BIG DAY – Don’t Be a Cheapskate (Use Your Conference To GIVE To Others)

One of the many benefits of attending the Spiritual Leadership Conference in Lancaster, CA, is receiving the gifts that are given to each delegate. I always wonder how their budget balances at the end of each conference, and I am sure that the church gives much of the gifts that are not covered by the registration fees. I am always impressed by the culture of giving.

I want the same for the Preaching Rally, and it is not as hard as one might think.

For our case, the Preaching Rally budget is basically self-sustaining. We charge $5 per person (including our church people), and our costs are roughly $3.50 per person, not including the speaker costs. This excess allows for gifts that can vary in size from year to year.

Regardless of the “size” of the gift, we try to create a culture of generosity through door prizes, prizes for games, and free quality printed materials, even when our numbers top 400 (which is a lot for us!)

Creating gifts might take creativity. One year, our theme was especially important, so we worked out the costs to give t-shirts to each attendee. To date, that has been our most expensive gift ever, and we went in the red for a couple years following. We had saved money from the previous year, and we planned on cutting costs for the next two years by using local preachers. It all eventually balanced out.

Other options for gifts might include a booklet. We self-printed minibooks on the topics of being timeless and dating God’s way, and gave each person a free minibook on their way out the door.

One year, we put sign-up sheets in the foyer to allow our church to sponsor as many BIBS books as they chose. Our church members would donate the money to the Preaching Rally BIBS fund and take as many labels as they purchased. The labels had that year’s Preaching Rally theme logo printed on it, and said something like, “This book was donated to you by:” and the church member signed their name. We placed one label inside each book and gave a book to each guest. It cost the Preaching Rally budget nothing extra, and accomplished the goal of creating a culture of generosity by involving our church members by name.

Consider ways to give to your guests. It does not have to be expensive. Use your church. Use the attendee fees wisely. Get creative with your generosity.