Most churches across America have one thing in common during the summer months – other than hosting VBS or various camps for kids who are enjoying being out of school. I’m referring to the typical “summer slump” in giving.
People enjoy making family plans and taking vacations during the warm summer months. But when people are absent from church, their giving is usually absent, too. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple fix to curb this summer slump (plus a super-handy and practical download to walk you through it).
And the time to start is now – to give your people ample time before summer is upon us.
So let’s get right to it! Here are three steps you can take now to avoid a summer giving slump:
Please note: In these three steps I’m assuming you have an online giving portal in place through your website. If not, you need to read this blog post first to understand the importance of having online giving, and then, the importance of being mobile. If you already have online giving in place, please continue reading…
1. SET UP RECURRING GIVING YOURSELF
(AND ASK YOUR STAFF TO DO THE SAME)
First of all, you’ll need to do this yourself because you’ll be explaining it to your people. Having gone through the set up will also help you tell how easy it was to do, while you challenge your people to do the same. And you wouldn’t ask your people to do something you and your staff haven’t done. Most importantly, this allows you to be the leader. Remember: generous churches are led by generous pastors.
2. SET TWO MEASURABLE GOALS
You may have heard the Peter Drucker quote, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Well, this statement rings true in the case of giving, too. If you want to see success in this area, you will need to first determine what success looks like for you and your church. So take a moment and set some specific goals for your giving. Make sure they are measurable and achievable – nothing too far out of reach, but something you can celebrate as a church in the near future.
3. CREATE A PROMOTION PLAN WITH YOUR COMMUNICATION TEAM
Work with your communication team to craft a simple but thorough strategy to begin the promotion of recurring online gift set up. Keep in mind as you plan that your message to your people should start with the “why” and then get to the what and how. People are more likely to dial in with you once they understand the why behind what you’re asking. Leverage all your communication avenues: worship bulletin, worship announcements, e-news, printed newsletter, video, social media, church website, and pre-service slides.
I have a full three-week communication plan already created as a guideline for you here in my e-book called “The Importance of Promoting Recurring Giving.” It includes:
• more details on these three steps
• a personal review of your giving system
• staff involvement suggestions
• measurable goal setting
• a recommended communication plan
• a warning you should not miss!
You can download this resource for free today!
Know that not everyone will set up recurring giving, and not everyone will choose to participate in online giving. Some simply prefer giving in the worship service itself. They like actually writing out a check – and that’s ok. But the larger the number of people who do automate their giving, the smoother your annual giving will become, effectively eliminating the hills and valleys of your church’s monthly cash flow.