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Closing Thoughts on Thank You Gifts (Including Gifts for Younger Generations)

9 Aug. 2012 Posted by Denis Greene in Church Capital Campaigns

Church Development closes this series on the importance of giving thanks in a capital campaign with a quote from Henri Nouwen, a Church Development statistic on the power of thanks, and if the younger generation responds to email thank you notes more than physical thank you notes.

In wrapping this series on the importance of thanks in a capital campaign, I want to give my closing thoughts, as well as address a question we heard lately during a consultation with a church:

Q. What’s an appropriate thank you gift for the younger generation?

Although this question was specifically addressing physical thank you notes vs. email thank you notes (which younger generations seem to connect with more), I have to address the bigger point:

You’re going to say thanks more than once.

One of the most obvious ways is from your pastor on a Sunday morning, saying something simple like, “I wanted to thank each and every one of you who’ve participated in our capital campaign thus far. With your help, we’ve been able to…” Then close with, “If you haven’t had an opportunity to participate, there’s still time,” and encourage people to connect with this blessing.  

From here, personalized thank you notes are good (both online and in print). Finally, a thank you gift—before or after the capital campaign is complete—can leave a great lasting impression.

As you can see, thanks isn’t a one-off shot where you hope your congregation hears it; it’s more of a program that’s designed to make sure they don’t miss their thanks, because more important than the medium you use to say thanks (for any generation) is that you do say thank you (as people will specifically remember not being thanked.)

Church Development campaign history has found that a well-publicized thanks program will increase giving 30% and will help involve those on the outer fringes of involvement.

And finally, a quote from Henri J.M. Nouwen’s The Spirituality of Fundraising:

“Gratitude flows from the recognition that who we are and what we have are gifts to be received and shared.”

A thank you gift is the final way to help that gratitude flow. Share on. 

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Denis Greene is the Founder and President of Church Development.  He is the author of The Stewardship System, Stewardship-Based Capital Campaigns, and How To Ask For Donations as well as numerous articles on stewardship. Denis has helped over 200 churches across the USA raise more than $200,000,000. 

A complete list of Church Development’s services (including capital campaign management and consultation, feasibility studies, and year-round stewardship ministry programming) is available here.