Everything you send to your church members communicates the core values of your church. That includes your Annual Giving Statements. Whenever you send your statements, share your values with a few simple tweaks.
You can touch your donors’ hearts and encourage deeper generosity by following these two simple guidelines.
Include a cover letter on top of the annual giving statements. Print the letter on church stationery and have the senior pastor hand-signed each one.
The letter should be very personal. Include an inside address and use first names in the salutation. Highlight your congregation’s values and tell one story that communicates those values. Be sure to thank members for their faithfulness in giving and include some brief word about the exciting year ahead.
Finally, add a P.S. after the signature. Make this the most important statement of the entire letter – inspire and/or affirm. Believe it or not, this is the one part of the letter that is most likely to be read. They may not read the entire letter, but they might read the P.S.
Remember: cover letter on top, giving statement as the second page.
Send the statements out by first-class mail in a personally-addressed church stationery envelope.
This is not a place to skimp and save. I’ve seen many churches that expect members to pick up their own statements “in a box in the narthex.” Perhaps that’s okay (not great!) for quarterly statements. Make this Annual Giving Statement of higher value, make it important. Your congregants may need their statements for tax purposes anyway. Be sure they get it by sending with a first-class stamp. The more colorful the stamp, the better.
Use church envelopes and print the mailing address directly on the envelope. No labels. This is a very easy task for a mail merge and any printer sold in the last twenty years. It’s actually no more difficult than printing labels and taking the time to stick them on envelopes. The difference in effect, however, is priceless.
Benefits and Sample Letter
Our Year-Round Generosity clients send out statements in this way. Here is the letter my church is sending this year. In fact, some include a cover letter every quarter! Members express appreciation for the extra touches, especially the letter from the pastor. It is very much appreciated. And, I think, helps people think profoundly about the importance of being generous givers as Christians.