Resources & Ideas to help your congregation end the year strong!

The GNJ Cabinet in partnership with our Stewardship Foundations wants to help your congregation finish the year strong financially! Here is a top resource, two bulletin inserts and a presentation for you to utilize to help you end the year with generosity and joy.

Did you know that 25% of the money donated to charities is given in December? How can pastor and leaders work together to share the story of what God is doing in your ministry and maximize year-end giving?

  1. Develop a plan for your Christmas Eve offering
    Consider giving a percentage of it to a local charity/ministry that will resonate with your community. Make it known as you advertise your Christmas Eve/Christmas Sunday schedule about this special IMPACT offering.
  2. Say “Thank You” in writing!
    Send thank you notes, hand addressed envelopes, to the top 20% or 20 givers in your congregation to express your appreciation & gratitude!
  3. Create a collage or page with color pictures on it capturing the ministries and activities of your congregation this past year and mail it with the Christmas/Year End appeal letter. Pictures capture more than a thousand works is able to do and do so with vibrancy and color.
  4. Write and send a Christmas / Year-end appeal letter encouraging members and friends to give in response to how they have been blessed or experienced God moving in and through your congregation in 2022. (guide and several templates below)
  5. Use the two bulletin inserts (link below) in December to inform or remind people that there are a variety of ways to give.
  6. Matching Gift Program: Ask several top givers to consider a special gift to form a Match Pool. Five leaders each giving an additional $2,000 forms a $10,000 pool to be matched. The Match pool is communicated, and people are invited to special gifts, above their usual giving to help their congregation end the year strong. Your team can consider a minimum level for match gifts $50 or $100 is common. This can be an energizing and engaging way to generate substantial end of the year giving. A number of congregations have utilized this model used by universities and hospitals to generate substantial giving in the final weeks of the year. People get excited about their gifts having a double impact. Some congregations have used a thermometer or another creative meter and way to show the progress of the match campaign.

Sample Year-End Giving Templates

Several Clergy have joined together to write Stewardship Letters to be used during this Advent/Christmas season.

  1. Year-End Giving Letter Template
  2. Christmas Letter Miracles Celebrates the birth of Jesus and invites your congregation to a Christmas Eve service.
  3. Christmas Letter Next Steps Thanks your congregation for their support, asks them to take the next step toward giving and join you for a Christmas Eve service.
  4. Stewardship Letter: Encourages stewardship through storytelling.
  5. Christmas Letter with Ideas: Offers comfort with scripture and two ideas to add to worship service.
  6. “Inspiring Generosity” from Cesie Delve Scheuermann.

Thank you to the holiday letter contributors: Heather Valosin, Chuck Coblentz, Shelley Smith, Enger Muteteke, Brandon, Jennifer Cho and Dave Tillisch!

End of the Year is a Great Time to Encourage Gifts of Stock

Receiving Gifts of Stock Giving long-term, appreciated publicly-traded stock is a tax-efficient way for members and friends to make gifts to their congregations or other ministries. Often larger than the typical cash gift, these gifts must be properly receipted by the church so that the donor has the required tax return support. While this method involves additional steps, the ability to make stock gifts lets donors make larger, more tax-efficient gifts.

Considering Planned Gifts

Legacy is on the minds of many during these challenging times–what legacy they want to leave for family, alma mater, community and church. At the beginning of 2022 consider a Legacy Planning (Estate Planning) Seminar. A free one is available from The Stewardship Foundation.

Participants will learn the basics of establishing a will or a trust, selecting key financial and healthcare decision makers and planning for a funeral. Legacy planning is important for anyone wanting to reduce the burden loved ones face when the unexpected happens. Everyone should have a will, but they are especially important for those with children or those who want to control the distribution of their property.

When we are good stewards of our legacy, there are many lasting benefits. Your legacy can benefit your children and heirs, help those in need, inspire generosity in others, strengthen the inner character of the donor, the donor’s family, and give glory to God.

Investments Excellent Performance

The Stewardship Foundation’s investment manager, Wespath, continues to offer good performance as we move through the 4th quarter of 2021, all while remaining aligned  with the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church. Assets in CDs, mutual funds, or savings accounts can offer better earning in Wespath’s Multiple Asset Fund.

  • The Multiple Asset Fund I-Series seeks to maximize long-term investment returns, including current income and capital appreciation, while reducing short-term risk by investing in a broad mix of investments.
  • Holds a pre-specific allocation of units of the following Wespath fund: Fixed Income Fund-I Series (FIF-I), Inflation Protection Fund-I Series (IPF-I), International Equity Fund-I Series (IEF-I), and U.S. Equity Fund-I Series (USEF-I).

Additional Resources