Saying thank you never get’s old and means more than you may think.
In fact, studies show that a sincere “thank you” goes far beyond social niceties and actually motivates people to be more giving themselves.
With that in mind, the team at Tithe.ly, set out to give your church a few very practical way to say thanks to those who support, give and serve your congregation at large.
We hope you’ll give a few of these a try as the year comes to a close and into the coming year!
1) Say it from the pulpit!
Probably the most obvious of them all, but we couldn’t leave it off the list. A big ol’ thank you from the senior pastor and church leadership coming from the pulpit during a church service goes a long way. The key is to ensure that it doesn’t come off scripted, staged or route.
Saying thank you with sincerity and authenticity goes far beyond anything you could do with a big budget or production.
2) Create a short video.
Take it up a notch by creating a video “thank you” message that you can show during service, include on your church website giving page, share on social media, post to YouTube, and send to members via email.
It could be as simple as recording the “thank you” that you do during service or you could get as elaborate as what Access Church has done in the video below!
Note: this video didn’t cost a lot of money to do, it just took some guts! 🙂
3) Include a personal letter form the sr. pastor in each person’s end of year tax statement.
Rusty Lewis from the Generis Group shared a fantastic blog post and corresponding e-book that was focused on end-of-year giving. In it, he advised that churches should …
“Include a [one-page] cover letter from the senior pastor on church letterhead that exudes gratitude and shares vision.”
We couldn’t help but include this tip. Why not take it up a notch and instead of simply mailing their yearly giving statement you take a moment to write a personalized letter to each member of your congregation?
4) Host people in your home.
Having people over for dinner or a small get together is personal and intimate. Cooking people a meal is heartfelt. Fellowshipping at the dinner table is what family is all about.
Get people in your home. Thank them over a meal. It will stick for a long time.
5) Send a personal note.
Don’t forget how powerful a personalize hand written thank you note can be.
They take time, thoughtfulness, and possibly even some creativity to create which is exactly why they are so effective at expressing gratitude.
Get your whole staff involved in creating these! Start with your volunteers and biggest givers, but possibly make it a goal to send one to each end every member of your church at some throughout the year.
6) Tell people on social media.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram … people attending your church are on social media every day so why not leverage those platforms to say thank you like Access Church did with their Facebook video?
7) Send them a small gift.
People don’t give to get something in return, they give out of faith to God, but everyone loves and appreciates a gift when they don’t expect it. Surprise your givers by sending them something as a way of saying thank you.
If you have t-shirts you could send them one. If you have coffee mugs, go with that. If you don’t have anything consider a gift card to your local coffee shop, popular restaurant, or the movies.
They key here is not the price, it’s the thoughtfulness and surprise.
8) Show people how their giving changes lives.
As Christians, we give through faith because we love God and believe He will do great things. There is no better way to say thank you than to help people “see God” by connecting their spiritual and financial giving with tangible impact. Check out how NewSpring showed the impact of peoples giving.
[Video via YouTube]
Of course, we can’t all produce something as elaborate as what NewSpring did, but we can show the impact God is having through us and our giving in some way. Even if it’s as simple as a special year end newsletter that people can grab during service and that you send along with their end of year giving statement.
9) Do a special giveaway.
As a way to thank and encourage their congregation, LifeQuest church out in Kansas City did a special Christmas Giveaway. Of course, they shared who the winners were at service as a way to recognize the winners in front of the whole congregation, but beyond that, they mentioned it on their website and used social media to spread the love as well.
10) Have fun!
Since we’re talking about LifeQuest church already we figured we’d show you that saying thank you can and should also be fun!
LifeQuest decided to do a fund Christmas card that they sent to members during the holiday season. The whole staff took photos, including the Sr. pastor, sitting on Santa’s lap!
11) Tell them how their money is used.
[Video via YouTube]
NewSpring church created a fantastic video that briefly breaks down how every dollar given to NewSpring is spent.
This type of communication isn’t for everyone, but some people love it. They like to know exactly how their money is being used and that the church is being a good steward of the resources given to them.
Keep in mind that you can do this in video format or in a simple break out that’s put in your weekly bulletin. And regardless of format, you can easily post this on your church giving page to give donors a sense of how their gifts are being used.
Putting the information together, sharing it, and letting people know that you’re grateful for their giving helps build trust and confidence.
There you have it. 11 way to say thank you and encourage your church members. Some are tried and true old-school methods while others are more modern and/or tech savvy ways of saying thank you. Regardless of the method, if done well, these practical ways of saying thank you will help people feel appreciated and inspire them to show gratitude and generosity to others!