In this Give It Up podcast episode, Zoe and Vance explore the best strategies for year-end giving, discuss the nuances of Q4 church giving language, and draw insights from the Vive building campaign. We also delve into why some churches withhold their fundraising targets, and Vance wraps up with a poignant encouragement for pastors and churches on effective fundraising.
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You get to that big moment. Hopefully half of the congregation already knows about it, and is leaning in front footed about it to create a groundswell. I should call every single board member and overflow first before the board meeting. The board meeting is essentially just some good discussion. I'm having a lot of conversations before the conversation. That's awesome. Right? And that's how you build momentum. A pastor turn tech leader and a millennial churchgoer, exploring the intersection of technology, culture and faith, equipping you with innovative strategies to support you as you live out your calling leader churches with confidence to step into the future together. This is the give it up podcast. It is the final quarter of the year. Yes, it is fall. That's where we got our sweaters on. That's right. Vous church merch shout out blue church, Miami, Florida. I was gonna say I was gonna shout out Jerry Lorenzo hoping that he would podcast Yes, I do have fear of God on this F G on the back. Let's go. We keep it nice and blank. No brands, essentials or what? Yes, it is essentials. Okay, I find it essential to be wearing a hoodie right now. Anyways, we're off to an awkward start with this episode. But we're talking about something very important today. Because this is fundraising season. And we have lots to say about before q4. Yeah, that's fourth quarter, fourth quarter. We like to shorten everything here in Silicon Valley. So everything is as short as possible Q four, h two AR AR MDR. Okay are like how many other ones but there's a lot of churches that this year you know, we've we've talked about churches being cash strapped, we've talked, we've talked about churches who are in the middle of building campaigns, and the end of the year is the best time to be raising money because people are more generous than ever. And so typically true, statistically. So really November, December, you're in giving you will, unless you're doing something drastically wrong. See a natural pop in giving at least appetite to give who doesn't love a natural anuses are coming. Christmases in the atmosphere. People are thankful they just had turkey. You know, I'm saying they're feeling festive. They want to give gifts they want to give to your church. Oh, they want to squeeze in that last gift to maximize their charitable tax deduction. Yeah, talking to the financial advisor right now their financial advisors like hey, can you donate five more 1000? Can you donate 10 more 1000 to get under the the the tax rate will save you XYZ if you can do that. And this is what happens. And so if you are in the end of the year push, you need to listen to this episode because I want to talk about some scenarios in which churches are finding themselves in. So let's talk about first the church who is way behind financially this year, they have to play catch up in q4. My goodness, I'm gonna give you the playbook please do right now the play book to maximize your and giving lean in You gotta listen to this. Because this can result in a game changing year end giving, but it doesn't start in December. It starts way, way, way, way, way, way back in August, September, you gotta plan for this, you got to be ready. And so I know we're a little bit behind the ball. Because we're airing this in the midst of the fall. So maybe you need to get ready for next year. But you can catch up. If you haven't already. If you're behind, maybe you should consider doing a message on the type. Maybe you should consider doing a whole series on the tithe and giving and generosity, especially preaching teaching sound doctrine on the principle of the top because that is going to be I'm telling you right now, the biggest needle mover more than a year rent one time gift to get a giver locked in on recurring and making sure that they have a revelation of the type. By the way, it's not just for the church, but it's for them primarily. But if they can be activated so that the church's financials can be more predictable in the future. Why would you not take an opportunity to do that? I would actually say that it's our responsibility as pastors and ministers to preach on the tithe and get sound doctrine in on that before we even entertain big sacrificial gifts in our church. Those one time, big sacrificial gifts. Those are awesome. Yeah. But What's better is discipling people and how they should think about their money. And so, October right now, it's the beginning of October. Maybe consider pivoting. If you haven't considered it already, maybe consider at least allotting one week towards teaching sound docs and on the tide is going to be the biggest needle mover going into November. If you don't have any earmarked already, you should think about doing some sort of vision dinner Kingdom builders, Gala, some sort of vision Sunday, okay, you got to do it in November, ahead of time of when urine giving really starts to pop off, because you need to get the vision in front of people as early as possible. I would actually recommend early November, if you get into mid November, people are going to be starting to travel for Thanksgiving, and things of that nature. If you can get in the first kind of weekend or week of November, that will be an ideal spot. You just spoke on biblical generosity, biblical tithing, you flow into big vision for what's ahead in the life of your church, what's going to happen in the next 12 months, what's going to happen in the year ahead, and you're gonna get people ready, this vision needs to be big vision and Silicon Valley. And it's not a big vision. It's not getting invested into. And it's the same principle with the church. But the difference is with venture capitalists, they're looking for a return on investment, what your church members are especially big givers, they're looking for a return on impact. So what is that billion dollar idea so to speak? What is that thing that the church can rally around? Where it's going to take sacrificial giving to see happen? What is that impossible thing that God has put in front of you that is made possible by him and through his people? And so what is stirring your heart, the vision should always exceed the level of resources that you have. And so you shouldn't even be doing a calculation of what's possible, know what's impossible? What's going to require a stretch. Yeah, that's gonna require a sacrifice. How cool would it be? If God did it? If God did it through his people, yeah, if he brought break with you, through his people, and people partnered in seeing that happen, and so you're going to put a vision in front of your church in the beginning of November. And then you're going to ask people to make a commitment, whether it's that vision gala that dinner, that vision Sunday, you're going to ask people to make a commitment to do it from stage, even sometimes, you're going to ask them to make a commitment from stage, but you're gonna give whether it's a physical card or a digital card. If it's digital, they can just do it on their phone. If it's physical, you can collect it in the offering buckets or at the altar. And basically, that commitment card. And we don't like to do pledges. That commitment card is a commitment that you're making, to give a one time sacrificial gift above and beyond the time between now and the end of the year. Right. Got it. So you have several weeks to get it done. Yeah. But the hard thing about pledges is then it kind of feels like you have to invoice people for 12 months. You know, I'm saying yeah, and so it's better if you can just make it a one time sacrificial gift above and beyond that time, do you want a commitment card so that you can celebrate with the church? Hey, yeah, church, we got 2.1 committed, we got 4.2 million committed, we have $7.6 million committed and then you can update the church over the next six weeks on how much has been fulfilled of that commitment. It's like crazy momentum. Yeah, you know, competitive people like us. Oh, yep. Love seeing that thermometer chart go up and up and up and up. Generosity begets generosity, generosity inspires generosity. People start getting in the atmosphere, people start getting in the flow of what's happening in the life of the church. And you see, you start seeing update after updating it kind of compounds on one another and you you make it to that goal. And so you want to present the vision. You want to ask people to make commitments. You want the financing to calculate those commitments, announce it to the church, tell them hey, this is what was committed. You want to update them every week on how much is being fulfilled. As you're facilitating fulfillment you need to unblock. You need to make frictionless you need to have the infrastructure that makes the generosity frictionless across not just Ach, debit, credit card checking, savings giving, you need to make it easy for them to donate non cash assets, stocks, ETFs 401k, IRAs, crypto currency, hello, overflow dot c o overflow.co. That's what we're here for. We love unlocking more ways to give because it facilitates especially in urine giving, catalytic giving moments. We are serving churches all across America, especially in q4 fourth quarter. Yep. So only time you watch the NBA game. I know you fourth quarter, right. So most important time of the year, fourth quarter. If you can unblock unlock generosity through making it easy for them to give from their non cash assets. You You inspire catalytic giving, so they're fulfilling, they're fulfilling, they're fulfilling and you want to make sure to do a big party Um, sometime in December as those fulfillments come in as kind of a signification that, hey, we did it. This is how much we fulfill this is how much we get to do now, next year as part of the vision and just honor people exhort people celebrate with them, hey, look what God can do now with what you give. That's awesome. So let's just say a church is doing all this. They're pacing correctly, like they're looking like we're going to end this year, strong. What language has to change? Specifically in q4, that isn't like that the other three quarters because it's like, because you are trying to multiply that momentum at the end of the year. Yeah, you just got to speak to this situation, right. So if you are specifically, let's say, raising for a building, and you have a real deadline, you hit that closed date, and you still have a vision gap that you need to fill. You need to speak to the situation, you got to let people know biblically, spiritually, that hey, faith is scrappy. Faith is not all bow tied up all the time. Faith is creative. Faith is imaginative. Yeah. And so what's in your hand? Is it a bonus? Is it a stock portfolio? Is it you know, maybe our real estate asset that second home? Is it that poke among collection? I'm speaking to like a very niche. Is it that that that wine cellar, right? So you got to speak to the imagination of, hey, what's possible? If we really banded together to make this thing happen? what's in our hand? Yeah, what do we have, that maybe we don't really need, but that we can act in generosity to see a greater need to see a greater impact happen in our day for a generation for a community? Yeah, I love that. And I just want to say that as a churchgoer, myself, one of my favorite things is when you articulate and spell out plainly exactly what the goal is, like, put the number behind it, because I've got an FE First off, I think we all have realized we love when things are gamified. And so when we see this, we're like, okay, let's hit it. And also the amount of times I have seen someone step forward in faith and say, Yeah, I'll do a matching challenge on that. That's cool. They wouldn't do it if there's some ethereal goal. Sorry, they wouldn't do that if there was some ethereal goal, right, that nobody actually knows, that needs to be hit. We actually spoke about building campaigns a second ago. And I think you have what is an iconic story of building campaign momentum in which vive had, can you share with people? Because I think there's still a lot of people that don't actually know this story of what you had to go through in your building campaign. Yeah, so I think people have heard the story, we can probably point in the show show notes. Some episodes where we talk about it, I can give a little bit more background story that hopefully is helpful for people. So we started actually, a multi year campaign called Project Vive, were kind of halfway through the life of the church in the past decade, we started this campaign as kind of a savings fund. We always were front footed with making sure that we can deploy capital quickly, whether it's a new campus, or it's a new ministry, like Men's Ministry, women's ministry, kids ministry, youth ministry, we've, as a startup church have always invested into areas we can deploy capital quickly to see the work of the gospel accelerated in our context and in our communities. But kind of five, six years in, we had a conviction that, hey, we really need to get serious about putting a savings fund together. But if you call it savings fund, that's not very exciting. And so we, we branded it, we call that project vibe, which we said was going to be a multi year building campaign. We don't have what the building is yet. But we would throw the congregation of bone right, we would do the best that we could do to work with architects work with designers to put up renderings, to put up vision, yeah, to put up graphics to put up a picture of what the place could look like. And in that spirit of, you know, unlocking imagination and people and really stirring up vision and people. Yeah, they could give to virtually what was the savings campaign, right. And we always have an earmarked amount that we wanted to put away for that campaign. And over three, four years, we're able to save around$4 million. This $4 million was so key because when we eventually 10 years into our we're really nine years into building the church when we were finally present Good opportunity to purchase a building it was$32 million. Right? I mean, 4 million is like, like a tiny seed. Yeah, compared to what was needed. But it was something. Yeah, it showed discipline. It showed stewardship. It showed foresight it showed for thought we had been for multiple years talking about prophesying praying over a building opportunity to be able to pursue. And so that project Vive, that project vive fund account was actually so important, even though it pales in comparison to how much was ultimately needed. I would say that we wouldn't have been able to do the catalytic $8 million raise post that. And even a financing round, post that to get to the $32 million that we eventually got to if we didn't show that we knew how to receive a seed store to seed and grow a seed. Yeah. And so I think that is for all the pastors that have a vision for a building don't have this specific opportunity contract, you're not in escrow for anything. Maybe you're in a city like ours, where the zoning is very difficult for churches, and you're just you're needing that God opportunity. Don't wait. Don't wait for that opportunity to start saving to start rallying your church around the vision. And I think sometimes people don't state the certain amount that they're raising, or even do something like a multi year building campaign, because they don't want to look stupid. They don't want to put their name on the line, right? Because when you put yourself out there, and it doesn't happen, you know, it's like, does that look bad on God? Does that look bad on me? Yeah. look bad on both of us. Yeah. God can't look bad. God is God all by himself. He's in control. He ultimately will get the glory. And even if it looks impossible, unlikely, not probable. The word is true. If we're faithful, and we're doing it in his ways, he loves his children. He wants to unlock the very best gifts for his children. He has Kingdom territory already set apart. Right? He's already written the story. We're walking in it. And part of that walking in is walking out in faith, taking bold steps, putting yourself out there, like literally Peter walked on water. Yeah, I mean, he fell after a couple of steps. And I think this will remember is like all Peter, didn't. You have little faith? No, no, you have great faith. Yeah. Have you ever walked on water? Two times? No. Two steps. 00 steps? Yeah. Peter did it. And so you know, that's actually what I think great faith looks like is you willing to put your foot on that water? Are you willing to put that number out there? Are you willing to put a line in the sand? Hey, we're gonna be the temperatures that saves for a building. We don't have the opportunity yet. But we're gonna believe in faith, that if God is in this thing he's gonna make away. Yeah, that's awesome. So no matter whether it's your vision gala heart for the house, and of your campaign building campaign. What is one incredible piece of fundraising insight that you would give to somebody in this situation right now, for q4. So outside of everything that we've talked about, I would say that what's really important is that when you head towards like the actual, Big Give moment, that wasn't the first time people were hearing about the vision. You want to have so many conversations before the conversation. Yeah, you want to have so many dinner parties, you want to have so many small group sessions, you want to have so many one on one pastoral conversations with Kingdom builders, you want to when you get to that big moment, hopefully, half of the congregation already knows about it, and is leaning in and front footed about it to create a groundswell. Right. Anytime I have a board meeting, I actually call every single board member and overflow first before the board meeting. So that the board meeting is essentially just some good discussion, but not trying to rally in the line. Everybody, I'm having a lot of conversations before the conversation. That's awesome. Right. And that's how you build momentum. Yeah. You know, there's also a marketing thing that everyone knows right it the same can be applied at churches is it usually takes eight exposures for someone to buy something. Yeah. So if you're coming into this cold being like, on Christmas day, we're going to tell everybody about this thing. And they're immediately going to be like, yes and amen. That would be incorrect. When it comes to assumptions. You definitely like that's just hitting on it. You have to continue to reiterate this message so that it's not only preparing their minds preparing their hearts as well. Exactly. Final encouragement to these people who are fundraising to end 2023 Strong what would you say you want to give You want to give just remind them what they're giving to celebrate all God has done, celebrate the salvation, celebrate the baptism, celebrate the stories, celebrate the testimony, celebrate lives transformed, you are the beacon of hope you are the mobilization center, you have dozens, if not hundreds of volunteers that are giving time to care for their neighbor to care for the other, to care for the lost sheep, the last coin to go after the one, you are the center, where you're investing into the next generation, whether it's Gen Z, or is what's the next generation Alpha. I don't know my kids, my kids 753. And one, they have a place where they can grow in the things of God. It's not a babysitting service, it's a ministry. It's a ministry for our kids, where we're raising up the next ministers, I am so glad I'm so thankful that they can be founded in the house of God. As for me in my house, we will serve the Lord. I'm so glad to have a picture of what it looks like to serve the Lord because they be they could be serving other things. They can be serving what's seen on social media, they can be serving other ideologies, but they get to serve the one and true God. They get to serve biblical principles, remind people what they're giving to celebrate those things, all that you've accomplished, how you've outreach, how have you responded to needs, how you've been in the community, how you've launched campuses, how you've raised up leaders, how many people have been through next steps, how many people have come through your school of leadership, your leadership development pipelines, how's your staff grown? Has the budget grown? Have you redeployed that to reach more people for the gospel for Jesus, if you celebrate them, if you exhort them, if you edify them, if you remind them who they are, if you remind them that they are a generous church, and they have an opportunity to rise up in generosity again, for this next XYZ thing, they're going to be excited to do it. Just remind them what they're giving to. I love that. And just closing thoughts here is we believe in you and more importantly, we believe in what God has called you, and your church and your ministry to in this season. So go with courage, knowing that God will give you everything that you need. Let's go. Thanks so much for listening to the give it up podcast if you want to receive even more insights on church innovation, culture, and giving now you can sign up for free to be an overflow insider, where you'll receive exclusive content discounts direct access to Vance Roush to get your questions answered, and also invite only access to our monthly fundraising leadership forums. Head to overflow.co backslash insider, or just click the link in our bio to sign up for free today. In order to get this podcast in the ears of even more church leaders. Could you please subscribe and leave a review for the show? This tells the podcast players what people are enjoying and want to hear more of and we are adamant about providing maximum value to even more church leaders. Thanks so much. We'll see you next time.