My friend Mark Brooks has a saying, “If you don’t have a plan, you are planning on failure.”
One of the biggest mistakes churches make with their digital giving strategy is a lack of any coordinated plan of action.
A few weeks ago, I started a series of posts entitled “The Basics of a Digital Giving Strategy.” My first focus was on The Right Tools a church needs for an effective digital giving strategy. Last week I shared the importance of another aspect of the basics, The Right Strategy. We believe the correct strategy is one of moving people up the generosity ladder. Yet, the right tools and the right strategy are worthless unless you develop a plan of action.
Last week I shared with you an overview of The Four Distinct Giving Stages of a Believer. The question is, how would you develop a plan of action to help each of these groups move up the generosity ladder? Let me share with you some practical plans of action you can take for each segment.
The Rookie Giver is a first-time or sporadic giver. The Rookie attends service but has not yet partnered financially with the mission of the local Church. The Rookie may drop cash in the bucket if it is on hand, but they do not have a pre-planned action for giving.
A plan of action for developing The Rookie Giver – How can you encourage someone to become a first-time giver?
- Share how you decided to give for the first time. Testimonies are a powerful way of encouraging others to start on the path of generosity.
- Steer them toward the roundup feature on the Gyve generosity app.
- Challenge them to set aside a little money to give the next time they attend.
- Encourage them to pray about giving to the Church.
- Talk about generosity in small groups and from the stage.
The Relative Giver decides to give based on how they spend money in other areas of their life. They note their monthly expenses (cable bill, new clothes, car payments, etc.) and reflect on whether their spending aligns with their giving. The Relative Giver sees the Church’s vision, has intentions to contribute and includes giving as a consistent part of their budget.
A plan of action for developing The Relative Giver – How can you encourage someone to become a recurring giver?
- Have them sign up for the Gyve generosity app and talk about the recurring gift feature.
- Encourage them to pick a percentage of their income to begin giving each week or each month.
- Have them incorporate giving into their monthly budget.
- Coach daily encounters with God and weekly attendance at services.
The Relational Giver not only sees the vision of the Church; they are fully bought-in on the mission. They view giving in proportion with spending and have shifted their perspective to categorize giving as an essential part of their life. The Relational Giver regularly gives in line with their income, often practicing the biblical stewardship of tithing, offering 10% of income to the local Church.
A plan of action for developing The Relational Giver – How can you encourage someone to become a relational giver?
- Change their ACH transfer through their bank or the church online generosity app to a recurring giving amount to more than they regularly pay to one of their recurring monthly expenses.
- Challenge people not to give from their excess, but rather be generous with what God has given them.
The Radical Giver is a driven giver. Their emphasis is not so much on what God is asking them to give but on what God is asking them to keep. A Radical giver has completely revamped their frame of mind when it comes to living generously. They give from a true passion or calling and dictate their spending and lifestyle around giving, not the typical reverse perspective.
A plan of action for developing The Radical Giver – How can you challenge someone to become a radical giver? Spend time helping someone think through these questions:
- Do your long-term spending decisions reflect more focus on how God is calling you to serve Him or do they focus more on your own comfort?
- How is God challenging you to change your plans or expectations to commit more fully to Him?
- How could living a “simplified” lifestyle allow you to be more generous?
- Are you adjusting your lifestyle to follow biblical principles (devotion to God, family, community, and mission), or are you adjusting biblical principles to fit your lifestyle?
- After reaching 10% (tithe), can you add one percent to your generosity percentage each year?
- Think about adding the roundup feature as an immediate first step to become a radical giver.
While the above are ideas that need more fully developed, they will provide you with some direction on implementing a plan of action that fits your culture and context. The point is that unless you take action to address generosity, it is unlikely that you will see much of a giving increase. With the Right Plan of Action, you can see a giving increase.