It is estimated that 12% of all annual giving occurs on the last three days in December. Some parishioners and donors cut it down to the wire because it’s a busy time of year. Many that give consistently enjoy making additional one-time gifts around the holidays. Others are simply inspired during the season of generosity to give for the first time or to increase a single donation.
With more people giving and connecting with the parish, it’s essential you have a plan for donor retention. This way, you can keep the momentum going into the new year. In order to help, here are 3 simple tips to engage and retain year-end givers.
1. Use technology for giving and communicating beyond year-end
There is a lot of peak giving days at year-end that don’t fall on a Sunday. Because of this, many parishes focus their attention online and reach out more frequently via Facebook, email, giving apps, and their website. An excellent way to increase donor retention is to keep it up!
Almost 75% of new givers donate once and then never contribute again. One reason is that they’re not invited to give in the same way as when year-end generosity campaigns are in full swing. Beginning in January, continue communicating through social media, email, a giving app, and your website to stay connected with donors throughout the year.
2. Design a yearly plan to engage with givers
When you have a plan to stay in front of givers consistently, you’ll naturally increase donor retention and inspire a culture of generosity. While you don’t want to bombard people with messages, you do want to show them that you’re available (even if they don’t attend every service).
Be sure to include a communication calendar in your plan. Mark your calendar for a day to send an email sharing how year-end gifts have specifically impacted the community and furthered the church. Include announcements for outreach events and invitations to special services. Continue to add to the calendar throughout the year to ensure you stay on top of communications with new guests and active members.
3. Focus on relationships rather than retention
Sometimes all it takes to increase donor retention is to think of it differently. While the primary goal will be to retain givers and attendees at mass, ultimately what you’ll be doing is building relationships. This takes time, but year-end is the ideal time to get to know your parish a little better and keep the connection going when the new year begins.
When you send a thank-you message, give the donor an opportunity to engage again by inviting them to join a Bible study group or attend an upcoming outreach event. Sometimes all it takes is extending an invitation to make church donors feel welcome.
ParishSOFT provides online giving resources for parishes to increase gifts and retain donors! Learn more by calling 866-930-4774 x6 or contacting us online.