Churches are no stranger to the summer slump. For most churches, it is not uncommon to see a drop in attendance during the summer months. Vacations, outdoor activities, and weekend getaways can distract even the most avid churchgoer. Additionally, fewer attendees often lead to a decrease in giving as well. But, you don’t have to throw in the towel! We have 5 tried and true strategies to help you avoid the summer giving slump at your church.
1. Offer multiple online giving options
Remember, people don’t have to sit in a pew to give to your church! Having multiple giving options makes donating easy no matter where your people are. This way, they can give from vacation destinations as easily as they can donate from home or at church.
Provide more giving options and make it convenient, and more people are likely to give. Include a branded website page for online giving. Add a mobile church app where people can give right from their fingertips. Don’t forget about text giving. Donors can give in seconds when they text your giving number.
The key to avoiding the summer giving slump with this strategy is to remind your church family about the various online giving options you have and how to access them. There are plenty of opportunities for this. For example, incorporate online giving links into newsletters and emails, and mention them on social media and in announcements.
2. Stay connected on social media
This summer, try engaging more on social media. Post regularly and reply to people’s comments. Regular attendees appreciate seeing the church in action at community events and Sunday gatherings, especially when the churchgoer is away on vacation. Seeing these images and posts can ignite generosity or serve as a friendly reminder to give. With multiple online giving options set up, churchgoers can donate straight from their smartphone, tablet, or computer when (and where) they feel inspired.
3. Get active outdoors
People love spending time outdoors in the summer – even when the weather is at its hottest! And that’s what makes summer the ideal time for the church to host an outdoor event or activity. Have a churchwide picnic in the park or host a fun beach day with activities.
Spread the word on social media and your website and ask churchgoers to invite a friend or neighbor to the event. Hosting these outdoor activities can help people discover your church and increase attendance. This enables your church’s mission and can keep you on track with yearly goals.
4. Encourage recurring giving
Even if you’re getting a late jump on summer planning, don’t forget to emphasize your recurring giving program. Donors with recurring giving set up give 42% more annually than people who give one-time gifts. There’s no guilt or loss of connection with the church because they missed a Sunday service while on vacation or forgot to tithe on the busy weekend of their family reunion. It’s a one-time setup, and then churchgoers can make any changes, like giving frequency or amount, at their convenience.
Recurring giving is also extremely beneficial to the church because it’s a predictable source of income and the retention rate is high. Recurring gifts are incredibly easy to process, track, and record with Shelby’s online giving platform.
One mistake many churches make is they don’t tell their people that recurring giving is an option! Most people use recurring payments all the time to pay bills. Recurring giving is an easy way for people to stay committed to their giving whether they are at church or not. So be sure to make churchgoers aware they have the option. Talk about it, make it easy to find on your giving page, and include it at the top of your giving form.
5. Set small, achievable summertime goals
It’s hard to predict how the overall summer will go. But, with small, achievable summertime goals set for the church, you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect as each page of the calendar turns. Write down your goals this summer regarding giving and attendance for Sunday services and special events. Then create a plan designed to reach those goals with actionable steps.
Perhaps you make at least one Sunday a month a special service to help balance slower summer services. You could include a fun aspect, like ice cream “Sunday” and provide cold treats after the service. For that particular Sunday, take extra measures to reach your goals like sending out personalized invitations, encouraging active churchgoers to ask friends to join, and inviting a special guest to preach or lead worship.
For all the tips above, remember to monitor your progress, adjust your summer plan when it isn’t as fruitful as you would like, and celebrate the small victories.
Overcome the Summer Slump
Shelby Systems is here to help you avoid the summer slump this year! Our online giving tools make it easy for people to give all summer long. Setting up your online giving account is simple. Sign up for free today or contact us at 800-877-0222.