Thanksgiving: The Start of a Generous Season


Thanksgiving: The Start of a Generous Season

Thanksgiving is a day that many gather with friends and family to eat, fellowship, and express gratitude to one another, as well as gratitude towards the God who provides for us all.

But you might also find yourself watching football, plotting your course for the early morning black-friday rush, and scouring the web for that one “so amazing you just can’t pass it up” cyber-monday deal.

In all the excitement (or chaos), fun, and festivities, it’s important to remember that this time of year is also the start of a season of generosity. A season where we reflect on all the ways we’ve been blessed and turn our gratitude into action.

With #GivingTuesday next week, year end giving, and serving campaigns starting up at churches and charities all over the nation, there are tons of ways to give financially this time of year.

There are also many other ways you can express gratitude and generosity this season.

Here’s a few ideas…


The next time you’re at Starbucks or a drive thru restaurant, tell the cashier that you would like to pay for the car behind you.

This random act of kindness is so simple, and not very expensive, but it could make someone’s day. You never know how God may use the situation to show someone love.

The best part is that it will be totally unexpected and completely anonymous. Sometimes the best gifts are the ones where we don’t receive any of the credit.

Invite Your Neighbors

Holidays like Thanksgiving provide less awkward opportunities to reach out to others around you. If you know someone in your neighborhood who doesn’t have family nearby invite them over to your house for Thanksgiving.

Maybe you know someone who’s a little bit of a shut in. Maybe someone in the neighborhood who you’d like to get to know better. A delicious Thanksgiving feast is a hard invitation to decline if you didn’t already have any plans.

You may also want to reach out to your single friends, widows, and divorcees. There’s nothing more brutal than spending holidays alone. Whether they accept it or not, your invitation alone just might be the expression of love and generosity that they needed.

Package Up Those Leftovers

Most American households have a ton of leftovers at the end of their Thanksgiving celebration. Even Uncle Jerry can’t eat that much sweet potato casserole.

While leftover turkey sandwiches make for some great lunches all week long, consider packaging up those leftovers and delivering them to the homeless in your area.

It might even turn into a fun family activity you can do together after everyone wakes from their tryptophan naps. If you think ahead you can buy some Ziplock bags and cheap tupperware containers, along with some disposable forks.

A turkey sandwich along with some mashed potatoes, and stuffing would make for an excellent meal for someone who probably didn’t gather together with their family this Thanksgiving. Divide them up into paper bags and hand them out to the homeless in your area, or call up a local shelter to ask where you can drop them off.

What are some other ways you can express gratitude and generosity this season?

Expert Tips on How to Effectively Launch a New Online Giving Tool

Make it accessible so people can give in the way that is most comfortable to them. Don't make it hard for people to give money.
Some people like to give online, some like mobile, some like text. Whatever they like, let them give in that way if you can.
Brady Shearer
Talk about it every single week. Consistently promote it on every platform. 
Be patient. We all resist change.
Michael Lukaszewski
Launch it to your staff, your leaders, and your volunteers (in that order) and help those groups use it before you launch it publicly.
Teach it in your new member class.
Allow for people to sign-up right on the spot via their mobile phone (or through a laptop or iPad for those that don't have a mobile device handy).
Justin Dean
On launch weekend, have volunteers and staff accessible with iPads to walk people through how to set up an account and get recurring giving configured.
Daniel Irmler
On a regular basis, tell stories from members who are using and loving it. 
You don't don’t need a big production value shoot. Keep it simple by using an iPhone (horizontal) and a decent mic.
Invite your congregation to take out their phones and download the mobile giving app right in the service.
Nik Goodner
Explain the why behind the change and highlight the benefits of the new system. 
People like to be "on the team".
Kevin Ekmark
I always tell people, "you need to clean your house before you invite friends over". It's crucial that your giving platform is easily found, whether it's on the web or in the church. 
On the web, making sure that your website is mobile friendly (Google and Bing both recommend mobile responsive design) can be a huge help. You can also incorporate bots from Facebook or a service like Intercom to help walk people through online giving on your website. When necessary, a human can jump in and help too. This helps complete the process from being found online to completing the online giving.
Logan Fields
Tell them the real reasons. Giving members are concerned with what's best for the church and not just what they individually prefer. Transparency.
"This platform will allow us to better manage finances and spend less staff time on the books and more on people." etc. The temptation is to treat members like consumers who we need to impress instead of team members. Treat them like equals who you assume are interested in what's best for the church/ mission and people will likely rise to it.
Kenny Jahng
Launch a $3.16 campaign. Ask people to all give just $3.16 to a weekly or bi-weekly blessing fund. Then, pick one person or cause to bless IN TOWN and go give that person all the money collected.
  • It could be the all volunteer firefighter squad in town. "We'll take all the $3.16's collected and go buy a meal or treat and drop off for the firefighters who volunteer."
  • It could be a widow the church knows about - bless her with something new for her home or hobby or pets.
  • Single mothers - supply them with a night out. Or pay for a house cleaner or a handyman for a couple of hours.
  • Special needs families - pay for evening out for the parents and child care for the special needs kids so the parents get a break.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
This works incredibly well because you are teaching generosity / outward posture to your people on a consistent basis and getting people to give on mobile- while making it about PARTICIPATION vs AMOUNT. You'll have people regularly trying out the mobile option as well as pre-register them in the system.

There you have it! Some amazing tips, right?

Which tip stood out the most to you … or looked to be the craziest?! Share with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you! powers mobile, text, and web giving for
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Thanksgiving: The Start of a Generous Season powers mobile, text, and web giving for
churches and ministries.

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