Bill Hybels writes, “The nature of human beings is such that we tend not to drift into better behaviors. We usually have to be asked by someone to consider taking it up a level.” The end of the year is just the right time to ask your donors to “take it up a level.” Surveys consistently show that 22% of non-profit organizations’ yearly gifts come in the last two days of the year. Church leaders especially often miss this opportune time to boldly call the church to mission. Here are a few reminders about asking donors to be engaged over the next few weeks.
Speak vision language. The goal is not to make the budget. The goal is to accomplish the vision. The goal is not to pay off debt. The goal is to have resources to fuel the vision.
Keep the message simple. The best requests are simple and to the point. If your organization is raising funds to build wells in Africa, there is no need to talk about the transportations costs associated with that effort. Promote building wells in Africa.
Tell the truth. If mistakes happened in your organization in 2014, apologize and move forward. If your church is severely under budget, share this truth in context of the vision. But remember to share this news in the context of the vision.
Don’t be afraid to ask. Make the broad appeal, but do not be afraid to ask the individual. Allow everyone to join the mission, but be intentional about specific “asks.” A person may have the capacity to give a large gift, but not be aware of the needed response because no one ever asked them.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Use social media, print, websites, and verbal platforms to communicate a truthful, simple and visionary message. Non-profit organizations and churches are so diffused and complicated it is rare occasion when we over communicate.
From the widow and her gift of two mites to the highest capacity donor in your organization, we are all created to give. We have the desire to want to give. The end of the year is just the right time to invite believers to “step it up” and be part of the mission.