Ask for church donations—on Easter? Your service is full. Your first priority is the gospel. Is there really room to bring in church giving?
There can be, if you do it right. The first step is prayer. The second is setting up your church to accept any gift, whether online or in the sanctuary.
Then factor in these tips for how to ask for church donations, even on high-visitor days.
1. Ask without asking.
How many times have you walked past a bottle of hand sanitizer or a hand sanitizer stand and stopped to get some? You might not have been making a beeline for it, but when you saw it, you took action.
The same can be true of giving—especially online giving and mobile giving. If you make your church’s ability to accept gifts prominent, some will be prompted to give without your saying a word.
Consider incorporating these elements to boost giving on Easter, other high-visitor days, and throughout the year.
- Include a link to online giving in your digital church bulletin.
- Add a giving slide to your pre-service and post-service loops.
- Install a giving kiosk in your lobby or other highly visible area (perhaps by the coffee?).
- For all online services, include a link to give from the same place where people are watching your live streaming.
A couple of tips related to the above . . .
- Live streaming from your website offers a lot of benefits, including the ability to add a giving button near your stream.
- If your church is doing any special fundraising for missions, building, youth camp, etc., create a slide showing your progress and include it in pre-service and post-service loops. You could also make an announcement like, “Thank you all for your support! With over 300 contributions this month alone, we’re 65% of the way to our goal! So appreciate your partnering with us to share the gospel with the people of Thailand. Last year these missionaries saw over 3,000 people accept Christ. ”
If this step is the only one you do, you’ll still be ahead of many churches that are accidentally hiding the opportunity to give under a bushel.
2. Don’t ask the wrong people.
Don’t ask your visitors to give. (You probably weren’t planning on it—thank you for that!)
But go a step further. Ask them not to give.
During the offering time, point out “Visitors, please sit back and enjoy worshiping with us here today.”
If you choose to then address your members, use a phrase like, “If you call this place home.”
3. Approach the ask with a biblical perspective.
Asking for donations can feel awkward, but think of it as giving people an opportunity to invest in eternity and please the Lord. “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7)
Henri Nouwen explains it more in Spirituality of Fundraising:
From the perspective of the gospel, fundraising is not a response to a crisis. Fundraising is first and foremost a form of ministry. It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission. . . . Fundraising is precisely the opposite of begging. When we seek to raise funds we are not saying, “Please, could you help us out because lately it’s been hard.” Rather, we are declaring, “We have a vision that is amazing and exciting. We are inviting you to invest yourself through the resources God has given you—your energy, your prayers, and your money—in this work to which God has called us.”
(For more on this topic, read For Church Fundraisers That Work, Start with This Uncommon Perspective.)
Tie giving to those it ministers to. In Smart Church Finances, authors George Hillman and John Reece put it this way:
People give to people, not programs. The topic of money should never be a guilt trip for people. Instead, you are inviting your people to be a part of a movement or a cause bigger than themselves (and bigger than even one local church). Your church is making a real eternal difference in the lives of other people, so show your church members the “people impact” of what you are doing.”
That includes telling stories of those who’ve come to know the Lord or who have been helped through your ministry. These stories don’t have to be complicated or lengthy; sharing a quick summary and a photo, if one is available, goes a long way toward keeping the focus on people.
5. Ask confidently.
Being embarrassed or tentative can cause your audience to mirror those emotions, so ask confidently. (When you have a biblical perspective on giving and the assurance that it’s God who provides, this comes much more easily.)
6. Ask for help reaching outside your walls.
Perhaps there’s a local food bank that’s running low, or a program to give supplies to a low-income school nearby. You can set a church-wide goal for the next few weeks. Even people who are new to your church may want to give in support of a cause that gives back to your community—and it’s a great first step to show them your church is committed to caring for those in need nearby.
7. Open the door to ask in the future.
If you’re still not comfortable mentioning giving on Easter, that’s okay! Do step one—and this last step.
- Ask online and in-person visitors to fill out connection cards. You can feature these in your digital bulletin and link to a form in your live chat.
- Create and execute a plan for church visitor follow-up to practice digital discipleship. This next step can help turn visitors from Easter guests to engaged members who help you reach others through practicing biblical stewardship.
If your church is looking for an online giving provider, take a look at Servant Keeper church management software from Faithlife + included Faithlife Giving (which comes included).