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Soon churches will be sending out giving statements. If your church is like most, you will be sending a computer-generated form that looks more like an invoice than a record of faithfulness. Perhaps this year we could use this opportunity to connect, thank, and remind the giver of our mission together. Possibilities include:

Send a letter instead of a statement. Share with them the amount of their 2019 gifts. Then thank them for their generosity. Remind them that giving is an important part of our Christian walk and we are glad they are sharing their journey with us. Include a story of one changed life in your church this year. Then thank them again.

Put a hand-written note on the statement. The finance secretary, or the pastor, can write a simple, “Thanks for making our ministry stronger” or “We appreciate your support” on the form. Just a phrase or sentence is enough. When we do this, we remind the giver that we are not an organization with forms, but a family with relationships.

Attach an insert or pamphlet. Include a short story of one your church’s ministries and the lives it is touching. Use pictures. Tell how many were served and saved. Highlight a specific person whose life was impacted positively through the work of the church. As always, thank the giver for their generosity and remind them they are part of what God is doing in your church.

Add an automatic transfer form. You could attach a form, with instructions, for people to request their gift be transferred automatically each month. Share your understanding that lives are busy and sometimes we can’t be at church as often as we wish. Even if they can’t be there, their gift can.

Include a brochure on planned giving. Persons who have been faithful givers in life will want to be faithful givers in their death. Unless we ask them, they will likely give their gifts to the organization that does. Perhaps you could sponsor an event on estate planning and use this letter as an opportunity to promote it.

A statement can be more than a form with numbers on it. Never waste a chance to say thank you and connect givers with your important mission.  

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Invite us out for a chance to visit with your leadership team on developing stronger stewardship all throughout the church year.  You can click here to contact me through this website or call 877-391-8811 (toll-free) to let us know.
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Glenn Howell
Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana