Summer is here – we are in the thick of it – and your people may or may not be in the pews as the continuous draw of vacations, reunions, and missions abound. Like a jet needs fuel, your church still needs finances to operate. We get that. We want to propose solutions to three quick questions that could increase your summer church donations.
1. How are you casting vision to inspire giving?
Sharing vision requires that you have one. If your vision for your church is simply to pay the bills and keep the services going, it is not an effective approach to increase summer church donations. But if God has stirred a fire in your heart to reach the lost, multiply your impact, and empower every believer to live as Jesus did, you’re off to a good start! Take some time with your team to seek God in prayer and either get a vision or clarify your existing vision in such a way that other people can easily see it and be inspired by it.
→ Think about this: it takes time to nurture and cultivate generosity. For most people, generous giving stems from a personal, life-changing experience with the church. Once that happens, people are more eager to invest in the work of the ministry. Tap into the passion of your people. Increase engagement and personal involvement. Capture the heart, and you’ll transform the soul into missional thinking, fruitful living, and generous giving.
2. Can you capture donations to implement vision?
Now the conversation shifts from “Can you do your duty to help this ministry survive?” to “Do you want to go all in to be part of this incredible thing God is doing?”
People want to be part of something historic. They’ll give to that.
→ Action plan
Churches must develop a comprehensive strategy that utilizes the right mix of online tools and communication channels in order to reach the audience and maximize ministry results.
- Create a theme with sincere messaging that will capture the hearts and imagination of your congregation. Make it relevant and practical so people will stick with you despite everything else that’s competing for their attention during the busyness of summer.
- Target beneficiaries and put them front and center in the campaign. Know WHO you’re talking to and HOW you want to communicate with them. Customize the message and delivery method to reach your #1 giving demographic.
- Spread the giving campaign message through different platforms and communication channels that resonate with your congregation to encourage church donations this summer. Match the audience with the delivery method that will deepen engagement with supporters and motivate them to invest in the life and operations of the church.
- Spotlight your summer giving efforts with a bold call-to-action (CTA) that guides people to your campaign page. Grab their attention with eye-popping images, strong brand messaging, and clear, actionable steps.
- Create a compelling narrative with personal storylines that walks people through the problem, proposes a solution, and challenges supporters to make a difference. Appeal to the heart, show where the money goes, and offer plenty of incentives that will motivate good stewardship and benevolent giving.
3. Do you offer flexible giving options that make giving easy?
Problem: The truth is, most people think they are giving more than they actually are.
Often, people give sporadically with little awareness of their overall contributions and convenience. They find the most available way of giving, when feeling compelled, and drop something in the bucket, online, text, whatever. This haphazard way of making and collecting donations does not inform, motivate, or cultivate a greater sense of engagement that leads to cultural reform.
The flip coin: When people see that their obedience and worship to God through giving is making a profound and tangible impact, their desire to be generous will soar to new heights. Furthermore, when people can manage their giving preference they can see patterns, make goals, and measure their contributions.
To get people more involved and engaged in their giving patterns, there are three things you want to do. Specifically, if you want to increase summer church donations in 2022.
- First, provide a place for them to log in (with mobile options) where they can control their giving. This could mean something as simple as viewing giving history. Or more involved, like making and fulfilling pledges and managing recurring giving to multiple funds. The more people handle their giving, the more they will give. It becomes their responsibility to “own” their generosity rather than just respond to a request.
- Second, get them serving (VBS, greeters, summer small groups, backyard events, etc.). When people serve and give, they see a bigger and better picture of how their whole lives are invested in the church. They can start to measure their personal impact and put faces to functions and relationships to responsibilities. Get people invested through serving and watch their investment grow!
- Finally, give them options. For people to truly take control of their contributions, they need to be able to serve and give in ways that make sense for their preferences and daily life. If your church doesn’t offer giving options that include: cash/check, kiosk, online, mobile app, and text, you might miss out on opportunities to capture contributions and inspire momentum.
As the church evolves, as summer goals are met, as needs change (because they always do- that’s the way ministry works!), and as mission and vision crystalize, re-calibrate your talking points but stay on message. The message is, that their generosity is making a real impact in the lives of their neighbors, city, country, and world. Plus, they are leaving a legacy, and their lives, right now, are more full of joy and fulfillment because they decided to make a difference. And most importantly, God is worshiped and honored through their consistent generosity.
The ultimate playbook to soar this summer!
This year the summer giving slump will be real. It will be linked to the dip in attendance from people who still haven’t returned to church and the reality of families across the country finally being able to safely skip town. Meanwhile, your church is quietly suffering the consequences. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Our How-To playbook contains:
- Downloadable content
- Site Resources
- Free Images
- Plus so much more!
Leigh Ann Shelley joined the ACST team in 2019 as a Product Marketing Manager. She oversees the launch and overall communication of key solutions to support the church’s needs. Prior to joining ACST, she spent several years in communications and graphic design roles. Most notably as a Communications Director for a large church in Florence, SC, where she leveraged Realm to help solve key ministry challenges.