Summertime is rapidly approaching and, for most places of worship, with it comes the dreaded “summer slump.” The weather improves and school is out, so many families head out for vacations — and it goes beyond missing a single week here or there. Families miss services more often even when they’re in town, and transplanted retirees (snowbirds) may head back north for the summer months.
Church attendance dips during the summer months, and July and August are the lowest giving months of the year for the average ministry. Established churches with sufficient cash reserves can weather this kind of dip without much difficulty, but for some ministries (church plants especially), two to four months of significantly decreased giving can be devastating.
The good news: this problem can be easily solved by implementing an inexpensive modern giving system.
The Solution: Mobile Giving
Mobile giving is the simple, obvious answer to the question, “How can I give when I’m not physically present at church?” The Givelify® mobile giving platform allows people to give to your ministry anytime, anywhere with just a few taps on their smartphones.
Whether they’re traveling on Sunday to get a head start on their vacation, or they’re worshiping in another church several states away, members of your congregation can still remain faithful in their giving.
The Groundwork: Coach Your Congregation
The best, most convenient system in the world can’t help you if your members don’t use it. It’s your job to coach your congregation before the summer arrives in full force, because members aren’t likely to try Givelify for the first time while relaxing at the beach.
Start talking about mobile giving now, from the pulpit, on social media, and in the bulletin. Share the Givelify demonstration video during service. Print out instructional materials and have them placed in the pews prior to worship. Explain how convenient mobile giving is to use, and how it helps givers be more consistent in their stewardship.
Another great way to keep giving consistent while people are away is to send reminder emails. No matter where they go with their phones, email follows. You can send regular emails throughout the summer with a direct link to your giving profile. The more you put it in front of them, the more likely your traveling members will be to use mobile giving on-the-go.
The Secret Weapon: Recurring Donations
Any mobile giving platform worth using will have the ability for givers to schedule automatic recurring donations. One church planting guru points to automated giving as the cure to the summer slump. With Givelify, recurring offerings can be set up quickly and easily with the tap of a button during the giving process. It’s convenient “set it and forget it” giving!
This is a great tool to help givers increase their consistency, and it never gets sick, forgets the checkbook, or goes on vacation. As long as a user leaves a recurring donation running, the donations will come through, whether the person is present in church, on the road, or in the air.
If attendance is sliding even among the in-town crowd, make sure you’re not contributing to a “summer services aren’t important” mentality. Too many churches fill the summer preaching schedule with the speakers that no one really likes to hear and otherwise let the quality slide, sending a message that the summer services aren’t all that important.
Instead, try running a special series or mixing up the service order in an interesting way for the summer. Take steps to maximize engagement for the in-town crowd. Attendance may be low, but those who continue to attend faithfully need to know that you are still there for them all summer — and all year — long.
Mobile giving isn’t just great for out-of-towners. Even those who are physically present in church week in and week out will enjoy the ease and convenience of mobile giving. If they forget to bring cash or their checkbook to service — or never carry them at all! — they will be able to give in the moment using their smartphone. Stewardship has never been more effortless or beautiful, thanks to mobile giving.