ConsistentTitleSummer!

Baseball games, sunny days at the pool, and fireworks on the Fourth of July.

But flip flop weather also means people don’t attend church quite as consistently. That’s why churches experience a slump in giving during the summer months.

You may not be able to keep people from missing church in the summer, but you can be proactive in keeping them engaged in generosity.

Here are seven ideas for how you can keep giving consistent during the summer months and avoid the dreaded “summer slump.”

Start by thanking people who already give.

Creating a culture of generosity in your church doesn’t begin with asking people for money.  It starts with thanking people who already give. Chances are, you’re not thanking people enough. You might feel thankful, but that’s entirely different than actually saying thanks.

Create a thank you video to show on Sunday, write an email and send to all of you donors, and send personal thank you notes to your most consistent givers.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Creating a culture of generosity in your church starts with thanking people who already give.” quote=”Creating a culture of generosity in your church starts with thanking people who already give.”]

Invest in people relationally.

Since people tend do be a little more relaxed during the summer months, this is a great time to invest in your people relationally.

Invite some of your donors and leaders to your home for a cookout.  Let families hang out and just let them have a great time.  

You don’t need to have a lengthy agenda, but before you pray to eat, take 2-3 minutes to thank them for giving.

Be straightforward and honest with your church about what happens in the summer.

If your church does experience a summer slump, share the information with your church. You don’t have to lay on the guilt, but it’s more than appropriate, to be honest, and straight forward with your congregation.

You might say something like this:

“You may not have thought about this, but here’s the reality.  So much of our ministry happens during the summer – with Vacation Bible School, MOPS, and youth camp. There are some really big things that happen here this summer.  But did you know it’s also the time where giving dips a little bit?  Now our team does a great job preparing for this, but I just wanted you to know as well.”

Straight talk like this can go a long way to letting people know the facts.

Do a short, digital-giving campaign.  

One of the best ways to smooth out giving is to make an intentional effort to encourage people to set up online, recurring giving through their bank or your donor management system.  

If people give automatically, they can give even when they are on vacation.

While more and more churches are offering this, very few emphasize it.  That’s why you should take two weeks just before the summer and make a concerted effort to get people signed up for automatic giving.

Talk about it on Sunday, show people how to do it, send snail mail letter with instructions, focus on people who give regularly but not automatically, and build an email and social campaign.  

Think of this like a mini-campaign and use all the communication options you’ve got.

Send short, focused emails to everyone that’s given so far this year.

Sometime around Memorial Day, send an email to everyone that has given to your church and encourage them to give online through the summer.  

Thank them for giving, make sure they know about recurring giving options, and let them know about the ministries they will help fund.  

The people most likely to give to your church are the people already giving to your church. So make sure you stay engaged with this group of people.

[clickToTweet tweet=”The people most likely to give to your church are the people already giving to your church.” quote=”The people most likely to give to your church are the people already giving to your church.”]

Preach a summer money message.

The beginning of the school year is a great to focus on reaching guests since many people engage with a church for the first time during this season.  And many churches find that the summer is a great time to build up the body of Christ, focusing more on internal issues.

That’s why the summer is a great time to talk about money and challenge people to give. Talk about what’s coming later in the fall and remind people that their generosity helps make it all possible.

You could even bring in a guest speaker to encourage your church in the area of finances or generosity.

Set up a custom-audience on Facebook.

This might sound like a ninja trick, but it’s actually quite simple.

You can take a .csv file of your church database and upload this to Facebook.  This creates what they call a “custom audience.”

Facebook looks in their database to see what email addresses match.  If you upload 500 email addresses to Facebook, you might have a custom audience of 250 people.

Once you do that, you can write a post and “advertise” it to your custom audience.  Essentially, you’re doing Facebook advertising targeted to you church members and attendees.  

It’s perfect for talking about giving.

Your post may say “Hey Cross Church family…don’t forget to give this summer.  Your donations will make VBS, youth camp and MOPS happen all summer long.  Here’s the link to give:  link.com”

Since you’re running that to a custom audience, only your church people will see it.  

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