Think ahead! AneteLusina@pexel.com
I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of emails. Because of the work that I love doing (fundraising, development, stewardship) the email subject lines that I come across have been very consistent of late, with just a touch of alarm.
“Make this Your Best Year-End Ever!”
“Are You Ready for the End of the Year?”
“Why Haven’t You Got Your Act Together for the End of 2022?”
“What’s the Matter with You? You Don’t Have a Plan for November and December? You’re a Slug!”
You get the point.
As if you don’t already have plenty on your plate.
Here’s the thing: You’ll feel 100% better if you whip out your calendar and take thirty minutes (that’s it!) to schedule when you need to get things done for your end-of-the-year mailings.
You know who else will be thrilled? The people – office staff and volunteers – who are in charge of getting those mailings to your congregation.
If you only have time to do two things at the end of this year, here’s what I suggest:
- A Thanksgiving gratitude card. Not a letter, but a card. Most of you have churches that are small enough that you or someone in your leadership group could hand write a personal message and address the card. Go to the store. Buy a pack (or two or twenty) of cards and start sharing some of that thanksgiving love.
- A Christmas letter. I know! You’re just finishing up your stewardship season but this letter is too important to put off until the last minute. Plan now.
- Set a date to compose the letter. There’s nothing stopping you from writing it now – just put on a few Christmas carols and get inspired. Nat King Cole sounds great, even in October. Might I suggest his version of O Holy Night?
- Set a date to mail it. My suggestion? No later than the second week of December.
- Set a timeline based on that date. Once you know what date you want your Christmas letter to go out, work your way backward to give your office staff or volunteers plenty of time to prepare and mail it.
I’m a procrastinator. If you’re one too, I feel your pain. However, I recently met with the Executive Director of a non-profit I work with and she and I, together, mapped out what had to be done and by the end of the year. Holy smokes, I felt like I had a plan and knew what to do. It took the pressure off. I’m hoping the same will be true for you.
Don’t be cowed by the dramatic headlines – but use them as motivation: “OMG! You Can Do It!” Let me know if I can be of any help. You are not alone.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. For 25 years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she has helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. Christmas coming too early for you? She suggests you watch the trailer “Elf” remade as a thriller. Just in time for Halloween. You can reach Cesie at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.
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