'Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.' (2 Cor 9:7)
For the vast majority of churches, the regular, planned, committed giving of members of the congregation is the biggest income stream by far, and essential for the ongoing life of the church.
A key stewardship challenge is to nurture our planned givers in the Christian value of generosity
- to the local church and to Christian and other just and charitable causes beyond the church walls. Here are resources to help develop a robust planned giving scheme.
Parish Giving Scheme
The Diocese of Liverpool is an early adopter of the exciting, new Parish Giving Scheme.
This tried and tested, innovative and important charitable initiative offers our churches a Direct Debit based giving scheme with a built-in monthly Gift Aid reclaim and the option for our givers to inflation-proof their giving. The scheme is free to parishes and the giver is always in control: the staff of this Anglican charity are just a phone call away.
We strongly encourage every church to adopt this modern, tax efficient way of managing giving to your church. Visit the Parish Giving Scheme page - Cath Gaskell from the Resources Team at St James' House will be happy to help.
Giving In Grace
The Giving in Grace website has comprehensive resources and guidance for running a stewardship programme in your church.
The resources blend biblical thinking about generous giving alongside practical guidance and templates for making a sensitive ask to review and renew giving. Giving In Grace also hosts materials for a short, focused Annual Review of giving. See the Giving In Grace page for more details.
Giving for Life: Continuing the journey
Giving for Life, a 2009 report to General Synod, sought to encourage generous giving and highlighting four key stewardship tasks for churches and signposts resources to help.
Noting the positive impact of Giving for Life in 2016, Synod commended new Giving for Life resources for Church Councils which were sent to parishes in Liverpool at the end of September 2016. These simple, new resources are an excellent place to start thinking about stewardship with your PCC, and the Resources Team is here to help facilitate discussions.
For PDF copies of the resources, a handly presentation template and a short video introduction see the Giving for Life: Continuing the journey pages on the Parish Resources website.
Payroll Giving is a Government scheme which has facilitated more than £1.5 billion of income since launch in 1987.
For an individual to use Payroll Gving, their employer must have first registered with a Payroll Giving Agency (PGA) approved by HMRC. The PGA will usually make a small administration charge. Employees can opt into the Payroll Giving scheme and give tax efficiently to charities of their choice through a pre-tax deduction from salary and, for those on pensions, through their pension provider. Payroll Giving is tax-efficient; it does not require a Gift Aid declaration and donors can give anonymously if they wish.
Weekly giving envelopes
Weekly envelopes have been around for years. They are the most familiar method of planned giving, unthreatening, simple both to understand and use.
Arguably, in truth, they belong to an earlier age of planned giving when many people were paid in cash and they are no longer robust enough to cope with changing patterns of church attendance.
That said, envelopes can still be a good way for church members old and new to take their first steps in planned giving.
Some practical advice:
Don’t assume people know how to use envelopes (for example that they can bring two if they miss a week), so help them, possibly using some literature.
Just taking envelopes won’t increase levels of giving, though it will increase regularity and therefore total gifts. There still needs to be an ask.
Distribute the envelopes with sensitivity and a note of thanks. Don’t just leave them at the back of church or hand them out as people leave.