A May Strategy for Summer Giving

A May Strategy for Summer Giving

For every church in America, summer presents both opportunities and challenges. The opportunities run from summer mission trips to children’s events like VBS and camps and student camps and activities. It is one of the busiest times of the year but also one of the hardest times of the year to stay fully funded. It doesn’t have to be that way. In this post, I will show you a strategy for May that will help you avoid the typical summer slump in giving.

To head off a slump in giving for my clients, I have them focus on setting up recurring giving throughout the month of May. Each weekend of May, during the services, I have them highlight how easy it is to set up and how their gift can and will impact not just the summer but year-round missions and ministry. I will give you a few of the ideas I share with my clients later in this post, but first, let me give you some reasons why you should consider a strategy of focusing on recurring giving, especially ACH giving.

Here are four advantages of why you want to set up recurring giving…

  1. It’s the modern-day equivalent of writing the first check to God. Automated giving is the best way to ensure members become consistent givers. By setting up automated giving, the decision to give is already made before people spend all of God’s money!
  2. It evens out your giving, especially in summer. Summer giving is often erratic and difficult to project. With recurring giving, you better understand what will come in.
  3. It helps you capture gifts that would otherwise go to Mickey! When people go on vacation, they take their offering money with them and forget to pay it back after they get home. Recurring giving solves this problem.
  4. It has the lowest percentage fee rate. Typically, you will see under 1% to 1% charged on recurring giving. Credit cards run 2% to 3%. So, having people use recurring giving means lower processing fees for you, which means more dollars for missions and ministry!

This is why you should make May a push for recurring giving!

It’s not that you ask; it is how you ask. It has been my contention that people are not turned off by the church’s asking for money. They are turned off by how we ask. Too often, we attempt to guilt people into giving. Those types of appeals rarely, if ever, work.

Let me illustrate. Several years ago, when we lived in Atlanta, our church sent out a summer giving appeal. Here is a direct quote:

“With the summer months bringing vacations and other Sunday activities, we, the members of the Finance Committee, want to remind you that our monthly expenses continue for things like lighting, air conditioning, maintenance of grounds and buildings, personnel costs, missions outreach, etc. This is typically the time that giving slows down and doesn’t rebound until October, causing a cash flow crunch, which makes it difficult for the church to meet its monthly obligations.”

This was a direct quote from their summer appeal letter! Would you give to support keeping the lights on? Notice that missions outreach was listed last, next to etc.! Appeals to, etc., do not motivate people to give you more money.

I have found the key to making an “ask” lies in the connecting power of vision. Instead of asking people to give to keep the AC on, why not help them see the power their gift produces? Here is a positive way to put the focus on giving.

“Recent studies are showing an increase in teen mental health issues. This summer, we have multiple opportunities to help our students build strong futures with Jesus. From providing for camps to our weekly outreach, your faithful giving will help us do this! Follow this link to set your giving to recurring, and your offering will show up even when you are on vacation!”

Make the appeal about signing up for recurring giving about fulfilling a vision rather than filling your offering plate, and you will find people willing to give to support that vision. Here is another post on using your vision to encourage giving: https://www.onlinegiving.org/support/using-the-power-of-vision.

With a May strategy of focusing on the impact of summer through setting up recurring giving, you will more easily navigate the difficult giving days of summer. Find out more about how we can help you use the power of your vision and recurring giving to fund your summer missions and ministry by contacting us at (615) 206-4000 or at support@onlinegiving.org.

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach

The preceding can be found at: https://www.onlinegiving.org/support/the-seasonal-giving-strategy

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