By this time in the summer, graduations have passed, vacations are starting and unless you have a widely adopted electronic donation program, giving to your church is likely in steep decline falling into the usual summer slump.
There can be a temptation to send your members on a guilt trip along with their summer trip. But don’t do it. Here’s why.
1) For the members that are staying home and attending church, the guilt strategy is tone deaf. “Why are you telling us this? We are here!”
2) For the members that are away, they have disconnected mentally from their everyday life including church. So your plea, from the pulpit or via email, is falling on absent ears.
What you can do is put together a plan that makes sense for both groups. Your number one strategy to smooth out giving throughout the year and prevent the big summer giving decline, is to promote recurring giving. When we talk to clients about the key reasons they love e-Giving, one of the top answers is how it reduces the summer slump and allows for better budget planning.
How do you do this effectively without the guilt trip?
Make your appeal practical, make it memorable, and make sure it connects with members. Here are a couple of ideas our staff came up with for an emailed postcard from your pastor or church staff.
A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR SMITH
If you are traveling this summer, have fun, be safe and check out the local churches. Send me an email about what you liked or didn’t like. I really appreciate your input! I encourage you to be generous to the churches you attend while traveling. Summer is tough for churches, with so many members taking much needed vacations. There is a substantial downturn in giving. So, if you have not already done so, please consider signing up here for recurring giving. It’s fast, it’s simple, and it really helps us keep the lights on and programs going during the summer months.
Blessings and safe travels,Pastor Smith
P.S. For those members that are staying, we have a great series on _________________ that we are starting next Sunday. We look forward to seeing you there. And check out our schedule of summer activities.
HOLY TRINITY WISHES YOU SAFE TRAVELS
Many of our members go on vacation or visit family during the summer months. Enjoy your trips and we look forward to seeing you when you return! If you have not already done so, please consider signing up here for recurring giving. It’s fast, it’s simple, and it really helps us keep the lights on and programs going during the summer months. For those members in town for part or all of the summer, remember to check out our activities page!
Blessings to you and your family!
These are ideas to get you started. You can customize them to fit your church and your members. Remember to include links within the email to make it easy for members to engage. One additional note – images draw attention and are memorable. For the pastor/clergy communication, include a picture of who is sending the email. For the second communication, take a picture of clergy and staff in front of your church.
Using e-Giving to revitalize your summer donation plate
In addition to encouraging members to sign up for recurring giving, consider ways to make it easy for guest attendees to give. Put a message in the program or bulletin welcoming guests and letting them know that donations are appreciated. This is where a give by text tool can be very helpful. Include brief instructions on how to make a one time gift.
Summer giving does not have to be forever known as the summer slump. By communicating thoughtfully to members and providing options that make it easy for them to give online or by text, you can stump the summer slump.
This blog was written and provided by Jan Jasmin. Jan is the Senior Vice President of Faith-Based Sales for Vanco Payment Solutions, a leading provider of e-Giving solutions to more than 15,000 churches.