way–this is your opportunity to personalize the church’s efforts to graciously thank members that supported your church by acknowledging their generosity. Making these statements personal (not transactional) can really affect your members’ decision to continue to contribute. Is your church making the most of their year-end statements?
Fundraising in the Church Is Not Always Simple
Churches don’t always have it easy when it comes to funding themselves. Asking for support from their members throughout the year can be difficult. Church staff doesn’t want to seem too focused on money! But, like any program, they need members’ financial support to keep the community outreach going. The church is an integral part of many communities, with plenty of different programs to help their members. From daycare programs, dinners, and schools, many people find solace in having a tight-knit local home base to rely on.
But it costs money to keep these programs going. Throughout the year, churches will have gathered tithes and support from plenty of activities outside of church services as well as within the church. Members that have tithed are the ones receiving the annual year-end statements.
Contributors Are the Lifeblood of the Church
And they should know that their offerings mattered. Skepticism around money in the church isn’t new—in fact, it is a continuing problem that has faced the church for centuries. Historic misused funding has tainted the idea of giving for many members, causing the tithes to slowly trickle in. Transparency is crucial when it comes to members’ tithes. Having a sense of complete transparency is not only reassuring for you, but encouraging to them. Invite them to budget meetings, and even ask questions about where they think the money should go. People are more inclined to give their hard-earned dollars to something genuine and towards ministries that produce tangible results.
Your members need to feel valued for their thoughtful contributions over the year. Passing the collection plate each Sunday and not acknowledging this generosity can seriously dampen their ongoing support.
Closing out another year of Sunday services and outside events means it’s time for the annual year-end statements. Make sure you thank your members in your year-end statements! Sure, it’s easy just to use a template and send out their information with the total amount they contributed for tax purposes. But do you offer gratitude and blessings within them? Personalizing the statement itself makes the member that contributed feel valuable and respected. They want to keep giving for years to come. You are an extension that is like family to them—make sure they feel that it is reciprocated.
It Connects Members With Your Mission
Members should feel appreciated and should know that their generosity made a difference. Express gratitude! If their hearts are engaged, the church’s mission is realized. Within the statement, make sure to reiterate the mission of the church. Going into the new year with a clear vision of the church’s mission helps convey what you’d like to happen next in the church and community.
Year-end statements do not have to feel like an transactional task. Writing out your appreciation will also make you feel joyous! How lucky is your church to have such wonderful members? Take time to reflect on how their contributions made a difference, and tell them how you feel. Transparency is a big part of retaining tithes.
A simple “thank you” goes a long way in retaining each member of the church and making them feel fulfilled and valuable.
Year-End Statements Reveal Benevolence
Thanking your members doesn’t have to end there. Include a testimony or success stories from someone who has benefited from the church’s outreach during the year. Maybe a school facility was improved, or enough was raised for a missionary to go and do valuable work in the field. Highlighting real needs that were met establishes the necessity for tithing within the church and shows your members that they make a difference. Expanding programs for the church means expanding the church itself. Doing this can bring in new members and provide a way to have the church’s mission heard on a broader scale.
Being able to take time out of your day and thank your church family is important, especially for leaders and staff members. They rely on YOU to disburse their money efficiently and for the good of others. Church year-end statements don’t have to be boring. A few extra minutes to express gratitude and thanks will make all the difference for your members. So much love and gratefulness-it makes our hearts want to burst with joy!