A Simple Guide for Engaging with First-time Givers

Welcoming at a Catholic Church

Giving to a parish for the first time is hopefully always grounded in spiritual practice. However, it is important to consider that it may be an emotional experience as well. Faith and finances do play a role in the decision, but people also give with their hearts. Regardless of the motivation however, only 19% of those that give once are likely to donate a second time. There are a lot of reasons that contribute to this statistic, but the primary one reason relates to how you engage with first-time givers.

To help ensure your ministry is engaging with first-time givers successfully, we have created a simple guide with these easy steps.

Make it easy to give for the first time
Online giving has increased in popularity substantially over the last few years especially. By making it incredibly easy to give online, engaging with those that haven’t given or tithed before is more simple and effective.

Knowing this, consider equipping your parish with ParishSOFT Giving to ensure that first-time givers have all available options to tithe.

Design a system to inform you when first-timers give
To engage with first-time givers, you have to know that they have given. The best way to achieve this is to design a system that alerts you when someone donates for the first time.

When using ParishSOFT Giving’s reporting system, you can have transaction reports emailed to you daily, weekly, and monthly. You can also encourage first-time givers to leave a short message in the “additional comment” section to further the reporting insight.

Have a plan ready for your next steps of engagement
Before someone gives, you should already know what your next steps of engagement are. It can be as simple as sending a handwritten note thanking them for their gift. This should be done promptly because if the person does not feel appreciated, they are less likely to give a second time. Try to get your message out within a week (if not the next day) of the donation and make sure it is heartfelt.

Follow-up with the results of the first gift
We contribute to causes we believe in for many reasons, but givers always appreciate seeing the results of their contributions. A follow-up email separate from the “thank you” lets them know how they have impacted the parish’s mission and helped the community.

For example, if your parish is raising money to rebuild a family’s home that was taken by fire, let the first-time giver know the progress of the goal. You can use before and after pictures in the follow-up as well as quotes from the family to highlight how their lives have been positively impacted.

Ask for a second gift
Sixty-three percent of those that give a second time are likely to give again. And that is why this step is so crucial. While you don’t want to bombard people by continually asking, first-time givers can benefit from a little prompting on your part. Reach out by detailing the parish’s goals for raising funds. Ground your message not only in spiritual principals and practices, but especially focus on how their gift can help serve your community and aligns with parish mission.

By following these five easy steps, you could see tithing increase as givers come to understand the impact of their gifts and experience increased connection to your parish. Plus, first-time givers typically turn into recurring givers! Let us know how it goes by commenting below.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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