Develop 20-25 Relationships

  1. A study of several churches showed that approximately 50% of attenders don’t give any money to their church (for a variety of reasons), 25% make gifts of 3% to 5% of their income, and 25% are generous (give more than 5%). Another study showed that about 5% of donors gave about 50% of a church’s income.
  2. Too often the generous donors are ignored by pastors who try to ensure there is no favoritism and that is understandable. However, ignoring them altogether is not acceptable.
  3. Every pastor should have a list of the top 20-25 donors to the church. Ask the finance office to provide an alphabetical list of donors (this ensures the pastor doesn’t know how they rank). Most pastors will already know that list but there may be some surprises.
  4. Once or twice a year the pastor should have coffee or a meal with each person on this list. The donors will be pleasantly surprised to get personal time with the pastor. It is critical that the visit be entirely pastoral, not a solicitation for money. Pastors need to be pastors at the meeting; just be a friend and pastor.
  5. After a few meetings, the donor may ask the pastor about giving opportunities to the church. This happens because the member and pastor got to know each other as individuals, not as donor and recipient. These donors already believe and support the church and when they know the direction of the church better, they may seek to be more generous.
  6. At a minimum, it helps the member to get some pastoral time and it helps the pastor to be more in touch with members. There is no downside to developing these relationships.

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