By Curtis Simmons

Nurturing Givers: 3 Steps to Getting to Personal

This is the fifth in a series of 6 posts on growing generosity in the digital age. Start at the beginning: How to Nurture Generosity in the New Digital World.

In this series, we’ve been talking about the Giver Lifecycle and the most common classifications (giving frequencies) needed for nurturing givers. Classifying givers is the first step in connecting in a personal way with each giver at the same time. 

Now it’s time to make it your own, with these three steps: 

  • Classifying your givers, your way
  • Planning your communications sequence
  • Crafting your messages

We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to get you started. This blogpost will cover the first step, classifying your givers. You can read the second and third steps here.

Define YOUR Classifications

Your church is unique and no organizational “system” works the same for different people or organizations. So, start by defining the categories your givers fall into.

You can use the four classifications we described here and here. Feel free to call these giver types whatever you want. You may even want to further break those groups down into giving methods (online or cash/check), because you might want to share online giving details only with cash and check givers.

Defining means determining the specific criteria a giver meets, such as: 

  • A new giver could be someone who gave their first gift in the last 3-6 months.
  • An infrequent giver might be someone who gave 4-12 times in the last year.
  • Frequent givers could be those who gave consistently for the past 12 months.
  • Top givers may be defined by a particular giving threshold or length of time they’ve been giving.
  • Holiday givers are those who attend and give only on special occasions
  • Ministry supporters are those who donate only to specific ministries. 

All of these classifications are important because the better your messaging fits your recipients giving “profile,” the more they feel known and appreciated. For some highly specific groups, like holiday givers or ministry supporters, you may want to send targeted messaging about those particular interests. 

However you go about it, just remember, it’s okay and even preferable to keep it very simple to begin with.

Gather Your Giving Data

Now gather any historical data you have about your givers from your church management system and/or church giving platform. Begin with a simple spreadsheet containing the name and contact information for those who donated to your church over the past 12-18 months, how often they donated, what method they used to donate, and if they donated to any special causes.

Make sure for each giver you have the following information:

  • First and last name
  • Primary and secondary email address
  • Home address
  • Phone number

Nurturing Givers Starts Here

Classifying, or segmenting, your givers in this way is critical and will determine how effectively you nurture them. Give yourself plenty of time for this step.

When you’ve created these categories in your giving system, you’re ready for the final steps, which we’ll cover in our next blogpost: How to Send Custom Triggered Messages to Your Givers.

Download How to Nurture Generosity in the New Digital World to get access to an expanded version of this entire series in one printable PDF.