It’s Time to Start Thinking About Summer Giving

It’s Time to Start Thinking About Summer Giving

Easter is less than two weeks away, so it is time to start planning for summer giving. If you are thinking you haven’t even planned for Easter, see my Bonus Section for last-minute advice on your Easter offering. Every year right before Easter, I start turning your attention to your next big giving obstacle, the post-Easter slump. This edition of the Coach carries on with that tradition with this issue entitled, It’s Time to Start Thinking About Summer Giving. The action you take now will ensure that your kids get to go to camp!

“It used to be that attendance dipped after Easter and returned when school started in late August. Now attendance doesn’t get back to pre-Easter numbers until October!” Pastor Shane Bishop.

I remember when Shane made the above comment to me a few years ago. While your numbers might not be exactly his, this is a truthful observation. More than ever, spring and summer events and activities impact attendance and online engagement. As attendance and online engagement decrease, so does giving. This decline in giving comes when most of your missions and ministries occur, thus increasing your risk of not making your budget.

Get ahead of the curve! That is one of what I call my Brooks Mantras. I’ve learned that the way to avoid running off the road when church life throws you a curve is to be prepared ahead of time. This Coach will be your warning sign on the road that there are some curves we must navigate up ahead. Every year from the Sunday after Easter until the fall, will be a challenge in terms of seeing giving stay at and above the levels needed to fund all God has put on your heart. Planning now puts you ahead of what potentially could be a challenging financial year. This is why, days before Easter, I want you to start thinking and planning for how to avoid the post-Easter slump in giving.

Keys toward summer giving success. Here are the key steps I recommend every pastor take now.

First, get your team on board and engaged. My biggest challenge in working with churches on improving giving is the staff. How can you get your team on board? Make reading The Stewardship Coach a requirement for every person on your team or staff. You have my permission to send any of my materials to your staff and team. This might surprise you, but your staff often needs stewardship training first! Once your team is convinced of the need for planning, you can engage them to help you elevate each of the fifteen summer weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Next, set a theme or focus for your summer giving campaign. I’ve used themes like the Summer of Love, the Summer of Hope, or the Summer of Missions. I would start by thinking if there is some common thread to what my church is doing this summer. Is it more mission-focused overseas than in the past? Are you putting more emphasis on the family this summer? Sometimes there is a common thread, but many times there isn’t. Yet, what I want you to be thinking through is what your summer objectives are to be. How?

List all your church’s major initiatives for the summer. Of course, you want to look at the calendar and where they fall but look behind the event. What is the “story” behind the event? How will the Kingdom be advanced? How will lives be changed or helped? Every mission and ministry initiative has a story. Here is another Brooks Mantra …

Get a story, work your story, tell people about your story, and they will give to support that story!

Use the connecting power of vision! Vision-driven “asks” always raise more money.

Then establish what is needed from Memorial Day through Labor Day to successfully accomplish your summer mission. For instance, let’s say your annual budget is $520K. Thus, you need $10K every week to make that budget. For the 15 summer weekends, you need $150K. The equation is Annual Budget divided by 52 (in 2023, we have 53 Sundays) equals your weekly need. Multiply that by the 15 weekends of summer, and you have your summer giving need/goal.

One final key, elevate your offering time by planning out each Sunday based on the above. Here are some key elements to think of…

  • You want to inform your donors of what you are doing.
  • You want to inspire them with what you are doing.
  • You want to show them that their generosity makes a difference.
  • Share with them about the multiple ways they can give.
  • And, most importantly, you want to thank them for their generosity.

You can do all of this in 60 seconds or less! If you think that it is impossible, turn on the TV. In 60 seconds, see how much can be said. We have 15 opportunities to beat the summer slump in giving! It’s time to start planning your 15 offerings of summer. Use your creative staff and team to help you communicate how giving impacts eternity.

Here is a final tip: hold a recurring giving sign-up push every May. COVID-19 taught us that the offering is 24/7 and beyond the walls of our buildings. I push for recurring giving two times annually, in January and in May. Here are two posts about this:

This summer, you have 15 opportunities to cast vision and raise dollars to fully fund your work. Start planning ASAP!

Missions and Ministry Moment (aka Offering Talk) – SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! To simplify and better meet your needs, I have moved away from posting weekly talks to the Stewardship Coach/Stewardship Journal newsletter. Instead, I will be providing links to all my offering talks.

To register for this site, go to Look for the Free Offering Talks link at the top and follow the directions. This week’s talk can be accessed after you register at:

As I close, let me ask you, are you ready for the Easter offering? Check out my Bonus Section for last-minute tips! Your Easter offering, if done right, can and will sustain you through the spring. Let’s elevate your Easter offering!

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach

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