Each summer, thousands of churches experience a giving slump when their members – and their wallets – attend services less often. Download the complete kit that will help your church end the summer slump once and for all!
Here’s a preview of the eight tools you’ll need to beat the dreaded church giving slump for good.
After working with 25,000 churches (and counting) for more than 20-plus summers to grow online giving, we’ve learned what inspires generosity. This summer follow our nine guidelines when building your own financial stewardship campaign.
One of the best ways to thwart a church giving slump is with recurring giving. Include this insert in your church bulletins before summer to ensure your members’ donations don’t take a vacation.
By simply calling out your eGiving options before the summer break, you’ll help your church avoid the dreaded church giving slump. Use our copy-and-paste message to remind users of your eGiving options this spring. All you have to do is copy the message, update the information within the brackets and print it off.
Email is a powerful tool that can help you reach your members. That’s why we created an email template that makes requesting donations from givers simple. All you need to do is copy the message, update the snippets of text within the brackets and send the email out!
For some churchgoers, a letter offers the personal touch needed to inspire generosity. Help your congregation express their generosity all summer long by sending a letter through the mail to your members. Simply fill in the bracketed sections to update the message for your church.
Even though your eGivers can express their generosity online, they miss out on the experience of placing their contribution in the collection plate when it’s passed. Include them in the experience by printing out our “I give electronically” cards and placing them in church pews for eGivers to put in the offering plate. The cards may not seem like much, but they’re an easy way to include your eGivers. They are also a great way to raise awareness of your eGiving options.
By displaying these messages on your church’s monitors or projectors, you can encourage giving and direct churchgoers through their available giving options. We’ve found that displaying the messages before and after church services start or during offering can really help churchgoers understand the giving options available to them, increasing their chances of donating.
Many of your members are on social media. Reach out to them while they are away with these copy-and-paste messages designed for each of your social media channels.
Online worship allows your church to stay connected with members while they are away. This makes it an effective tool to engage families away on vacation or snowbirds.
We know summer can be a challenging time for churches as members, and their wallets, attend services less often. Vanco has been helping churches with eGiving tools for more than 20 years, so we’re experts at beating the dreaded summer giving slump. Try these tips at your church to encourage your members to continue giving this summer!
Although summer doesn’t start until June, members have made most of their summer plans before Memorial Day. For this reason, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer for churches. We recommend your church has a plan in place and has encouraged members to sign up for recurring giving before memorial weekend.
If you miss the start of summer deadline, don’t fret. You’ll just need to be a little creative – and determined – in making the church’s case for recurring gifts. Talk with members about it directly whenever you interact with them, whether it’s at Sunday services or summer social events. Let parents pay for Vacation Bible School through the eGiving page on your website and add a note to the page reminding them to set up their recurring gift while they’re there.
Social media can be another great way to remind members of the power of recurring gifts, since your members will still see your posts even if they’re on vacation or busy with summer fun. To get the social media tips your church needs to see you through the summer slump, check out this article filled with strategies for encouraging recurring giving and more.
Of course, church operations don’t stop during the summer, even if there’s a lull in weekly attendance. Encourage members to make recurring gifts during the summer by outlining the church’s plans for the coming months. Whether you’re undertaking some long-needed maintenance work, doing some exciting ministry or sending members on mission trips, remind members what their generosity supports. Reiterate to them that year-round support is what makes your church’s work possible.
Your church can make it through the summer by keeping communications to your members regular and uplifting. You’re probably already making people aware of everything going on at the church through email newsletters, social media, your website, weekly bulletin announcements and other communication channels. But don’t let summertime change your communication schedule! If your congregation is used to a weekly newsletter, make sure you stick with it, even if the content is lighter.
Make sure your congregation knows what they’re missing when they’re at the beach by promoting and recapping Sunday services. The volunteers in your video ministry may be scarce over the summer, so make sure your schedule is filled. If you can’t post videos, put the text of your sermons online.
Nearly nine in 10 pastors say they believe it’s theologically acceptable for a church to provide faith assistance to people through the internet, according to a Barna Group study. So, it’s not surprising that more and more churches are livestreaming services over the web to help members stay in touch when they’re away. Research “livestreaming for churches” to find companies that offer services focused on faith-based organizations. Consider free streaming services such as Facebook Live if your church is on a tight budget.
When it comes to beating the summer giving slump, the most important action you can take is adopting or expanding eGiving. As you probably noticed, church attendance drops during the summer. Unfortunately, member and guest donations often follow them on their vacations. With eGiving, members and guests can donate from wherever they are whenever it’s convenient for them. And, most importantly, setting up recurring giving is a cinch. Within a few minutes, members can set up recurring giving with an app, through text or online.
We’ve also found eGivers not only give more often than traditional givers, they also donate larger percentages of their incomes. In our Churchgoer Giving Study Vol.3, we interviewed 1,000 churchgoers about their giving preferences, and we found that over a quarter of eGivers donated more than the traditional 10% of their income. An uptick in the average donation amount goes a long way for churches, especially in the summer when churches need to pay most of the costs of building upkeep.
Once the summer is over, it’s important to welcome people back. And one of the best ways to do that is through a re-entry event. You don’t have to be as creative as one Saskatchewan church, which used Pokémon Go to attract people (though it’s an interesting idea). A musical performance or volunteer event followed by a potluck supper could do the trick for your congregation.
Download the summer giving slump kit complete with guidelines for increasing offerings, a promotional letter, an email template, bulletin messages and PowerPoint slides. This kit has everything you need to boost giving this summer.