Thursday, December 20, 2012

Raising Collegiate Ministry Money at the End of the Year

There is a reason you get a lot of appeals for money at the end of the year. I did not understand it for a long time....cause I worked for Baptists and they usually don't give year end bonuses.

There are many people who get more money in the last week of December than they do in a regular paycheck. In fact, some get more in the last week of December than they have been paid ALL year. Some work in partnerships where they get a monthly draw and then in the last of December the rest of the profit is divided up. For some, it turns out to be a chunk. Do people think about your ministry when they do their year end giving?

One New Year's eve several years ago, I got a call from a man who said, "Could I buy your lunch today and visit a few minutes?". I thought it was probably some sort of potential counseling situation, but hey, a free lunch was involved! It turned out he was a Baptist deacon and we knew people in common. At the end of the lunch he wrote a check for $1,000 to the ministry. He became a generous monthly contributor.

I began to investigate and found that my church usually had thousands of dollars worth of checks dropped off on New Year's eve.

I began the regular practice of working on New Year's eve! In recent years,most end of the year gifts came by mail. So, I would leave a message on my office phone that said, "Hi this is Arliss. Today is December 31. I am not in my office, but you can reach me on my cell phone, 870.761......

We always sent a mailing to our alumni in December that told some good things that happened that semester and particularly some things that had been made possible by the gifts of alums.

We always enclosed a return addressed envelope. Those envelopes would return to us in December and early January, but they would also come throughout the year. Besides people who give in the last week of December, there are those who want to give at some point. They stick the envelope somewhere as a reminder. I do this in my bill I know how this works. Also, they can use the envelope to send you alumni news for your next newsletter...if you ask for it. We even would say they could send us their long cheesy Christmas letter.

A Return envelope increases your response. Remember, a check dated no later than December 31 and postmarked no later than December 31 received in January is a tax deductible gift for the previous year.

I can't promise what your college ministry will receive, but I can tell you we received several thousand dollars each December....and those little envelopes would even show up in July. But, remember, it is a process of growing isn't a one time thing.

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