Year-End Giving • Celebrate Your Team • A Blessed Mess: Management Roundup
Trends, tips, ideas, and stats to help church leaders manage well this week.
Year-End Giving • Celebrate Your Team • A Blessed Mess: Management Roundup

1. December 31 matters for year-end giving. “Charitable contributions may be claimed in the year that they are uncon­ditionally delivered to the charity or church, including checks actually mailed (post-marked) in the appropriate year (even if received by a charity or church in a different year). Donations made by credit card are deductible in the year the donor makes the donation by giving an irrevocable instruction to the credit card issuer.

What doesn’t qualify:

  • Predated or backdated checks.
  • Promissory notes for future gifts.
  • Credit card charges where the donor has not completed the charge process."

(“The 6 Requirements of Charitable Contributions,” compiled by Frank Sommerville and Samuel Ogles, Church Finance Today SkillBuilders). Provide your donors with helpful year-end giving reminders and tips with these downloadable bulletin inserts.

2. The cost benefits of celebrating your team. “(I)t seems much less common to celebrate the things—big and small—that a team has accomplished together with God's help. Let me suggest one reason that you should make celebration a regular practice in your church or ministry or non-profit:

Celebration offsets two common leadership problems. Some leaders look at the past with a highly critical eye, focusing on mistakes and areas for improvement. Other leaders are constantly thinking about the future, and the present is an afterthought. Celebration avoids both mistakes. It pauses in the present to focus on the good things in the past.

One other advantage of celebration is that it has a great cost-benefit ratio—it's free and requires little time, but it can have a big organizational impact” (“Time to Celebrate,” by Mike Bonem,

3. Blessing the office mess. “Most design experts recommend getting rid of clutter to promote creativity. … But some research suggests that such chaos breeds inspiration. University of Minnesota scientist Kathleen Vohs found that people in a messy room came up with more imaginative new uses for a Ping-Pong ball than people in a tidy room. Eric Abrahamson, a Columbia Business School professor and co-author of A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder, also extols the virtues of disorganization, contending that a messy desk allows independent ideas to be seen and connected in new ways” (“3 Office Creativity Tips You’ve Got to Try,” by Jennifer Alsever,

4. Working with difficult personalities. “People with low emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, are generally harder to work with — they can be grumpier, more negative, and more erratic than average. But a few tactics, including this one, can help you collaborate with a low-EQ person:

Be explicit. Avoid social subtleties, or you will be misinterpreted. Low-EQ individuals are generally less capable of reading between the lines, and their ability to decode others’ intentions can be limited."

(“How to Work with People Who Aren’t Good at Working with People,” by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic,

5. Notable quote. “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” —General Colin Powell (via Kevin Kruse,

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