With your year-end generosity campaign behind you, thank you notes sent out, and a fresh year of church fundraising ahead, it’s time to follow up with givers. A follow-up is simply touching base. It’s not an ask for a donation or volunteer work. It’s not even a thank you for past gifts (although, you can always thank givers again during the follow-up).
One of the primary reasons to touch base beyond the ask is to ensure you retain donors as both church members and givers. Studies show 18% of donors leave or refrain from tithing due to lack of communication. And this makes the follow-up a crucial element of your generosity campaign as well as building relationships.
To help ensure your follow-up is seamless (and successful), we’ve listed the steps below.
Decide how to touch base
The first step for a follow-up is deciding how you’ll touch base. There are multiple ways to reach out, and here are just a few examples:
• Email newsletter
• Phone calls
• Social media
• Non-ask events
• In-person visits
• Snail mail
When making this decision, consider those that you’re following up with. Would they prefer a non-intrusive follow-up? Or, do they like to get involved? Take into account what would work best for their schedules and lifestyle, and go from there.
Make room in your calendar
Next, schedule time for reaching out. For example, put in ink the date for the non-ask event and when you’ll mail the invitations. Or, if you’re personally visiting church givers, organize an itinerary for arrangements including when you’ll call or email for the best times to stopover. This helps you refine your timeline, so the moment doesn’t pass you by. Make sure the follow-up falls before your next ask or generosity campaign.
Craft your message
Now it’s time to craft your message to church givers. Include features such as updates on the recent gifts or an impactful story. Whether you’re sending a note or meeting with the tither in person, have a plan for what you want your message to be. This ensures it’s purposeful and you don’t miss the opportunity to build the relationship because you’re stuck for words.
Know what NOT to do
Of course, there are a few things that you should avoid when planning your follow-up. If you plan on making personal visits, don’t show up at the home unannounced. Also, don’t ask for donations during the follow-up. When sending letters, always address the person by their name and not a generic reference such as “dear sir” or “friend.” When in doubt, consider what you would appreciate in a follow-up (and wouldn’t), and use this as your cornerstone.
Make sure you’re truly engaging with the tither. It’s essential that you’re genuine and make it personal. No one likes to feel like they’re a box on your list that’s getting crossed off. Cultivating relationships with your ministry does take time and effort, and the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
Schedule the next time you’ll reach out
Once you’ve followed up with church givers, go to your calendar to schedule the next time you’ll reach out. You may already have a giving campaign or special event in the near future, and that’s great! But if it will be months before the next scheduled time you’re touching base, consider adding a date to reach out that isn’t so far away.
In between all church fundraising events and generosity campaigns, you should have a follow-up plan. In some cases, these will naturally occur before and after church services, running into people at the grocery store, and seeing your church family throughout the week. However, you should still make an extra effort to keep up with givers beyond the ask and thank you.
For more helpful resources and online giving tools, contact the easyTithe team at 1-888-778-4843 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.