It used to be accepted wisdom that summertime typically brought with it a ‘summer slump’ when it came to giving in ministries. Today, many churches are finding that as regular attendance continues to decline, the summer slump starts in the spring and stretches into the fall.
But that doesn’t mean your giving numbers have to follow suit. This summer, try out one (or all) of these strategies to encourage generosity during the summer months — and all year long:
- Capture the summertime ministries that giving makes possible. So many amazing outreach ministries happen during the summer — vacation Bible school, mission trips, service projects, and more. Make sure you’ve got a strategy for capturing each of these experiences as they happen, and that someone is responsible for taking photos and videos. These materials can be used year-round to inspire generosity, as you share the visual reminders of the experiences and life change that your givers’ generosity make possible.
- Get into your members’ inboxes. With summer travel and activities, it’s highly likely that your weekend worship experiences aren’t going to be as heavily attended as they are at other times of the year. That means you need to step up your communication efforts to remind your members that just because they’re on the road doesn’t mean your ministries are on vacation. Think about special summer editions of your electronic newsletters, sharing all the exciting things your church is doing this summer (see above) and providing easy links for members to give to support these activities.
- Encourage systematic giving. Autopilot isn’t just for boats and planes. It also works tremendously well for electronic giving. Remind your members and regular attenders how easy it is to set up systematic giving through your electronic giving platform, and encourage them to put their giving on autopilot.
- Share the stories of summer (with an easy way to support them). Your members and regular attenders are no doubt sharing their summer stories on social media, and your church should be as well. As you’re documenting your summer ministry efforts (see #1), make sure you’re sharing those stories as they happen on social media — and always include an easy way for people to financially support those ministries and help make more of those stories happen.
- Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! The Bible is full of examples of God’s people celebrating His faithfulness and provision. Your church should be the same — full of times of celebration of what He’s done through your congregation and the changed lives your church’s generosity has made possible. What gets celebrated gets repeated, and that goes for giving as well.
How are you encouraging generosity this summer?