The Digital Giving Strategy
Creating a Culture of Gratitude By Saying Thank You
This is the fourth in a series of posts; all directed to help you create a Digital Giving Strategy.
Several years ago, I read a book by Florence Littauer, entitled, “It Takes So Little to be Above Average.” The title says it all. In my experience of helping churches increase giving I have found that it is often the little things that matter the most. Little things like expressing gratitude to your donors by saying thank you.
Few churches have a Digital Giving Strategy for building up donors. While that might have worked before COVID19, it must change. This is the fourth in our series on establishing a Digital Giving Strategy for your church. One small piece of your strategy is knowing how to create a culture of gratitude by saying thank you. Thanking your donors might seem a little thing, but I can assure you it will put you in the above-average church category.
Think about it. How do you feel when someone thanks you? It makes you feel good. You feel appreciated and valued. Everyone likes to be appreciated and thanked. Gratitude is a powerful tool, that if used effectively, can help increase your giving. A key part of your digital giving strategy is creating a culture of generosity. How hard is it to, from time to time, say, “Thank you, your gift is making a difference?”
Let’s look at the key elements you need to establish a culture of gratitude at your church that will end in an increase in giving and givers.
First, become a model of gratitude yourself by living out a life of gratitude. To establish a Culture of Gratitude, you need to live a life of gratitude by showing gratitude. We start by being grateful and spreading that to others. Your acts of gratitude become contagious, which impacts others around you. One person at a time, we make the world more grateful.
We cannot teach what we don’t live out! So, work on your gratitude level before you try and establish a culture of gratitude.
How does this relate to giving? When you establish a Culture of Gratitude and work to exhibit that in all you do, giving will increase. Let’s talk about why showing gratitude over giving is important.
Let me establish that I believe that Christians should give without expecting anything in return. We can all agree on that. Most donors never expect to hear anything about their gifts. That is why when you make an effort to say thank you, it means so much to them.
Churches teach gratefulness by how they respond to givers. Everything we do in church is a teachable moment. So, when you make an effort to thank those that fuel your ministry, it shows them you are grateful and sets a standard for them in how to respond to those that give to them.
Gratefulness begets gratefulness! When you show gratefulness to donors, they, in turn, show gratefulness. While saying thank you, might not mean they give more; it will certainly make donors feel appreciated for the gifts they give. Again, how you respond teaches them how to respond.
Why is thanking your donors important? Apart from all of the above, I have some practical reasons for suggesting that we say thank you to donors. Here are a few reasons I stress having a thank you plan of action,
- Saying thank you for a past gift is a subtle way of reminding people about giving.
- Saying thank you allows you to say what gifts accomplish. People give to what matters!
- Saying thank you builds a platform upon which to ask for further gifts.
- Saying thank produces happy donors. 99.99% of your donors are not expecting a thank you, but they will appreciate one when given.
- Saying thank you shows that you recognize donors are not simply a number but a real person.
- Saying thank you sets you apart from others who never acknowledge donations.
I don’t give to get a thank you letter. However, I certainly have a better feeling about my gift when someone says thank you than when I never hear anything back.
How are you showing gratitude to those that fuel your ministry? Thanking your donors takes so little, but it will set you above the average church. Thank someone today!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach