Some years ago, a man I did not know called me on New Years Eve morning. He said, "Could I buy your lunch?". Being a College Minister I probably said something like, "Oh boy!". He named a well known and popular restaurant and said he would be wearing khakis and a white shirt. It didn't seem like a potential robbery to me.
I met him at the appointed time and we had a nice lunch and visit. He told me of a brother who had been a foreign missionary with whom I was vaguely familiar and a daughter that had come to our Outreach Lunch Program some as a commuter. He said he appreciated people who had given their life to the ministry. At the end of the lunch he gave me a check for $1,000 for our ministry. I was blown away. He gave regularly after that.
I have always wondered what if I had not been available that New Years Eve day.
I am acquainted with someone whose company hands out profit sharing partnership checks mid or late afternoon New Years Eve day. They have no idea how much it will be until they receive it. He and his wife immediately make some decisions about how much of it they will give to their church and they have also given generously of it to our ministry. Often, he will go around and drop off the checks. But, a couple of years ago, they mailed the checks knowing that if they were postmarked New Years Eve, they would receive a tax deduction for the very generous gift and the ministries would use it just the same.
After several weeks of not receiving any acknowledgement of their gift, they called to learn it had never been received....evidently, it had been lost in the mail. They now prefer a physical handoff.
After my New Years Eve lunch invitation when I served on a local campus, I made it a practice to be in my office and or to have a message on our Ministry phone which said something like, "Happy New Year. Today is New Years Eve and I am running some errands at the moment, please call me on my cell phone. I'm not far away. Here is my number 870.761....."
Is someone from your ministry available to go to lunch or receive a check on New Years Eve?
Besides sending a thank you....make sure you send your contributors a statement they can use for tax purposes.