As we’ve been talking with churches about cash reserves, the topic of year-end giving has been cropping up in the conversations. Now is certainly the time to be thinking about it. An Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) survey revealed that over 63 percent of ministries receive between 25 and 35 percent of their total annual donations in the month of December.

In a recent blog, ECCU Ministry Solutions Consultant Christopher Hernandez identified communication as an important way for ministry leaders to begin preparing for year-end giving. “The more donors hear from ministry leadership, the better,” Hernandez says. “If your church is ten percent behind budget, notify your congregation now and allow church members to plan ahead. Many people make plans for their tax write-offs now; make sure they have an accurate picture of the needs in your ministry.”

When planning for year-end giving, Hernandez says it also makes sense for ministries to consider opening an account that’s designed to help them better manage those funds. Most use that surplus to play catch-up for the year and play down debt. A better approach is to evaluate your budget, make the necessary changes, and use year-end giving to meet the following year’s expenses. Opening an account designated for year-end giving can help you do just that.

ECCU developed the Year-End Giving Maximizer* account to meet this need. It allows you to deposit funds in the months when surplus is coming in and withdraw when you experience downfalls in giving—like during the summer. And as the following chart shows, this account also offers competitive rates:

Balance Tiers Rate APY**
$25,000-$249,999.99 1.00% 1.00%
$250,000-$999,999.99 1.14% 1.15%
$1,000,000 or more 1.24% 1.25%


* Savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. Government Agency, and are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.

** APY is Annual Percentage Yield. There is a $25,000 minimum balance required to open the Year-End Giving Maximizer account. Each tier shown reflects the current minimum balance required to earn the applicable APY. The APYs listed above are effective as of November 16, 2010. Rates are variable and may change at any time without notice before or after the account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings on the account. Please consult a Member Services representative at 800.288.4846 for more information.