How Cryptocurrency Is Changing Church Giving for the Better
Read this article for the definitive guide on giving and receiving cryptocurrency gifts at your church.
November 20, 2019
Craft a cutting-edge church brand by implementing these 7 critical font principles.
October 29, 2019
Your church fonts are the most important decision in your church design.
Hear me out.
If you have an amazing church logo, but you use Comic Sans, your church will look unprofessional.
That’s why most churches outsize their church name in their design.
There is a branding reason for this. When people talk about your church, they don’t say, “Have you heard of [cool logo] church?” No. They say, “Have you heard of Holy Trinity on 146th?” People see your name. People remember your name.
And when people remember your name, they remember it in the font in which you choose to display it.
Try this experiment:
I’m going to say a brand name, and I want you to be honest about what comes to mind first.
All of these names are visualized as fonts.
Your church is no different.
In fact, that fonts you choose for your church website work the exact same way on a more subliminal level.
The fonts you use on your website should not only directly correspond to your church logo font choice, but you should also strategically choose the right fonts. Thankfully, there are rules and best practices to help guide you to make the best decision for your church so that your website visitors are more like to visit and to engage.
Here are seven tips to choose the right fonts to create an unforgettable church logo and website.
In other words, don't use a bunch of different fonts.
Choose a primary font that you use for all of you main headlines, and choose another primary font that you use for all of your paragraph font.
When you add third and fourth fonts, your website will begin to look unsightly. It will seem “off” to the people reading it.
This even applies to pictures of font, which is why the font you use in your church signage should look as close as possible to the font on your website. In short, when you show pictures of your church on your website, it will look uniform with your site, and the pictures will be more pleasant to view for your website visitors.
What is the culture of your church? What feeling do you want people to have when they see your font?
Do you want your church website font to be sophisticated? Playful? Modern? Whatever font you choose will communicate something about the feeling of your church.
There is a difference between a serif font and a sans serif font. A serif font will have little lines hanging off the edges of each letter, and a sans serif font will have clean, single lines that are more simple.
Serif fonts tend to communicate something more intellectual. Sans serif fonts tend to communicate straightforwardness.
Thick font often communicates an emphasis and importance. Thinner fonts communicate elegance, modernity, and sophistication.
If you don’t have the budget to purchase a fully licensed premium font for your church website, you can use Google Fonts (most web providers supply access to Google Fonts), which gives you access to almost 1,000 free fonts, which include web-optimized fonts.
Use a website platform that enables you to easily choose from a variety of great fonts so you don't have to embed them, install them, or manually code them into your website.
Tithe.ly Sites comes built-in with a curated list of great Google Fonts, and we are always adding more great options.
This is one of the biggest mistakes churches make when choosing a font. They choose font configurations that aren’t readable in every format.
If your church font is too thin, it might not work on smaller printables like business cards.
If your font is too big, it might look too bulky and overbearing on a 100” projector screen during the service.
Make sure to test your font in a variety of venues—big and small, digital and print—to ensure that your font isn’t unreadable in important formats.
Most fonts have multiple weights that range from very thin to very bold—premium fonts sometimes have up to 10-12 levels.
Ideally, across all your designs, you should pick two fonts that are no more than 200 points away from each other—in other words, two levels of thickness apart.
Here’s another way to put it:
Don’t choose the boldest font for your headline and the thinnest font for your paragraph font, or vice versa.
Choosing the right font is a big decision.
It is very worth your time to find a designer in your church—or a local designer with whom you can consult—to help you pick the right fonts.
Since this is a one-time consultation, this shouldn’t be too expensive. But the return on investment for your church could last for years.
It’s very worth investing a couple hundred dollars to get a professional designer to help guide you through a process that will have a lasting impact on the way visitors and members alike will experience your church.
Whatever church font you choose, if it’s part of your church logo or any print assets, you may be stuck with it for a while.
Make sure to invest the appropriate amount of time and consideration into this decision.
It sounds like a small and insignificant decision, but your font is likely the first thing every new visitor will notice when they hear about, see, or read about your church.
In a previous blog post, I shared the different ways your church can thank donors—from automated emails to year-end giving reports. Printed donation letters also play an essential role in your church’s stewardship efforts.
Donation letters are the Swiss Army knife of your church’s gratitude arsenal. It may not be the most powerful—but it’s versatile, handy, and gets used often.
Your basic church donation letter can serve many different purposes, including:
A single, well-crafted donation letter can pull together several of these things simultaneously. Better donation letters lead to more giving, which leads to more donation letters—thus creating a cycle of on-going church generosity.
Here’s the good news—you don’t have to write an individualized letter for every person who gives to your church. That would be tough to do for even smaller churches. And most donors don’t expect you to. They’d rather you be putting their gift to better use in the community, instead of ceaselessly writing thank you notes.
With the possible exception of some unique circumstances, your church can use template language for the majority of your church donation letters. You’ll have to add in custom details like the donor’s name and gift amount, but you can write everything else in advance.
To make this even easier on you, here are a few basic church donation letter templates you can copy and paste. Keep in mind that not all of these have to be in print—you could just as easily turn some of these samples into email appeals.
The Donation Acknowledgement Letter is a basic way you can confirm and affirm a monetary gift to your church. Sending these is standard practice in church and nonprofit culture.
Dear [first name],
I want to personally thank you for your donation of [gift amount] to [church name]. We’re honored you would bless us with your generosity. Donations like yours make a big difference in the work our church is doing in the community.
Without givers like you, our church can’t have an impact or influence in our community. With your support, we’re partnering with local nonprofits, sending out global mission trips, and hosting small groups on topics that help real people like you. Together, we can make a difference.
Because we’re a tax-exempt nonprofit, you also get to write this donation off on your taxes. This letter serves as official proof of your donation, so keep it in your records come tax season. At the end of the year, we’ll also send you an annual recap with how much you’ve given to the church.
Thank you for supporting [church name]!
Not every church member realizes the importance of giving, or understand Bible verses about tithing and giving. So a Donation Request Letter helps to spread that awareness and encourage a spirit of generosity.
Dear [first name],
How are the finances in your household? That was a rhetorical question, so you don’t have to answer—besides, this is a letter so we wouldn’t hear you anyway. But we still want you to think about that question.
Money is a uniquely human issue, one we all struggle with to one degree or another. Even if you’re financially blessed, you still have the burden of stewarding your money wisely. And we believe that one of the best ways to invest your money is into the local church.
Tithing (giving 10% of your income) on a regular basis not only supports the work we do at [church name]. It doesn’t just support local missions and community growth. It also shows an obedience to God by making his work a financial priority in your life.
So if you find yourself ready to put God first in both your heart and your wallet, we encourage you to make a one-time gift or sign up to make recurring donations. That way, you won’t have to ever wonder again about the financial status of your household.
Many church donations aren’t just one-time gifts. Plenty of givers contribute monthly—and that should be acknowledged.
Use this template to correspond with recurring givers.
Dear [first name],
Thank you for being an active and faithful member of our church community. By giving to our church on a monthly basis, you’re showing that our church has a meaningful place in your heart. We just wanted to write this to let you know that you’re in our heart, too.
Donating to the church monthly allows us to preach the gospel, make disciples, and support others in our community who need help. Others like the local food bank and the nearby homeless shelter. We’re answering the cry of the needy, and it’s all thanks to contributors like you.
We earnestly appreciate your ongoing support and want to let you know we’re here for you. If there’s ever anything we can do for you and your family, don’t hesitate to reach out. You are a valued member of our church family. And you’re financial support is making a difference.
At the end of each year, it’s customary to give your church supporters a summary of their gifts. The primary reason is for tax purposes, but it’s also a way to recap everything your church has done over the past year with their support.
Dear [first name],
You’re getting this letter because you gave to [church name] at some point during the past year. That might have been a one-time gift, or recurring donations. Either way, we want to thank you for your generous support. Every contribution helps.
One of the official reasons for this letter is for tax purposes. That’s right—you get to write these donations off on your taxes. Which is why we’ve included a summary of all the contributions you’ve made to our church this year.
But the other reason for this letter is to let you know what we’ve done with the money you gave. We take stewardship very seriously, which means we value spending our time and resources wisely.
During the year, our church supported local nonprofits, sent global missions teams, and baptised quite a few people. It was a great year for us—thanks in large part to donors like you.
So thank you for your support of our church, and we hope you’ll consider continuing to contribute to our mission in the coming year.
Sometimes you need to make a more significant financial push using tried and true church fundraising ideas. Some churches call this a Stewardship Campaign or a Church Capital Campaign. Either way, the goal is to raise a certain amount of money for a big project. And typically, a solid letter of appeal is an integral part of that.
Dear [first name],
God has a plan for everyone and everything. That includes you, and it includes [church name]. None of us can fully know God’s plan—the best we can do is pray and listen for clarity. Our church leadership has been doing just that and are excited to announce our latest church project.
[Detail the outline of the major church project—this could include a building campaign, or raising support for a global mission trip. Anything specific to your church that requires a fundraising letter. Be sure to include a fundraising goal so everyone knows what you’re shooting for.]
But we can’t pull this off without your support. Whether you give to the church on a regular basis, or just attend on occasion, we’re asking you to consider contributing to this massive undertaking prayerfully. It’s something we need our entire church community’s help with.
Even if you can’t make a large gift, know that every little bit helps. It’s more about coming together as a community united behind a common cause. We hope that you’ll consider making a donation towards this great step forward that we’re making together.
It’s not enough to just copy and paste this content and send away. The key to an effective church donation letter is a touch of personalization. Follow these tips to take your donation letters to the next level:
There’s no one right or wrong way to write a donation letter or request contributions. You’ve got to do what is right for your church and congregation. But if you stick to these general tips, you’ll probably start to see some traction when it comes to giving.
Most people don’t love talking about money in church. But it’s a necessary and vital part of your church. And maximizing your efforts when it comes to donation letters will help make those conversations more comfortable. So what do you do next to put this into effect?
And if you’re looking for ways to grow your church’s giving capacity, Tithely can help.
Tithely’s systems make it as easy as possible for people to give to your church. Now all you need to start doing is generating a culture of gratitude. There’s nothing standing in your way. Go unleash generosity in your church.
How does your church use donation letters to spread generosity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Robert Carnes. Robert is a writer and storyteller. He's the author of The Original Storyteller: Become a Better Storyteller in 30 Days. A former church communicator and nonprofit marketer, Robert works as a managing editor for Orange in Atlanta.