Let’s face it. We’ve all experienced it at some point. You might even be experiencing it right now. The Dreaded Summer Giving Slump.
Granted, this year everything’s a bit different because of Covid-19. Your church doors may still be closed or you may be offering in-person services with social distancing restrictions. Whichever the case may be, you’re probably concerned not only about the effects the pandemic will have on your giving but also if you will experience a summer giving drop on top of it all.
The all too common summer giving slump creates stress, uncertainty, and makes financial planning difficult. Thus, adding even more to your never ending to do list as a church leader. On the other hand, strong summer giving allows you to wisely plan ahead, knowing your church is resourced financially and prepared to reach people.
Avoid the unnecessary pressures of a summer giving slump by incorporating these 5 simple tips into your church and giving strategy.
1. Build Intentional Relationships
Too many churches focus on the results (increased giving) and not the actions (building relationships.)
If you focus on the actions, the results will take care of themselves.
As a leader, make sure that you’re connecting with your community on a regular basis. Connect with people in the church lobby before in-person services. Join in the live chat for online services to collect prayer requests. Send a note to the elderly couple who regularly sits in the second row but has missed the past few Sundays to let them know you’re thinking of them. Let your attendees know that you personally care about them and want the best for them.
People can sniff out ulterior motives, so make your mission about building and strengthening relationships with your congregation. Connected people give more, it’s that simple.
2. Make Giving a “Get To” not a “Have To”
The Lord calls us to be good stewards of all that He has entrusted us with: our time, talents, and treasures.
Some of your attendees may have grown up in the church and understand the importance of giving. Others may think tithing is important, but not that important, so they give just a few times a year. While some individuals will have absolutely no prior knowledge about the Biblical principles of stewardship.
Giving is a privilege and an additional way for us to worship. In giving the first 10% of our income to the Lord, He blesses and exceeds our expectations with the other 90%. Proverbs 11:24-25 says, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers. Whoever brings blessings will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Yes, we get to fund ministry, but we also get to experience the blessing the Lord promises by putting Him first in our finances. Incorporate teaching Scriptures into your sermon or even right before the offering moment to educate, empower, and engage your attendees in giving.
As a leader, your responsibility is to remind your people about this calling. Church leaders get into trouble when they turn giving into a “have to” instead of a “get to.” God gives us the chance to experience his blessing on our finances and help fund ministry, and it should be communicated as a privilege instead of a demand.
3. Tie the Practical Needs to the Spiritual Return
Church members don’t withhold giving financially because they’re stingy. In most cases, they simply don’t know what it takes to “keep the lights on” at your church. Sure, you probably have an annual budget meeting that you invite members to attend, but people are busy and often won’t make it. So, make sure to highlight the practical needs that your church has during services and show how those needs impact your ministry.
Tie in the practical need of paying the power bill to the opportunity and fruits it leads to. Because this bill is paid, a worship experience is created every Sunday where people can meet Jesus. Because this bill is paid, the church has a children’s ministry where kids can feel safe, learn the truths of scripture, and a foundation of faith can be built at an early age.
Go beyond a step further by creating an openness with church finances. Make your budget or annual report available so people can see where dollars went or are going. People are more likely to give when they know where their money is going.
4. Encourage Recurring Giving
There are so many extra activities in the summer from beach trips to summer camps to visit Grandpa and Grandma. Scheduling can get hectic and tithing can easily be overlooked.
To make things easier for your givers, encourage them to set up a recurring gift.
A recurring gift will automate the giving process. They can set their frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, twice a month, or monthly) and the amount they want to give. They can tithe through the summer months without the worry of forgetting.
Communicate the value of a recurring gift to your donors during the offering moment in services. If your church website has a giving page, add information on how to establish a recurring gift but also reasons why it’s beneficial to both your church and the donor. Take it one step further by including a prompt to set up a recurring gift in your thank you emails after a one-time donation.
5. Make Giving Convenient
Make giving convenient and easy for your donors by utilizing a comprehensive giving system.
By offering multiple ways to give, your donors can give online while waiting in line at the grocery store. They can text to give at the water park. They can use the mobile app to donate while grilling burgers for a Fourth of July cookout. Don’t limit your givers to only giving on Sunday during service. Don’t require them to only use their phone or their computer. Empower them to give from anywhere on any device.
Everyone prefers a different form of technology- whether it’s Sam who pays all his bills from his phone. Ashley who prefers joining Zoom calls from her tablet. Or Barbara who does everything from her laptop. Meet your donors where they are, technologically speaking. Allow them to give through the platform that’s most comfortable and convenient for them.
Beat the heat and the summer giving slump with these 5 simple giving tips. Avoid unneeded stress and financial challenges by incorporating these elements into your church so that your giving remains strong and steady all summer long.
SecureGive works hard to offer valuable resources to churches, whether you use SecureGive or not. We do this because it is our mission to see every church and nonprofit fully funded.
But we’d like to take it one step further by being a partner with you. We’ll work alongside you to grow the giving in your church so that your ministry can flourish and thrive. Learn more here.