5 Simple, Strategic Tips for Yearly Planning

Posted on January 02, 2019

With 2018 behind us, and January just revving up, now is the ideal time to focus on what’s ahead. Even with a lot on your plate this month, don’t push planning to the bottom of the list. Yearly planning is essential for growth, development, & increasing giving in 2019. In fact, research shows that organizations with a yearly plan double their odds for success.

So, grab a big cup of something warm, turn off all distractions, and make yourself comfy as you start the process. To help you hit the ground running, here are a few strategic tips for yearly planning (and they’re incredibly simple to apply).

1. Emphasize online giving options

This year, make it a priority to emphasize online giving to your ministry. Online giving increased for faith-based organizations every month last year, and the trend is expected to continue in 2019.

Throughout the year, send friendly reminders about the current online giving options you provide. Also, consider adding a few new features to your generosity campaigns such as giving kiosks.

ParishSOFT Giving makes it simple for your donors to give on computers, tablets, and smartphones. Signing up takes seconds, and givers will have access to:

  • Branded donation pages
  • Giving kiosks
  • Mobile giving app
  • Facebook giving app
  • Text giving

If you don’t have online giving in place, it’s time to take advantage of a powerful giving platform. Parishes see a 32% average increase in overall giving when using ParishSOFT Giving. This increase gives churches an opportunity to expand community outreach, make repairs to places of worship, and more!

2. Adopt an easy-to-use reporting system

When planning out the year’s generosity campaigns and parish fundraising events, spend time thinking about your current reporting system.

  • Were you frustrated by your reporting system last year?
  • Was it too complicated or limited?
  • Was it too difficult to analyze and apply the information?
  • Did you have a reporting system in place at all?

With all ParishSOFT Giving plans, you have access to a clear and customizable reporting system. The control panel is straightforward, making data collection seamless. Analyzing and applying the online giving information is painless because you’re in control of which reports to run. This allows you to refine generosity campaigns and increase giving (no matter what size parish you manage).

3. Identify last year’s obstacles

Even if everything went well last year, there is always room for improvement. Identify any weak spots that could have gone better and have a plan already in place.

Let’s say your parish sponsored a booth at a community event last year selling baked goods while also taking donations for an upcoming mission trip. Perhaps many visitors came to the booth, but very few came prepared with cash or check. While they seemed eager to give at the time and you provided a pamphlet that included a link to your donation page, at the end of the day, the results didn’t reflect the amount of interest shown.

This year, incorporate a giving kiosk in your booth (as well as the pamphlet) to ensure that people can donate during the moment of inspiration, or at home if they prefer. Small adjustments like this can make a big impact.

4. Map out specific goals and steps to achieve them

While you don’t have to plan every detail of 2019 for the parish in January, you should have a clear direction of where you’re headed. Start now by setting specific goals and create a plan to achieve them.

Note information such as the parish’s mission, budget, how much you want to increase giving, and purpose for raising funds. After all, you don’t just hop on a plane or in a car when you’ve decided to go on a trip! You choose the destination, how you’re going to get there, and how much it will cost first.

Once you’ve laid out specific goals, decide how you’re going to measure the results (like ParishSOFT Giving’s reporting system)! Also, how often you’ll be checking on progress (such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly). And don’t forget to check where your generosity campaigns will fall on the calendar (like Easter and #GivingTuesday).

When adding these dates to the calendar, including when to start the planning process, the launch date, etc. You don’t have to plan each element of the upcoming generosity campaigns, but you do need to map out the important dates, so they don’t slip by causing you to miss the opportunity.

5. Gain access to helpful resources

At ParishSOFT, we provide resources to help organize and launch successful giving campaigns throughout the year, so you see the needle move in the right direction. We also have an abundance of convenient online giving features that make it incredibly simple for people to donate any day of the week.


Revitalize and simplify yearly planning with our easy-to-use online giving platform! (It only takes a moment to sign up.) Call us today at 866-930-4774 x6 or email parishsoftsales@parishsoft.com to get started!

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