Health and Growth

7 Tactics to Increase Church Giving with Text-to-Give

Text to give could literally double your church donations if you use these 7 strategies.

7 Tactics to Increase Church Giving with Text-to-Give
by

Paul Maxwell

Text-to-give has a bad reputation.

Many churches (maybe yours?) see it as an unnecessary expense, don’t process donations, and often don’t know how to use it to its full potential.

I’ve had many churches tell me:

“We tried text-to-give, but our church members didn’t use it.”

Other times, church leaders quip that no one likes to text to give. But that’s a digital giving myth we busted like a ballon.

In the end, I ask:

  • “Did you launch it?”
  • “How did you use it?”
  • “Did you get buy-in from your congregation?”
  • “Did you create a marketing campaign so that people would know how to use text-to-give to support your church?”

Without exception, those who did not generate significant donations from text-to-give had simply purchased the service, mentioned it one Sunday in church, and nothing more.

This saying is trustworthy and true (especially in the church):

If you don’t hound people about something, they won’t show up.

Even people who would gladly make use of text-to-give services will often need several prompts, a clear guide, guided instruction, and a setup tutorial just to get started.

That’s why I’ve provided you with seven easy-to-use hacks that you can implement into your church life that will boost your text-to-give donations.  

1. Use text-to-give as a call to action during your church service

The next time your church has a giving campaign, don’t just mention it during church.

Ask people to pull out their phones and give.

Here’s a script you can use:

“I’d like you all to pull out your phones right now and text our number: 555-5555. Text $0. And if God moves you to give more than $0, and we are asking in faith that he is, know that it is going to this very special campaign that will advance our church’s mission to the glory of God.”

Many people might simply text $0.

Others will be moved to give more.

Even if everyone texts $0, you haven’t lost anything.

And if ten people cumulatively give $500, that’s $500 more than you would have received if you didn’t ask at all.

2. Use text-to-give in members meetings

In meetings with your church members, text-to-give is a powerful tool that you can use to accomplish success for a particular project in the church.

Meetings often tend to be times of complaint and reflection rather than vision and action.

If you’re $1,000 short on making something happen in the church, ask your members to pull out their phones and give this charge:

“If everyone here gave $5, we’d have enough money. I’m asking each of you text $5 to 555-5555. We could watch God move right now to meet this need. Let’s act as a church and fund this project right during this meeting and praise God together.”

3. Publicize text-to-give at public events

When your church makes an appearance at public events like parades, community service projects, and state fairs, print a large sign that everyone walking by can see:

“Text ‘Give’ to 555-5555. Then text your dollar amount. Every penny goes to building wells in the Congo.”

When someone stops by your booth, explain more about the donation you’re running and ask them to give.

It’s that simple.

4. Publicize text-to-give on social media

Social media is an excellent way to prompt text-to-give because people passively consume it when they have nothing to do, which means that if they have time to scroll through Twitter, they have a few seconds to text a donation for your church’s cause.

It gets even better:

Because social media is so often bent toward negative posts, positivity is much more clickable and shareable.

When you express a clear need and method for people to participate in text-to-give on social media, you are reaching an audience primed to donate.

5. Use text-to-give as a mobile way to collect donations on the road

If your church is on a missions trip, hosting a missions conference, or your church is sponsoring a church event, use text-to-give as a way to collect donations.

When traveling, you often meet like-minded people who will want to partner with your cause.

Don’t let that opportunity pass you by.

And certainly don’t be shy about asking for a donation.

Churches run on donations.

And the easiest way to ask a person to donate to your church when you’ve just met them is to tell them to text their donation to your church’s number!

6. Put text-to-give instructions on a printed card

Design and print a business card that has the phone number, instructions, and purpose for your church’s text-to-give campaigns.

Print out 10 cards for every member in your church and hand out the cards in packs of 10 to everyone there.

Ask your church to explain to friends and neighbors how your church is serving the community and ask them to text a donation.

7. Send text-to-give requests to your church’s email list

Use your church’s email list to ask people to text a donation to your church.

This works especially well for immediate and diaconal needs.

For example, if a church member is injured in a car accident, this is a great way to raise support so the church can buy the family food for a week while they deal with the crisis of caring for their family member.

Use these diaconal needs as prompts for asking members to give texts.

People want to give money and they have money to give.

If a member is about to buy a Starbucks coffee and gets an email asking for a text-to-give donation for another member who is in crisis, they will most likely gladly forego their coffee and help out the mercy ministry of the church.

Over to you

Use these seven tactics to boost the donations your church is able to generate through text-to-give.

Don’t just get a text-to-give feature and let it collect dust on the shelf.

Use text-to-give as often as you can to generate as many donations as possible.

You will increase the impact of your church, spread the gospel of Jesus Christ more excellently, and give all who participate a sense of satisfaction and connection as they meet the needs of their community.

Why Write Church Donation Letters?

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:

  • Acknowledging that you received a donation
  • Thanking the giver for being generous with their finances
  • Sharing other ways the person can support your church
  • Allowing the donor to write the gift off on their taxes
  • Encouraging supporters to make recurring donations
  • Requesting future donations from church members

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.

Church Donation Letter Samples

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.

1. Donation Acknowledgment Letter

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]!
Sincerely,
[your name]

2. Donation Request Letter

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.
Sincerely,
[your name]

3. Monthly Giving Letter

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.
Sincerely,
[your name]

4. Year-End Giving Letter

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.
Sincerely,
[your name]  

5. Church Fundraising Letter

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.
Sincerely,
[your name]

Tips when writing church donation letters

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:

  • Examples: Add specific examples of how your church will use the donation. Tell a story about the work your church is doing in the community and connect that with giving.
  • Personalization: For regular donors, don’t be afraid to add a short, handwritten personal note. This shows that you’ve singled them out with praise.
  • Timeliness: Sending donation letters quickly reminds people you’re thankful for them. But this also takes organization and efficiency. All the more reason to use pre-written templates.
  • Storytelling: Everything is better with stories—including donation letters. Weave in a specific narrative of how your church is making a difference and how the money will be used.

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.

What’s next?

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?

  • Customize these letters: Take the samples above and make them work for your church. Personalize the content. Remove the stuff that doesn’t sound genuine and add in stuff that does. Remember that these are just a starting point.
  • Create some systems: Develop processes that make it easy for you to replicate sending donation letters. Use a letter template that allows you to drop in names and details. Then develop guidelines for when these letters will be sent out.
  • Empower a champion: Find out who is going to be responsible for making these letters happen. Rather than thinking of this as adding more work to their plate, think about how you can elevate their work. This could be a staff member, or a volunteer.
  • Start sending: All of this will be for nothing if you don’t actually send out the letters. Take the time to get it right and get them into the hands of your church donors.

And if you’re looking for ways to grow your church’s giving capacity, Tithely can help.

We provide several different ways your church members can support your church financially—from online giving, text to give solutions, and giving kiosks.

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.

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7 Tactics to Increase Church Giving with Text-to-Give