“It Is Better to Give Than to Receive”: 6 Scientific & Biblical Reasons Why
Is it better to give than to receive? Here are six biblical and scientific reasons why giving is better than receiving.
December 10, 2019
Women compose the majority of churches and manage the majority of checkbooks. But we often fail to think about how to help them give. Here's a proven 5-step approach.
April 2, 2019
In over half of families, women control the checkbook.
Kadi Cole notes in her recent book Developing Female Leaders:
According to a recent Glassdoor report, women are out-earning men in male-dominated jobs such as military officer, merchandiser, research specialist, and communications.
Practically speaking, for your church, this means that women are earning a lot and making many financial decisions in the family.
One of the most important decisions Christian women in the church will make is how much to give to the church.
Tithing is a core element of Christian discipleship.
If you are a church carrying out God’s mission, you will be developing generous female givers.
Every church that pastors women is obligated to help them learn to be financially wise and generous with their time, money, and resources.
Below are five proven strategies that help women become more generous in the church.
This doesn’t mean that you put every single female in your church into a leadership position.
But you should be actively putting women in as many leadership positions as possible.
This means that you ought to be proactively providing women with opportunities to discover what their gifts are.
This also means that you should be cultivating the gifts that women in your church have by providing training opportunities to hone and optimize their gifts to be maximally effective in your church.
Even if your church theologically reserves the office of ordained pastor for men, take this principle into consideration:
A non-ordained woman can do everything a non-ordained man can do — even if you are complementarian.
As every pastor knows, leadership and ordination are not the same thing.
This has two important implications.
In churches that do ordain women, you should cultivate a culture that celebrates women and men alike.
If women feel valued, they will want to give.
Generosity isn’t just about obligation.
Generosity at its best grows naturally from participation.
A soccer player who is needed by his team will give more on the field than the water boy who wishes he was able to play.
Begin by valuing women as leads to help them discover their strengths, and then train them to become contributors.
When women feel like they belong and are valued, they will want to give.
If you want women to give, you need to understand what the women in your church want to give to.
Don’t try to reverse engineer generous female givers by guessing what might get them excited about giving and creating it. Create a special breakfast just for women in your church and ask them this sequence of questions:
Even if this meeting merely begins a conversation, women will feel appreciated and heard.
When you have meetings like this, you elevate tithing from a burden to women into an opportunity for women.
Tithing is an essential part of belonging to the church.
The more women understand the character of God, the mission of the church, and the kind of family God wants to create, they will be compelled to partner with you.
Single women tend to want missions-oriented programs.
Married women tend to want family-oriented programs.
Having both kinds of programs in place will give each population of women in your church an opportunity to give toward something that God has placed on their hearts.
Don’t keep women silent in the church.
It is every Christian’s duty to be generous, and it is the church’s duty to help women be excellent generous.
It’s odd when churches expect women to bear all the responsibilities of a church, but receive none of the opportunities.
Making women feel valuable shouldn’t be hard, because women in the church are extremely valuable.
Women are very often taken for granted.
Don’t try to guilt women into giving by strong-arming them with a theological argument.
Women who feel valued will want to give back.
It’s not their job to give first.
Pro tip: Use Kadi’s evaluation criteria on pp. 134-139 to evaluate how your unique church can best advance women into leadership positions.
It’s the church’s job to invest in women, cherish their value, and give them opportunities to connect and serve to their full capacity. Churches who do this will develop generous female givers more than any church that kicks their efforts to a women’s Bible study on generosity.
If you want a sure-fire way to suppress female giving, be really stingy with leadership, investment, or training.
Generosity is an outflow of connectedness.
This is how you develop generous female givers.
People want to invest in places where they belong and feel valued.
If you do can achieve this, you will have so many women who want to give that you will have the beautiful problem of having more money than you know how to manage and more church volunteers than you know how to administrate.
You will need a church management solution to deal with these complexities that come with more money and more volunteers.
The best solution for your church is Tithe.ly’s Church Management.
It enables you to organize groups, send push notifications with updates and changes, automate digital giving in your church, and give women the opportunities they long for which compel them to give to a mission they believe in.
This is the key to cultivating generous female leaders in the church:
For more on this topic, check out this interview with Kadi Cole, author of Deveoloping Female Leaders:
Author: Paul Maxwell, Ph.D., is the Content Strategist at Tithe.ly. He lives in Fishers, IN with his beautiful wife and rowdy wheaten terrier. He consults on marketing, brand optimization, and ministry logistics.
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.