The Time is Now: 3 Steps to Avoid the Summer Giving Slump

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.

online givingPeople 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.

Engaging New Givers: An Interview with the Kindrid Smart Giving Team

Do you know about the 80/20 rule? In almost every scenario, 80% is accounted for by the 20%. That means that, in most churches, 80% of gifts are given by 20% of people.

smart givingKindrid Smart Giving wants to flip that paradigm on its head and help you equip 100% of your church to give—and to do it with one text, tap, or click.

Are you consistently engaging new givers? Can your givers give within seconds? Do your givers need to sign in to give? Are there multiple ways your givers can give?

If you answered no to any of these questions, I encourage you to lean in on a conversation I had with the Kindrid team.

Q: We talk quite a bit about accelerating generosity on my blog. How can a service like Kindrid encourage generosity within the church? 

A: By using technology designed to engage new givers, we can actually increase the total amount that’s given. We’re not just redirecting gifts. We’re not just taking people who would have given by check or would have given by cash and asking them to give another way. Instead, we’re actually equipping people who would not have given otherwise to give.

We started Kindrid because we know that generosity isn’t zero sum, that it can always increase and only needs to be unleashed. The key to doing so is by engaging new givers with a simple, joyful giving experience. That’s what we do with Smart Giving.

Our prayer and goal is to equip 100% of people to give. We believe that will fundamentally transform the Church and make it known for generosity.

Q: How does Smart Giving make it easy for a first-time giver to be generous? 

A: With Smart Giving, it only takes 30 seconds to register to give. After that, it’s as quick and simple as sending one text. Once you’ve registered, you don’t need to log in or even leave your text message to give. Smart Giving opens up three new ways to give—text, online, and in-app—for a harmonized giving experience. That means churches who use Smart Giving have three new avenues to increase generosity!

A Simple Solution to the Church’s Summer Giving Slump

It’s a well-known and common giving metric. Warm months of summer vacations and other family plans cause a trend of lower church attendance.

And when people are absent, their giving usually is too. Here’s what annual church giving typically looks like from a big picture perspective:

annual church giving

 

 

 

 

 

Does your church’s giving look like this?
If so, please know there’s good news.
#1 – It doesn’t have to be this way.
#2 – There are steps you can take to counteract this trend (and they’re easy)!

Recurring Giving E-Book

You can fight the summer giving slump by promoting recurring giving with the help of a new and practical 12-page resource designed with that very purpose in mind.

This step-by-step guide is an easy and quick read that will help you better understand the impact that increased recurring giving can have for your church, your people, and your ministry.

Why is the Church Lagging Behind in Giving Technology?

A few years ago I wrote a blog post called “Eleven Reasons NOT to Offer Online Giving” – a rare tongue-in-cheek post meant to encourage the implementation of electronic giving solutions in churches across the country. It’s a quick and easy read if you want to revisit it. But little did I know then just how relevant that post would prove itself today.

This summer a Dunham+Company / Campbell Rinker study showed only 42% of churches in the US offer an electronic giving option. Less than half. While larger churches have an increased likelihood of having electronic giving solutions, that percentage drops to 29% in churches with fewer than 200 in attendance.

Online Giving Stats

While the percentages themselves may not surprise you, another recent Campbell Rinker study showed that 70% of other (non-church) non-profit organizations offer online giving. Now there’s a discrepancy worth talking about!

What’s the difference? Non-profit organizations throughout the country (of which there are over 1.5 million currently, by the way) understand the importance of this technology. It’s really pretty simple: Non-profits employ giving technology because it works. Your people have a choice where they give, and these non-profits make it easy for the giver.

Webinar Replay – Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving

Last Friday more than 250 church leaders across the country listened in on a moderated discussion on the topic of generosity and technology.

Giving Technology WebinarI was honored to be a part of the conversation, along with Derek Gillette of Pushpay and eChurchGiving, and DJ Chuang a strategy consultant.

In case you missed the webinar live, you can watch it now without a login or email address required.

And be sure to listen for the question asked by a participant that we couldn’t answer! (You guys ask really tough questions!) In case you’re interested in a good laugh, it happened around 26:45 in. Sometimes even a panel of experts doesn’t know the answer!

During this one-hour conversation, we covered some really compelling points:

  • The recently changing methods of giving, and maintaining the worship of the offering moment.
  • Church attendance rates – how they’re impacting giving, and how the church should adapt.
  • How leaders can improve communication around giving to encourage future gifts.
  • Best practices learned after working with thousands of churches to increase generosity.
  • The importance of technology for new and future generations of givers.

Free Webinar on New Giving Technology E-Book

Now that my latest e-book has launched, I’m happy to let you know about a related webinar I’m really excited about! This Thursday, June 18, I’ll be partnering with my friends at Pushpay to take a behind-the-scenes look at the stories, stats, and best practices of churches using technology to inspire generosity.

Giving Technology E-BookSo, first, in case you haven’t already downloaded and read my e-book “Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving” I would encourage you to do that right now. I’ve heard from several pastors across the country they really appreciate its easy-to-read format and practical application.

If you have already downloaded this free resource, I want to thank you! Please let me know what you think. I greatly value your feedback and input as I continue to serve you.

And please join me for the webinar, too! I will be joined by Derek Gillette of Pushpay, and DJ Chuang, a church tech specialist who both have loads of experience and expertise in this area.

In this 60-minute webinar we will cover topics like:

Giving Technology E-Book Now Available

What should the online giving experience look like? What giving technologies are most efficient and effective? How can my church afford to employ new giving technologies? How do we reach every generation of givers in the church?

Giving Technology E-BookDo these questions resonate with you? I bet as a church leader you’ve asked something along these lines at some point in time because you know the importance of generosity in the church.

I’m happy to provide you the answers to these questions today! It’s all in my newest resource, an e-book titled “Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving.” And this 37-page e-book is available to you today for free!

GET MY COPY!

 

The bulk of the e-book actually gets pretty practical. Once you download it you’ll quickly find:

  • resolution to some common giving technology myths
  • teaching on how to reach Millennials (the future givers of your church)
  • guidance on how to remove the hurdles of online giving
  • examples of the ideal online giving experience
  • recommendations on giving technology to consider
  • a self-analysis to help you understand your current position in the realm of giving technology

Giving Technology E-Book Coming Soon!

With fewer of us carrying cash in our pockets and more of us carrying smartphones in our hands, mobile giving and technology have become popular topics among church leaders. And they should be. Part of our responsibility to future generations of givers means we need to consider new technologies that encourage generosity.

As a church leader, have you ever asked any of these questions?

  • How can we encourage younger generations to give (or start giving)?
  • What should the online giving experience look like?
  • What giving technologies are most efficient and effective?
  • How can my church afford to employ new giving technologies?
  • Where do we start when considering new giving technologies?

giving technologyI’ll soon uncover answers to these questions (and many more) in my brand new e-book titled “Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving” coming in May.

(Stay tuned to Generosity Matters to download your FREE copy very soon, and be sure to let your pastor friends know about the upcoming e-book too!)

Millennials and their Smart Phones

87% of Millennials say their smartphone never leaves their side, day or night. 80% reach for their smartphone first thing each morning. 78% spend more than two hours a day on their smartphone.

giving-update-church

The common perception that young adults love their smartphones has become statistical fact. And with the extreme percentages shown in a recent Zogby Analytics study, it seems to have become an obsession.

What do your Numbers Really Mean?

What are your numbers? Ever been asked a question like that before?

impact report

If it’s your doctor asking, then he or she is likely inquiring about your blood pressure, cholesterol, temperature, height and weight, right? Basics that, at a glance, help to determine the state of your current health.

If your golf pro is asking, then he or she is likely inquiring about your driving distance, number of putts per round, percentage of fairways hit and percentage of greens in regulation. These are basics that help a coach know the current state of your game, and where you might want to focus for improvement in your score.