Alan Wildes

Alan Wildes

With Fall Stewardship, Communication Is Key!

The Fall Stewardship Campaign is still alive and well in many churches.  There are many different approaches out there, but one thing remains constant; effective communications are imperative for success!

As a generosity coach, I am challenged with helping churches effectively communicate with each generation as it pertains to giving. When I started in this work in 2000 it was a heck of a lot easier to communicate with each generation. Technology has radically changed the way we think, communicate, and relate to each other. (Mild understatement, huh?)

I have done some research (both formal and anecdotal) and have come up with some observations/conclusions about effectively communicating with each generation.  Here are the 5:

  1. The church’s communication game plan must be multi-faceted.  I know this may seem like a “duh” statement but how diverse is your communication plan?  Can you name 10 distinctly different methods of communicating with your congregation?  If not, then you need to convene the communication team and get to work (and take back your “duh” statement.)
  2. The effectiveness of direct mail rapidly declines as people get younger.  Research shows that all generations are motivated by direct mail.  As you might expect, the Matures prefer this more than the Millennials.  However, it is proving to be true that even the Millennials like a nice brochure to hold and read.  The caveat is that the message of the brochure has to be big, relevant, and worthwhile.
  3. Electronic communications (all types) are accepted by Millennials, but rarely by Matures.  We are still not to the point of being able to communicate with our people exclusively through electronic media. In many churches electronic communication is still a secondary form of communication. Obviously, you need to know your congregation to know how much electronic media you can effectively use.
  4. All generations respond equally well to in-person communications.  The Sunday morning experience continues to be THE best forum to effectively communicate with our people.
  5. Person-to-person phone communication is accepted by all generations as long as they know and trust the church.  We have all but done away with phone communication.  It is still an awesome way to communicate with our people.  It is personal and the recipient can hear our voice and its inflections.  When is the last time you had a volunteer call team to communicate a big event at your church?

If you want all of your people to hear and know the vision of your fall stewardship campaign, you must effectively communicate.  If they know the clear, compelling, and concise vision, they will give.

What creative ways will you communicate with your people this fall?

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