The fourth quarter of 2017 is just around the corner, and in addition to Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas, this time includes one of the most stressful tasks in the church office: preparing for next year’s offering envelopes.
On the surface, this may not seem like it should be a difficult process. But you have to sort through many design options, decide which special-occasion envelopes should be included, and factor in membership numbers and how many people give electronically. So determining how many boxes to order can be a real challenge.
Here are ten simple steps that will make preparing for 2018 envelopes easier than ever before.
1. Identify potential givers.
Churches will often have different criteria for choosing who should receive offering envelopes. It may be all confirmed members, it may be all members who are over 18, or it may be anyone who attends regularly (member or not). It’s important to keep in mind that the envelopes should align with how your members pay taxes, so married couples should share a box and teenagers should be given boxes separate from their parents.
2. Remove from the list those who haven’t given.
Though boxes of offering envelopes aren’t expensive, they can add up, so don’t give them to people who don’t contribute. Take a look at the last 12–18 months. If someone hasn’t given, exclude him or her from receiving envelopes this time.
3. Remove from the list those who haven’t used their envelopes.
Some people contribute without offering envelopes, and that is just fine. You can identify these people by first taking a look at who never picked up his or her box of offering envelopes. Exclude these people from your list. Then, place an announcement in the bulletin or newsletter asking people to let the church office know if they don’t wish to receive envelopes next year.
4. Identify those who give electronically, and exclude them from the list.
This list is pretty easy to find. Go to your electronic giving provider, print a contributor list, and remove those people from your overall list.
5. Finalize your list to determine the total number of boxes to order.
After you have done the math in the steps above, you’ll have a final number of envelope boxes to order. Double-check this with your number from last year, take into account any new or removed members, and make sure the number seems right.
6. Add a few extra boxes for potential new givers.
It’s always a good idea to add a few extra boxes to your order in case new members arrive during the next year, or in case current givers lose their envelopes.
7. Keep in mind those who want to keep their numbers.
Some people want to keep the same number year after year because it holds some special meaning to them. Rather than fighting this, just keep track of those people and accomodate them.
8. Renumber the envelopes.
Your church management software should make it simple for you to renumber the envelopes. But you can even do this in Excel if you have all the information listed above.
9. Print labels to apply to each box.
As soon as you complete this process, print a list of next year’s envelope numbers, and print labels with each person’s name and corresponding number. You can do this any time before the order arrives, but why not get it done while everything is fresh in your mind?
10. Place your order.
Many companies provide discounts to those who order early, so be sure to not delay. If you’re looking for a place to order envelopes, I happen to know a certain publishing house that would be happy to help you out.
How many of these steps do you already follow? Is there anything missing? Please let me know by adding a comment below.
Church360° Members is an online church management software that makes planning for next year’s offering envelopes easy and efficient. To learn more, request a free 30-minute live demo below, or watch our training video to learn more.
About the Author
Peter Frank serves as Senior Marketing Manager of Church Supplies at Concordia Publishing House. A graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin, his background in theology, business, and computers gives him a unique perspective on technology in the church. Married and the father of two children, he is frequently humbled when his 18-month-old shows him new things on the iPad.Follow on Twitter More Content by Peter Frank