Every where I go these days churches are moving into summer strategy mode. VBS is on the horizon, summer camps, and the like are being planned. I always ask pastors and church leaders “What is your summer giving strategy?”
Let’s face it; most churches have drop offs in giving over the summer months. See if any of this sounds familiar:
- Many church finance chairs will stand in front of their people sometime during the summer and request (beg) people to give more.
- Many pastors will send out a letter in May to encourage their people to give during the summer.
- Many pastors will stand in front of their people sometime during the summer and request people to give more.
- Many finance teams fear having to cut ministry and staff this summer due to tough economic times combined with the ‘summer swoon’.
- Many churches will end the summer with a negative feeling going into the fall due to the tough economic times during the summer. This affects everyone.
If any/all of this sounds familiar to you and your church or you fear some of these will happen in your church, then I ask you the question that I ask everyday to pastors and church leaders: “What is your generosity game plan? Does your generosity game plan have a strategy to avoid the summer swoon?”
Here a couple of suggestions:
Promote online giving. If you do not offer online giving look into it. There are many reputable companies out there who can get you up and running quickly. The processing fees have come way down in the recent past as competition for this market has increased. If you do have online giving, the spring is a great time to remind people it is available and how to utilize it. More of your people would use online giving (either paying by debit/credit card or automatic payment) if they knew you had it and the senior leadership promoted it on a regular basis.
Encourage people to pay ahead. I would encourage you to communicate with the idea of paying ahead as it pertains to giving. Some people may be able to pay several weeks or months at once. This would prove to be helpful as the church enters into the summer. All people will not be able to utilize this nor will all people need special strategies for summer giving, but we need to offer suggestions and ideas which are out of the regular way of doing things.
Regardless of what you choose to do to avoid the summer giving swoon I encourage you to do something and do it now. School’s almost out and your people are about to scatter.