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How to Deal with Someone Who is Angry About the Church Spending Money on Thank You Gifts

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

In today’s entry on the importance of giving thanks in a capital campaign, Church Development shares how to respond to the select few people who’ll be angry about the church spending money on thank you gifts.

In continuing this series on the importance of giving thanks at the end of a capital campaign, I need to address a problem you’re likely to run across: Those who are mad at the church for spending money on thank you gifts. life is sometimes a matter of choosing which problems you want to face, this is a pretty good problem to have, but it’s still a problem. Odds are the select few who are mad at you over this issue are from the highly-involved inner core of your church. I usually tell people to grin and bear it when they’re chewing you out, because they’re your saints. They won’t understand why you’re not giving the money you spent on those thank you gifts to missions and outreach instead. They won’t understand that not everyone in your church gives for the right reasons and that many people are motivated by a thank you gift in advance. They will be the ones who’ll chew you out over spending the money on a stamp to send them that thank you note. (Again, grin and bear it.)

So how do you deal with their anger when it comes up?

This is a problem you must anticipate and get ahead of.

The best way I’ve seen to do this is to explain the potential situation to a couple of key people in your church, and ask one to cover the cost of stamps and envelopes for thank you notes, and another to cover the cost of the thank you gifts (typically running $1-$2 or less per thank you gift).

First, you’ll be surprised at people’s joy and eagerness to take on this unique role of funding thank you gifts, and second, this will diffuse the anger of that saint who’s mad at you for spending money on thank you gifts, because now zero money is coming from the capital campaign, and someone else’s gift contribution shouldn’t be criticized.

Sure, you may still have the one person who’s still looking to complain about everything, but I don’t need to tell you that for this particular curmudgeon, nothing short of the Holy Spirit will straighten them out. For the person who just wants to see church funds used for the missions God has tasked you to do, however, they’re often willing to be swayed.    

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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.