With Giving Tuesday just around the corner, there are several ways your church can prepare for full participation. Likewise, from a church accounting perspective, it is important to be aware of Giving Tuesday’s impact on overall accounting procedures. In this digital age, tracking donors and donations has become more complex, depending on the way your church accounting is set up.
The Giving Tuesday Data Commons for 2020 estimates that 34.8 million people participated in Giving Tuesday 2020 with donations totaling approximately $2.47 billion in the United States alone.
With stats like these, why wouldn’t your organization want to find a way (or a few ways) to participate in Giving Tuesday 2022 on November 29th?
Let’s focus first on a variety of ways your church may think about participating in a Giving Tuesday campaign, including digital donor campaigns. Then, we’ll suggest tips for creating successful campaigns. Finally, we’ll review the important follow-up steps from your church accounting or virtual accounting service.
Ways to participate in Giving Tuesday 2022
You probably already have your favorite methods and strategies for fundraising within your church community. But if you’re looking for some new ideas, here are a few ways to participate in Giving Tuesday 2022:
Fundraise for your own cause. The most basic type of fundraising is to select a campaign that benefits a mission close to your congregation’s hearts, like community outreach, a church building fund, or favorite mission.
Fundraise via events. A fundraising event can be anything from a bake sale or car wash to a 5K race to a Gala Dinner. Again, the object/mission of this type of fundraising needs to be clearly stated. These events take from a month to a year to plan, however.
Fundraise by partnering with another community organization. Sometimes two organizations in the community may be focused on a similar mission, such as restocking the local food pantry in anticipation of the cold season. Giving Tuesday might be a perfect opportunity for the church and the community organization to partner their fundraising efforts.
Organize a “Match for Donations” on Giving Tuesday via an email or social media campaign. This is an example of a digital approach to fundraising.
Rally your advocates using social media. This is more of a strategy than an actual fundraising activity. Consider incorporating short videos or photo montages to show off your church’s amazing outreach and service to the community on social media. Create a marketing calendar of planned releases for tweets and posts leading up to the November 29th Giving Tuesday date.
Note: With any use of social media, make sure your message fits the audience. For instance, if appealing to your youth ministry on Twitter, use language that will appeal to a younger age group. Keep Instagram posts visually appealing. If partnering your fundraising efforts with community organizations, be sure to let your church members know via social media.
Partner with local media to run a story about any fundraising events your organization has planned. This is also more of a strategy to publicize your fundraising events or activities with the goal of driving donors to act.
Host a Thank-A-Thon listing all church volunteers, supporters on your website. Even if you decide not to fundraise on Giving Tuesday (perhaps you just completed a major fundraiser at your church), you can use November 29th to say “Thank You” instead. The feeling of seeing one’s name listed in print (even digitally) is amazing. Gratitude goes a long way toward generating potential new donations!
These days, people expect to be able to make donations quickly, easily, and digitally. Most churches are set up to accept donations via the church website, through cell phones and text messaging services, and through dedicated apps.
This means that the church accountant, often a volunteer, has the added burden and responsibility of reviewing and tracking these digital donor revenues, analyzing data, and creating reports. While bookkeeping software might be considered, will an inexperienced church accountant be able to grasp if values are input incorrectly, data is poorly assessed, or predictions are misaligned?
As church financing and fundraising becomes more complex, the need for outsourcing experts in nonprofit accounting, like Temple Management, becomes more essential.
Tips for Successful Giving Tuesday Campaigns
If your church staff and volunteers have committed to a Giving Tuesday campaign this year, then you’ll want to do all you can to ensure success. Here are a few suggestions to consider:
Decide on specific goals for your Giving Tuesday campaign(s). Think about: How many people would you like to reach? How many donors would you like to add to your list? How much money would you like to collect? Dream big.
Don’t wait until November 29th to execute your campaign! Once you and your committee have decided on a campaign, create a calendar to determine how to roll out your activities. Include social media postings, emails, media press releases, announcements to congregation verbally or in writing, posters, etc.
Consider post-Giving Tuesday announcements, too. These may include Thank you announcements or grand totals, if appropriate.
Publicize, publicize, publicize
With so much noise from the news and social media these days, you’ve got to cut though. Get creative. Get your church youth involved. Find a way to get news about your campaign heard. Maybe it’s printed tee-shirts donated by a business member of your church! Maybe it’s a parade in the local park with signs and funny costumes to grab attention!
Here’s a great tip: Whatever type of Giving Tuesday campaign you go with, encourage your pastor and church leaders to make the first gifts. What a great way to encourage others to extend their own generosity!
Following up via record keeping and accountability
After your church’s successful fundraising campaigns for Giving Tuesday 2022, after the dust settles on your Thank-a-thon and you notice increased donations on your website donor page, after the community partnership event check clears, it’s time for the accounting, reporting, and analytics.
Keeping track of donations acquired during and after your campaign is essential and must be completed accurately by your church accountant or your outsourced virtual accountant. Of course, the next step is running reports to reflect the cost analysis of the fundraising campaigns. These reports are vital in keeping both church leadership and church members informed.
In addition, this information will help to guide decisions about future fundraising activities, particularly how to plan for Giving Tuesday 2023!
If your church needs help navigating the complexities of virtual bookkeeping, accounting, fund management, real-time financial reporting, budgeting, and more, reach out to our team at Temple Management and let’s talk about how we may be a perfect fit for you.