It’s that time of year again when churches aren’t only planning for Advent and Christmas, but are also preparing to provide donors with year-end giving statements. While this may not be your favorite task ever, the good news is it doesn’t have to add stress to your plate!
Instead, this can be an opportunity for you to:
Here are 9 things to keep in mind to help you minimize stress and seamlessly provide donors with the year-end giving statements they need before the deadline on January 31.
To avoid feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to get started now. Even before the year is over you can start data-checking, designing the giving statement, and coming up with a plan to make a church-wide impact.
While it’s important to start early, it’s also important not to skip necessary steps. For example, be sure to allow time for mailed checks to come in, online transactions to clear, and even insufficient funds to resolve before finalizing and sending your statements. This will save you work and headaches in the long run.
👉 Pro Tip: Use your chMS & online giving integration to help resolve sync errors like email addresses, names, and other issues before sending.
Third, remember that year-end giving statements are an opportunity to share more about your church and the work God is doing there.
Because of this, it’s important to know that presentation matters. Make sure your statements are on brand with your church’s logo included.
Just as important as presentation, is making sure your giving statements are personalized. Include the person’s name in the greeting (your chMS software or online giving platform should easily do this).
Remember, this is a way to thank people who have given over the year, so you want them to feel seen and valued.
Next, don’t forget the IRS requirement is simply to provide a year-end giving statement; this means you can send it electronically.
Consider letting your congregation know you’ll be sending statements via email this year to cut back on costs as well as your workload.
Ultimately, year-end giving statements are an opportunity to express your gratitude. It’s a good idea to include a cover letter thanking donors.
In this letter, be sure to include:
It may be tempting to want to send the statements and be done with it, but consider the impact of taking it churchwide.
Ask your pastor to share about the statements from the pulpit. Post information about it on your social media. Email your small group leaders.
Not only does this spread awareness, but also reminds people about the impact their gifts have made over the year and encourages them to continue giving.
This may seem obvious, but before sending out the statements, be sure to double-check (or even triple-check) your work.
Proofread for grammatical errors, ensure names are spelled correctly, and work to make sure the finances are accurate. It’s a good idea to enlist some help in this area.
Finally, remember giving doesn’t end on December 31. Be sure to give your donors clear next steps in their giving statements. How can they continue giving? What plans does your church have in the new year? Are there any changes or updates they need to be aware of? Communicate all of this clearly and concisely.
Year-end giving statements are more than a tax requirement. They’re opportunities to normalize talking about giving, share what God has done, and prayerfully enter the new year with a spirit of generosity and excitement. Make the most of this task!
Sending out year-end giving statements becomes much trickier without a single platform solution for your church OPS. If your software feels cumbersome or can’t do all that you need it to do, it might be time to explore another option.
With Ministry Brands Amplify you can encourage generosity and manage contributions (not to mention easily send your year-end giving statements).