Some of your congregation may be temporarily drawn away from weekly services during the summer, sending your stress levels higher as you consider the effects of the season on your church’s budget.
You know what we’re talking about. In July, check offerings are about 40 percent less than their April and December levels as some members – whether they’re taking vacations or away on a mission trip – attend fewer services between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Similar scenarios play out for many churches as they switch over to summer schedules with fewer services and no Sunday school. But many churches have found a way to beat those summer doldrums when traditional giving slows.
Summer shortfalls aren’t unexpected, and you’ve probably planned to depend on a cushion from your Christmas and Easter offerings to get you through, but it can still be a bit unnerving as you watch your account balance shrink. And, with fewer people in the pews, your calls for members to sign up for paid events like Vacation Bible School are less likely to be heard
So how do you keep members engaged and giving when they’re not at services? By taking advantage of technology. You can have more ways to connect with your congregation, and they can have more ways to give, even when they aren’t attending services. They can also pay in advance or on-the-spot for special events.
Messages in the bulletin are fine for people still coming to services, but you can also reach your members who are away through your church management software. Emailing your newsletter lets them know what’s going on in the church community, and a calendar of upcoming events can help them plan to attend a special service or activity.
Integrating your ChMS with electronic giving also generates more consistent income and addresses concerns about summer shortfalls. It’s easy for church administrators to launch user-friendly e-Giving options that make it simple for members to set up recurring donations for times they know they’ll be away, or to sign up and pay for events ahead of time.
Integrating your systems also gives you the ability to compare current data on attendance, offerings, and events to past years. This perspective can give you confidence that your yearly budget plans are staying on track.
Churches that already offer online giving can add additional options so members have more ways to give, even when they’re at services. People don’t carry a lot of cash or checks these days, but they do have their credit cards and smartphones. Safe and secure options like kiosk and text giving can help summer visitors make in-the-moment donations, and they also allow regular members to respond quickly to an appeal from the pulpit.
With the integration between ACST and Vanco Payment Solutions, your members can trust that their tithes are reaching you to support the ministry they rely on.
It can help to know that you’re not alone in feeling the summer slowdown, and that there are solutions to help you. To learn more about giving options for your church, take a look at our video, Building Blocks of a Complete Giving Program.
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 20,000 churches.