3 Realities of Year-End Giving in 2020
There are mixed reviews: For some churches, 2020 spelled disaster in terms of giving by the congregation. Still, others had stabilized or even increased giving.
Regardless of whether the balance sheet is up or down at your church, the opportunity at the end of the year is still too good to pass up. And it is more than a money grab – this is the time of year to show gratitude to the congregation whether they give anything or not. People are thinking “year in review” in personal, professional and other ways – review what God has done through the church!
At the same time, most churches could use a nice financial boost about now, so here is why a year-end giving challenge is as appropriate as ever, even in the strangest year of most of our lives:
People tend to give way more in the last 45 days of the year.
There is something about the giving spirit that kicks in this time of year. And as sensitive as we should be to economic conditions, not everyone lost their job. For those who are hurting financially, the church has a prime opportunity to serve them well. People will give when asked – and most Christians are not primarily motivated by the tax deduction. They are thankful to God, thankful to their church, and are often willing to give a special gift at the end of the year. Many churches will receive 30% of their annual giving in the last month of the year. There are some people that will give in the last 48 hours of the year!
It is an opportunity to celebrate what God is doing.
Aside from the spirit of giving that is amped up at year-end, there is also a vision casting opportunity served on a silver platter. A year-end giving challenge should be preceded by a review of God’s work through the church in the past 11 or 12 months. There is often a lot to celebrate – even in the global pandemic year. Ask God to reveal to you ways that the church was able to serve the community and the world in spite of the extra challenges. Senior leadership can offer gratitude to people for being on the mission and being faithful to God’s call on the church. Those same leaders can ask the congregation to consider a special financial gift to the church at Christmas time.
Most organizations will ask – why not the church?
By the last few weeks of November, a group of envelopes will start to accumulate on our kitchen counter. They are the appeals from the civic organizations, alma maters, and other faith-based non-profits that are willing to receive our December generosity as well. There is nothing wrong with that and many of us will make a decision to donate something. At the same time, the church serves a significant role in our lives and in our community and should be “in the mix” of those year-end requests.
Here are some practices to consider:
A few other pointers:
For a few households in every church, the special IRS provisions on tax deductions for charitable giving may make a big difference this year. For instance, deductions used to be limited to 60% of Adjusted Gross Income, but because of the CARES ACT in 2020, that is raised to 100%. If you have any questions, email email@example.com and one of our team will help you with any of the ideas or suggestions in this article.