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Encouraging generosity in 2024

Published: 4th January 2024

Kingdom People, stewardship logoNow we are in January and the busy-ness of Christmas has come to an end, many churches begin planning for the year ahead. Making sure that generosity and stewardship are a part of that plan can be very important in helping your church and community to go forward with confidence this year, improving health and sustainability.  

When planning, the first thing to do is to set goals or priorities. What three things (at most) would you like to see happen by the end of the year? Once you have decided these, then you can think about who is involved, what impact you want to have, what you will need to make it possible and how you want to celebrate achieving your goals. All these questions can involve thinking about generosity. 

People 

Do your plans for the year involve focussing on your current congregation or the wider community? Are they on people who already give to the church or those who might just give occasionally? Different groups of people want to give in different ways, and so we must have a variety of ways that they can donate so that they feel their contribution is important and valued. If you are wanting to focus on people who visit your church for the first time, is there a way they can give by a debit card or even a smartwatch? Have you got a way that people can give one-off donations or regularly online – the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) is great for this!  

Similarly, people generally follow patterns, so in our diocese we see twice as many people sign up to the Parish Giving Scheme in March and April than any other month. If you want to encourage PGS in your church and community, then planning a relaunch in February and March is perfect timing. Similarly, more people write their wills in October and November, so planning to look at legacies after Harvest can be very productive.  

Impact 

Charities make a lot of noise asking for donations, and all of them let you know what they want to achieve, but we’re not always very good at telling people about the impact that the church has. People are more likely to give if they know what their money is going towards, so try to make this clear. Let people know about the big outreach and missional activities your church does, but also all the smaller things that can often be forgotten, such as pastoral visiting, working in schools, making sure there is a community building, and most importantly, worshipping God.  

Need  

Another key reason that people do not give is because they are not asked. There are many assumptions about our church’s finances, for example that we have plenty of money available and that we get State support, and we need to be clear that this is not the case. Explaining that we need people’s support financially, as well as time and talents, lets them know that we, like most charities, rely on them. Expressing our needs as a church, both for longer term help and for short projects, also encourages people to become a greater part of the community – and so they will want to get more involved and so want to give.  

Thank You 

Finally, we should include in our planning how to celebrate the wins we achieve. For each church this will be different, but we need to make sure that our thank you is said in a number of different ways so that it is heard by different people. Sending a thank you card or offering a special service of thanksgiving for volunteers can help make people feel that their contribution is valued. Similarly, regularly making sure that in church services and new worshipping communities there is the opportunity to offer thanks for gifts, to talk about generosity, and to celebrate your community can really encourage those who attend.  

There are lots of further ideas on our website or please get in touch with Robyn and Chris in the Stewardship Team to talk over any plans you have. Also, if you have any ideas that you would like to share, or have tried a new fundraising activity this year, please get in touch.  

Page last updated: Thursday 4th January 2024 9:42 AM

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