The end of the year is fast approaching, so I wanted to share a few thoughts on end of year giving to make it simple and easy for your parishioners.
Make it Easy
If you’re still one of the parishes who doesn’t have an easy to use online giving system, rectify that before the end of the year. Being able to give electronically through recurring donations is one of the key take-aways from the study on generous giving by Notre Dame done over ten years ago. The need for being able to set up donations via a secure system is even more important now.
Invite People into the Mission
Take some time to share all of the ways your parish made a difference in your community this year. How often you provided food for the hungry or helped with shelter or visited those who are homebound. Many parishes shy away from this because it seems like bragging – but it’s really just showcasing the effect your parish has on the community. It also answers the question, “What would our community look like if our parish didn’t exist?” Like in It’s a Wonderful Life, it illustrates the big and small ways you’re making an impact.
This is one of the most taboo topics for priests. Some who even say proudly, “I never talk about money.” On my parish survey, when asked “What would motivate you to give more?” the most selected answer is “If I knew the needs.” Your parishioners aren’t giving because they don’t know the need.
Your offertory isn’t over and above your budget because they don’t know you have a dream of creating an after school care center to help working parents in your community or that you have a desire to have an onsite counseling center for everyone struggling with mental health who can’t afford to see a therapist. You don’t have the resources to fund your dreams because you have never shared your dreams with those who can make them a reality.
Will You Accept This Challenge?
So I’m going to challenge you to evaluate a BIG need in your community and then ask your parishioners to join you in that dream. Even if the goal to begin it is $500,000 or $3,000,000. Begin today to make a difference in your community, to be the reason why hope exists in your community for every soul, not just the ones who attend Mass every Sunday.