The Three-Day Weekend Edition

The Three-Day Weekend Edition

Pastoring a church miles from Razorback Stadium, where the University of Arkansas Razorbacks play football, made me aware of the need to pay attention to the calendar when it came to planning. When I started in the stewardship ministry, I quickly learned that even giving initiatives must pay attention to the calendar. The Sunday after Alabama plays Auburn isn’t a good time to culminate a pledge drive, one Alabama pastor wisely counseled me. One side is happy the other is sad. And the first weekend of deer season isn’t a good time either for churches in the South, said another pastor. So, it pays to have a seasonal giving strategy, and this edition, entitled The Three-Day Weekend Edition, will give you a heads up on one seasonal event coming up, Memorial Day.

Memorial Day in Northwest Arkansas presented a unique challenge – not the Hogs nor a beach, but Beaver Lake, a mere fifteen-minute drive from our parking lot. The allure of its clear water and abundant fish often drew many of my members away on a three-day weekend. Consequently, Memorial Day weekend consistently marked the year’s lowest attendance. I didn’t have a stewardship coach to guide me then, but you do now. Here’s what I’ve learned about giving, not just on Memorial Day, but on three-day weekends in general.

Three-day weekends are offering and momentum killers! Why? Here is my list of reasons:

  • Your people are at the lake, beach, or ball game. Wherever they are, they are in holiday mode.
  • When attendance/engagement is down, giving is down too. Sure, they can now tune in and give from the beach. Few, if any will. Thus, your offering totals on Memorial Day are going to be far less than a typical last Sunday of the month. This means that the weekend offering will put you behind, which leads to another reason…
  • Falling behind makes it difficult to catch up. If you are caught up, a three-day weekend like Memorial Day kills whatever momentum you had. Which leads to my final reason…
  • Memorial Day kicks off your busy summer schedule, and the last thing you need is to be behind budget and struggling to keep up.

What should you do? As I always say, you must get ahead of the curve with a good plan of action. What are the keys to a successful Memorial Day offering, or any special offering time for that matter? Here are some keys.

  • Planning! You can’t decide on Saturday night to do something on Sunday and expect great results. The more you plan out the offering, the better your chance of success.
  • Vision! The more appealing the appeal, the better the results. Take the time to craft a compelling vision, and you will see greater success.
  • Remember, every “ask” needs a driver! What will motivate your potential donors to give you a gift on your special offering day? Just asking people to give for the sake of giving will not generate the dollars you need. Make the “ask” compelling!
  • Execution! Having a plan is not enough! You must implement that plan across all existing platforms and tell your story.

Be sure to check out my Bonus Section, A May Strategy for Summer Giving, for ideas.

I’m writing to you now, weeks before Memorial Day, to help you start your planning. I want you to start your summer on a strong note, and a simple plan to make your Memorial Day offering stronger will be a momentum boost for the rest of your summer. Let’s get started planning now for your best Memorial Day offering ever!

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach, the leading online giving processor in America, sponsors my writing. Find out more about their services at

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