As we head towards Christmas Day and the end of 2023, we need to also handle all the items that wrap up the year. These include creating and sending donor statements, reviewing attendance details for an annual report and sending year-end email newsletters to inspire members and guests.
But, 2024 is just around the corner. So, it’s all about ending right AND starting on a high note. Here are the 5 things your church should do to round out 2023.
1. Year-End Financial Review:
- Conduct a thorough review of the church’s finances for the year. This includes assessing income, expenses, and budget adherence. And then provide an “Annual
- Report” to the congregation. This doesn’t have to be a stuffy CPA generated report. Perhaps instead provide an online report with pictures and videos.
- Provide financial statements to the congregation, outlining how the church’s resources were utilized throughout the year.
- Encourage and facilitate year-end giving for those who wish to make additional contributions before the close of the fiscal year.
2. Thanksgiving and Celebration:
- Take time to express gratitude for the blessings and successes of the past year.
- Celebrate milestones, achievements, and personal growth within the church community.
- Recognize and appreciate the contributions of volunteers, staff, and members who have dedicated their time and efforts to the church’s mission.
3. Year-End Worship Services:
- Plan special year-end worship services that celebrate the accomplishments of the church, express gratitude, and set a positive tone for the coming year. Of course, this is in addition to the celebration of the birth of Christ
- Incorporate elements such as testimonies, special music, and messages that inspire hope and vision for the new year and beyond.
4. Goal Setting, Planning and Visioneering for the Next Year:
- Reflect on the achievements and challenges of the current year.
- Set specific and measurable goals for the upcoming year. This may include spiritual growth, community outreach, attendance targets, or facility improvements.
- Develop a strategic plan outlining how these goals will be achieved, involving the congregation and leadership in the process.
- Create a vision for the coming year (and beyond). This should include all staff members and present a way that visions can become reality. Including staff members can help bring clarity to the vision and help present a way to make it a reality.
5. Fundraising for 2024
Usually, almost 1/3rd of charitable giving happens in December. However, with uncertainty in the economy, you can’t leave this to chance. It’s best before year’s end to emphasize financial stewardship, encouraging responsible giving tied to the church’s vision among church members.
- Dedicate a special day for special December giving. A specific ask for a specific fundraising effort on a specific day gives people the details they need and prompts them to get in on a big, special day of giving alongside their church family. A great example is what North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA does. Their “Be Rich” campaign calls on its flock to give for this one effort to help specific missions.
- Ask in many channels. Email, SMS, newsletters, even posters in your church. Make it as easy as possible to get people involved
- Go to your most dedicated. Your volunteers, deacons and Sunday School teachers tend to give at a higher rate than others.
- Giving is infectious. Once you’ve started people giving, the word spreads and others too will want to be stewards of your church making their giving both a December bump and momentum into the new year.
- Match your request for funds to your vision.
Year-end fundraising is an important part of any church’s ongoing planning and operation. With clear vision, a clear set of goals, compelling messaging all with celebration and appreciation, your church can end 2023 and start 2024 strong.