How Do You Increase Giving in the Summer?

June 3rd 2019 Mark Brooks

 

How do you increase giving in the summer?  Isn’t that on every finance person, staff member, and pastors mind?  If it isn’t now it will be in July!  With summer comes most of our mission and ministry endeavors.  At the same time, summer has historically been one of the lowest offering times of the year for churches.  

So, how do you increase giving?  You were probably thinking of just holding the line, minimizing the damage.  But what if you could reverse the historical summer giving decline?  Have I got your attention?

When I work with clients both large and small, I tell them the key to summer giving lies in systems and stories.  I unpack stories a bit later but for now, let me lay out what I mean by systems.  

Systems are the tools you use to make giving easy for your congregants.  In summer time there is no better system to use to see an increase in giving than your digital giving system.  And that is where my friends at OnlineGiving.org excel.

Here is the story part.  I recently listened in on a training call with Amy McCollum OnlineGiving’s Head of Operations.  At one point, Amy walked their financial team through how to set up designated gifts through the system.  She showed them how you could set up a separate giving page to explain the gift.  The system even allows you to post a picture or a short video.  

Amy demonstrated how in less than one minute your system can be set to help you increase summer giving.

That story leads me to this story.  So, that got me thinking.  How could I use this system to tell the story of a particular mission or ministry going on this summer?  You see people remember stories.  Stories impact you.  Jesus used stories.  We remember them.  So, your church has a story.  It’s a story of life change.  Because here is what I have learned.  People don’t mind if our church asks us to give when they show us the need.  You know how you do that?  You use your systems, online giving, to tell your story.  And people will give to support that “story.”

Here is the story within this story.  Imagine using this feature to provide materials for your Vacation Bible School.  Using OnlineGiving’s user-friendly admin page you can easily set up a designated landing page.  Then take a picture, with permission, of a five-year-old’s sweet little face.  Post it to the landing site saying something like this…

“VBS’r Jerome says, “Your gift NOW can help fund VBS!”

OK, so maybe your text won’t be that cheesy.  But you get the point.  My point is to pick a picture that is worth a thousand words.  Have it tell the story of that cause.  Then make the “ask.”  

By using your system and story, your church’s chance of being fully funded this summer is greatly increased. You have the stories.  My question is, do you have the right systems in place?

Back to the first story.  When Amy McCollum had finished walking the church through all the systems and tools they now had at their fingertips she asked, “Any questions?  How can I help you further?”  Someone on their end replied, “I don’t have any questions all I can say is, Wow!  We never had this robust of a platform with our last online provider.”

What’s your story?  I mean, hopefully, I kept this story interesting enough that you are still with me.  My question now, for you, is this, do you have the systems in place to tell your story this summer?  Maybe it’s time to get in touch with my friends at OnlineGiving.org.

 

Written by Mark Brooks
The Stewardship Coach
Acts 17 Generosity