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.

New Year-End Giving Guide Now Available

With fewer than 100 days left in the year, you may find yourself wondering how you can encourage your people to “finish strong” this year in terms of generosity. Now is the perfect time to be asking yourself that question.

Mobile Giving

The most immediate benefit of a year-end giving project is, of course, increased giving. And we can all celebrate that result. But planning a strong year-end giving initiative with care and excellence will yield far greater results. Let’s take a look:

1. It prompts spiritual growth.
Growth in the area of generosity is a journey. Each time you broach the subject, you encourage people to take a step on the giving pathway. You encourage people to adjust their thinking and behavior patterns to align more closely with their faith. This time of year provides an excellent opportunity to raise this topic once again.

2. It normalizes the conversation.
Many church leaders are hesitant to talk about money. And your people don’t want to hear about money either – so it’s avoided completely. While most feel this avoidance solves the problem, it actually helps to ensure a negative outcome. As pastors, avoidance is simply not your friend. We need to do all we can to normalize the conversation, and an emphasis on year-end giving will help you do just that.

3. It provides an opportunity to talk about mission and vision.
An annual vision weekend or generosity series rarely creates any long-term traction in the lives of your donor base. Donors want to play a part in the larger story. It’s your job to show them how. It is critical that you take every possible opportunity to discuss, in a meaningful way, the church’s mission and vision and the role generosity plays in supporting the ongoing ministry of the church. Connecting the dots between generosity and ministry will help your people see how their giving truly makes a difference.

Year-End Giving GuideTo help you in your mission to encourage generosity, the Generis team has created a new e-book called “The Year-End Giving Guide” available as a free download for you.

This resource serves as a pathway to design and implement an excellent year-end giving project that will leave you excited and prepared.

In addition to several practical helps throughout this newly updated 42-page resource, this e-book will also:

  • position your church as the best year-end giving option
  • help you create a natural on-ramp for first-time givers
  • list the 10 elements of a year-end giving project
  • deliver a sample impact report
  • and much more!

Download your copy today, and encourage year-end generosity in your church in a way that will provide results that surpasses increased giving, but reaches the hearts of your people.

DOWNLOAD NOW

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.

Q&A with the Pushpay Team on Easy Mobile Giving

85% of people will abandon a transaction if it takes longer than 30 seconds,according to research provided by Pushpay, the developers of a smartphone app that makes it possible to give in under 10 seconds.

easy mobile giving

Does it take longer than 30 seconds to make a gift on your current mobile giving system? Are you required to sign in before you can give? Do you have multiple web pages to navigate before a gift can be made?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this blog post is for you! Refresh your cup of coffee and read on.

Amazon.com??? I Thought I Just Contributed to My Church!

“I give to places outside my church because I believe my money is used more effectively in other organizations.”

“Other nonprofits do more to solve a problem.”

My generation wants to give to something that makes an impact. (from a millennial)

“When it (money) goes into a ‘pot and I don’t know what it’s doing, I’m less likely to give. I want to give to people – it’s about visionary giving vs. needs-based giving.”

These are all real comments I’ve heard in a few recent Generosity Audit focus groups while interviewing various church attendees. These are actual quotes. (ouch!)

Removing the Hurdles of Online Giving

So much is done electronically these days. With a swipe of the finger or a click of a button I can check my bank activity, deposit a check, buy movie tickets, and make reservations for a much-needed dinner date with my wife at our favorite restaurant. BAM! It’s done!

online church giving

We are a society on the go. We opt for quick and easy solutions, and a church’s online giving system is one more way we can provide that quick and easy solution for what generous givers desire.