Every year Americans donate millions of dollars in year-end giving to churches and ministries. For many ministries this is a critical time for funding.
One possible disconnect may be the number of ministry CEO’s and development leaders who take off a week or 10 days around Christmas and New Year’s. While we all like to have Christmas time off, we need to be ready to return phone calls from potential givers.
The Lord spoke and said, “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.” (Luke 12:35, NIV) Potential donors may want to discuss possible year-end gifts and we had better be available. I have seen statistics that between 1/3 and ½ of nonprofit organizations do not have development staff available to meet with supporters the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
I know one person who wanted to donate $50,000 to a specific ministry. He called the organization asking for the development director, whom he knew. He was told he would not be available until January. He asked if anybody else was available to discuss a possible year-end gift. He was told, “You need to call back after January 3rd when everybody is back in the office.” The gift went to another ministry where someone was available to receive his call.
Are you one of the many organizations who send out a year-end appeal by mail and e-mail? Then, take the next step and be available. If you won’t be in the office, consider a method to return any calls received.
Be ready to respond to ministry supporters and don’t miss any possible opportunities.
Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach
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