Decided to join the Parish Giving Scheme, but not sure how to launch it best in these uncertain times? Here are five top tips for launching PGS well during the pandemic.
Encourage the PCC to lead by example
Ask the members of the PCC and church leadership team to join PGS at the outset. If they endorse the scheme and encourage the wider church to get involved it makes all the difference. They act like ambassadors communicating PGS’s advantages, how it can be trusted as well as asking the wider congregation to join them in helping resource your church’s mission.
Write personal letters to your planned givers and electoral roll
Write a personal letter to members of your congregation to invite them to join PGS. A letter from your church leader explaining the PCCs decision to join the scheme and outlining how recipients can get involved is helpful. Communicate the church’s vision for the future and what can be achieved if giving increases. You could also include the following resources (available digitally):
- the donor leaflet for congregation members and wider community explaining how PGS works
- the gift form
- an invitation to a thanksgiving service (which provides a deadline to act by)
Update your website – make it easy for people to find information
Providing clear information that is easy to find on your website is vital in this increasingly digital culture. Introduce PGS well as part of your wider giving information; explain why it is your preferred way to receive gifts, and upload the leaflet and gift form for people to download. St Nicholas, Godstone and St John’s, Hurst Green are both good examples of using your website to communicate well. You may also like to embed this video explaining how PGS works.
Keep talking about PGS
Regular mentions of PGS will be key in seeing your church members move over their giving. This could include:
- An interview in your service or a video on your social media sharing a personal testimony from someone who has started giving via PGS, explaining why they chose to join and how it supports your church.
- A permanent notice in your pewsheet or newsletter about how givers can join PGS and why it is such a help to your church (make sure to include your church’s PGS name and number, the telephone number to set up your gift via, and your PGS Project Leader’s contact details).
- Short updates, via social media or in your notices, thanking people who are giving via PGS. E.g. “Thank you to our new givers who have joined PGS this month!”, or “£500 a month has now been pledged by givers to our church using the Parish Giving Scheme. Thank you!”
Launch PGS as part of a wider giving campaign
Evidence suggests that there is a much higher take-up of the scheme when launched alongside a giving review. Talking about PGS provides an ideal opportunity to encourage people in their generosity and how their giving funds the work of your church in your community.
You could finish your giving campaign with a thanksgiving service, celebrating all the donations that have been pledged and given for the year ahead.