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
Your church's Easter boost doesn't have to be limited to friends and family. Use these 5 Facebook marketings tips to exponentially grow your Easter newcomers.
March 11, 2019
Easter is an ideal time to reach people in your community.
Around the world and in your town, Easter is celebrated by nearly everyone, which makes it the perfect opportunity to reach unchurched people.
According to LifeWay research, a 2013 study has shown that about 41 percent of Americans aim to attend church on Easter, which is an increase of more than 20 percent on an average Sunday. What makes it even more significant is the fact that one in five people are still undecided about attending an Easter service.
With such a significant number of people still indecisive and unreached, this is your chance to reel them in and increase your church attendance on this glorious day.
Well, by creating a foolproof social-media strategy of course.
If you want to boost easter attendance with Facebook (and you should), we first need to rid ourselves of a few myths about what it means to be successful as a church on Facebook.
Even though many promotion on Facebook has been a huge success with so many different churches, there are still many more (maybe yours?) that are shackled by misconceptions.
Will it work for me?
It’s too difficult.
It will cost too much money to see any results.
What if my post or video doesn’t go viral?
These are common concerns and questions church leaders have.
But what I told you these concerns are more like myths?
Let me show you what I’m talking about.
Viral posts are costly, and they don’t give you a return.
When was the last time you took 3 hours to attend an event because of a viral video?
Viral videos are possible because of a scroll-and-forget world.
There are much better ways to get audience engagement and new attendees on Easter.
So much effort, time and money have to be spent before you get close to going viral. There are better ways to get your audience to engage that give you a greater return on investment in the long run. Set yourself up for success by creating more achievable goals.
You don’t just want to look successful.
You want to be successful in hitting your goal:
New Easter attendees.
Facebook has more than a billion active users.
Know what else?
A huge portion of adults in your community uses Facebook too.
There aren’t many places that allow you to reach such a focused audience with advertising.
If you want to get in front of the people in your town, you’ll need to be willing to pay a small price for a big result. There are churches who report having significant results by spending less than $100.
Spending money on Facebook advertisements is so much cheaper and more effective than simply printing flyers.
If you’re going to reach your goal of increasing church attendance, your congregation will have to get on the same page and partner with you to make it happen.
Make sure that your entire church is clear on the mission, how you’re going to accomplish it, and what is expected of them.
For example, when you share Easter related content on Facebook, ask your church members to share the post and tag their friends or send it to them via a private message on Facebook.
Before you publish your Facebook ad, you need to know who the ad is for—who your audience is. This is something you should know even before you create the ad.
There’s no point trying to reach the friends you already have on Facebook. Your goal is to reach your church members’ friends and create content that will be meaningful to people who don’t go to church or who haven’t yet heard of Jesus.
Here are five ways to attain it:
If your strategy is going to be effective, you’re going to need somewhere to send your audience.
Make a page on your church website dedicated to your Easter service.
Pro Tip: Make sure that your URL is easy to write out since it will be in links,images, and videos.
On your Easter page, list out the specifics like what time your service starts, your location, what to expect, and so on.
Here’s something more to consider:
Address the objections someone may use to talk them out of attending.
For instance, someone who is uncertain about the service and what it will be like will much easier be won over by reading, “Come and enjoy a free coffee roast from our partner at XYZ local coffee roaster" than “come and enjoy free coffee."
Create content with your social media goals in mind.
Got someone creative in your congregation? Let them use their craftsmanship to create a great visual package that is consistent with your overall strategy.
Make sure that it’s cohesive and that everyone in church communicates the same message.
If everyone decides to change their profile pics to a white cross with a black background, this will make their friends take notice.
To ensure consistency in messaging, you could even provide your members with specific content to share. If you go this route, don’t forget to add your Easter page link.
Whatever strategy you choose, remember to stick together as a congregation and ensure consistency throughout.
Start creating Easter content that your members and their friends may share. The aim is to post content that will show up on other people’s newsfeeds.
Make a video for promoting your Easter service. If you have a really low-budget and you’re uncomfortable behind a camera, there’s nothing wrong with having your pastor record an invitation on his phone.
Make it funny.
Talk about your Easter service.
Make it something someone who isn’t interested in Christianity would be interested in attending.
Your goal is not to get as much engagement as possible. Rather, your goal is to get your content on more of the right peoples' newsfeeds.
It’s vital that you include your Easter page link in all of your posts. Remember to stay mindful of the audience you’re trying to reach and refrain from using too much Christian lingo.
Posts that are fun and thought-provoking are more likely to get likes, shares, and comments.
Your content should be relevant and trigger a reaction.
Once someone likes or shares your post, it shows up on their friends’ newsfeeds. If they engage and comment on your post they will receive a notification each time someone responds and your post could possibly be recycled through their feeds.
Make sure that everyone’s goal in sharing is to make people feel welcome by engaging them in meaningful conversation.
The goal isn’t to convert people to Christianity with a Facebook post. The goal is to get people to attend your Easter service, where you pray they will be converted through the preaching of the gospel.
You can reach at least 2,200–5,800 people through paid promotion on Facebook for only a few bucks. Considering that this is one of the few places you can achieve these type of results, it’s worth the cost.
The awesome part is that you can reach everyone who has liked your page, and their friends. You can even target your post to reach people based on their age, interests, location, and more.
Your ideal target are people who have already liked your page and live nearby your church. If you use Facebook the right way, you could potentially double your church attendance during Easter—and potentially boost your weekly attendance in the coming months. Over to you
This leads us to one final point.
You should be using a church management software for your church. If you’re not, all your Easter efforts have a high probability of being fruitless.
Because if you don’t capture the contact info of new attendees and integrate it into a pre-existing communications database, you can kiss potential growth goodbye.
Get your church registered with Tithe.ly’s ChMS to manage your church membership data (including first-time guest info) and stop sabotaging your church’s ability to grow through technological neglect.
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.