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  • Baptist Beacon

How to motivate people to give

SUWANEE, GA – Nothing moves a heart like a heart that has been moved.

Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC, is using changed lives to motivate people to give. When you go to the online giving portal on Elevation Church’s Web site, a video immediately begins playing of people giving their testimonies of finding Christ. They then say what number of convert they were at the church.

Then a speaker says, “Behind every statistic is a story: a story of life change, a story of restoration, a story of a second chance. And your generosity is helping every person discover their own story. Thank you for giving faithfully to help more than 11,000 people place their faith in Jesus over the past five years at Elevation Church. Your sacrifice is making a difference!”

People will give when they know their gift matters.

I believe the vast majority of Christians know they ought to give. Why is it then that most of our conversation and preaching is what I call “ought to” preaching. Instead, why not show them what their gifts do? The best way to motivate people to give is to show them that their gift matters.

Tell your story and people will give to support it.

This past summer, I got a letter from a church that was attempting to make up a budget shortfall in giving. The letter talked about how behind the church was, and that during the hot months of summer, their electric bill had increased. They then asked their donors to consider a special gift to the church. This was not some small church but rather a church that runs close to 1,000 in weekly attendance. What a demotivator!

I rewrote the letter starting out by talking about how many kids would be in VBS. I then listed the mission trips the church would take that summer. In other words, I told the story of missions and ministry happening. When you tell your story, people will give to support that story. The more compelling the story, the more money they will give!

How do you motivate people to give?

Take a minute and think through your last appeal letter or platform appeal. Was the appeal driven by guilt or desperation? Did you tell people they ought to give rather than showing them how their gift matters? It could be that how you are attempting to motivate people is failing. Why not change the way you approach asking for donations? It could mean the difference between making budget and downsizing ministries.



Mark Brooks is the founding partner of The Charis Group, Mark brings not only a rich background of ministry experience but also years of successfully helping Christian ministries raise funds for capital projects. His desire to better personalize the engagement that each ministry receives from their stewardship partner led him to begin The Charis Group. With creative, outside the box thinking, Mark has helped scores of ministries achieve maximum financial and spiritual results.


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