There’s a reason New Year’s resolutions like ”pray more” tend to fail. ”More” is vague-when will you feel like you’ve reached your resolution? And if you’re talking about a church giving campaign goals, ”more” means practically nothing to your donors.

That’s why it’s important to make your goals as visible as you can. There are three main steps to help you along the way:

  1. Set measurable goals
  2. Choose tangible projects
  3. Show your progress

As we dig more into each of those steps, think about how you can make each of them fit your church’s specific context.

1. Set Measurable Goals

If your goal is simply to ”give more to missions,” people probably won’t be motivated to give because they won’t know what ”more” means. But it’s different to say, ”We’re giving $20,000 to missions-$10,000 to a local homeless shelter and $10,000 to build a church in India.” That’s a specific goal with a specific result-one your givers can see.

2. Choose Tangible Projects

Making your goals measurable is only one part of the equation, though. You’ll see more excitement and generosity when you make your goals tangible. Being able to see, hear, and experience the effect of your giving inspires more giving. Watching a building renovation in progress or hearing how a missionary cared for 12 orphans is exciting, and givers can’t help but think, ”My gift helped make that happen.”

So, how can you pick a tangible goal? Here are a few examples of some tangible and intangible goals:

Intangible Tangible
Paying off your church’s mortgage Buying or renovating your building
Generic missions giving Building a new church in Thailand
Saving for an emergency fund Hiring a new pastor or staffer
Regular church maintenance Buying a sound system

Those intangible goals are important things, but they may not be right for a giving campaign.

But if you’re set on raising money toward one of these intangible goals, here’s my best suggestion for how to do it: tie a visible goal and an intangible goal together. 

A huge goal of a capital campaign I worked on was to reduce the debt on our building. And while we shared often with our members about why we needed to pay down our mortgage (we actually talked about it in each membership class), that by itself wasn’t motivating enough to givers to carry a whole campaign. That’s why we added a goal to renovate our building. We knew we needed to renovate pretty badly, but we weren’t willing to go into more debt. Tying the debt reduction to the renovation made both possible, when neither goal would have been possible on its own.

Similarly, what visible goals can you link with your intangible goals? Try to make them relate as best you can, so your campaign message can be simple and powerful. 

3. Show Your Progress

Another tip for making your campaign visible is using photos and visuals. If you’re doing a project around your building, you can hang a foam-core sign in front of the construction that says something like, ”This project is funded by [Your Campaign Name]” with your campaign graphics. 

Or to make your progress visible in another way, take a look at LakePointe Church’s giving page. There’s a ticker that shows the number of baptisms, mission trips, and families assisted in the last 12 months-all thanks to the generosity of their members. You don’t have to have stats in the thousands to make your giving page more compelling-givers want to know how your church is making a difference in your context.

Videos are unbeatable for showing progress-and you can pull it off whether you have a whole video crew or one person with a smartphone. You can post a video building tour to show what’s new or have a live interview with a missionary during your service. Then, you can post these videos to your church website so people can easily find them and be encouraged.

When you make your goals visible, people will draw the connection between their giving and the progress they’re seeing-and they’ll be more excited to keep giving.

Jess Holland is Content Marketing Strategist for Faithlife Giving, a product of Faithlife, which uses technology to equip the Church to grow in the light of the Bible and offers 14 products and services for churches, including Logos Bible Software.

 This article is reprinted by permission of Faithlife.

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