Mass attendance and giving often go hand in hand. When one increases so does the other, and vice versa. Just like the end of the year is known for an uptick in gifts and guests, the summertime is notorious for a decrease in attendance and giving. After all, summer is the peak vacation season, and that’s one reason this time of year is dubbed “the summer slump.”
July is one of the hardest months for churches. Over 50% of people plan on taking their vacation in July, compared to 30% in June and 35% in August. Of course, during those months when giving and attendance takes a dip, you’ll want to ensure it doesn’t hinder the mission of the parish. To help you combat this summer slump and further the parish’s mission, here’s how to inspire giving and attendance – even during the peak vacation season.
Encourage Recurring Giving
Recurring monthly givers donate 42% more a year to the church versus those that give one gift at a time. Missing 1 or 2 gifts in the summer can really add up and impact the parish, and it’s often not intended. Even the most faithful giver can forget to tithe during vacation or when their family from out of town is visiting.
Throughout the peak vacation season, pepper in friendly reminders about your recurring giving program. The giver simply sets the frequency of gifts and the amount, and then it is sent to the parish automatically. The more parishioners sign up for the recurring giving program, the easier it is to financially forecast for the parish and increase giving in the summer.
Also, enroll in our Youth Scholarship Program. This scholarship program is designed to help your parish increase recurring giving and earn up to $2,000 for your youth ministry! We provide the materials to help you spread the word about the program and better communicate how to schedule gifts.
Engage with Parishioners Online
It can feel natural to disengage with vacationing parishioners. But, don’t lose touch with them just because they’re traveling. Summer is the ideal time to ramp up your online efforts because it allows you to stay connected with everyone in your parish, regardless of where they are.
First, access an online giving platform so that people can tithe straight from their computer, phone, or tablet. Then create a plan for engagement throughout the summer. Here are a few ways that you can inspire and reach parishioners when they’re away.
• Share pictures on social media and your website of your parish actively helping the community
• Add the MinistryOne app to your ParishSOFT software to provide homilies, videos, and other media for people on-the-go
• Send an email invite for a special event scheduled as people return from vacations
Don’t forget to include a link to your online giving options. When you stay in front of your parish family online, it helps remind them of their spiritual connection with giving. And you’ll want to make it incredibly easy to donate when that feeling is ignited.
Host Community Outreach Events
Community outreach events are an excellent way to increase mass attendance. While active parishioners are away on vacation, you’ll have more time to inspire new guests to visit. For kids, plan events like a School’s Out Celebration, Vacation Bible School, or an ice cream party. For the family, host a barbecue or outdoor movie night. Invite the whole community to attend by sharing the event on social media and your website. You can also send personal invitations via email.
But don’t just host events, attend them as well! Take a minute to research your community’s calendar and get groups of parishioners together to sign up for activities like charity walks. Lead by example and volunteer at places like assisted living facilities and soup kitchens. Being out in the community helps spread the word about the parish’s mission.
This summer let ParishSOFT Giving provide online giving features and resources to help your parish inspire giving and attendance! Simply call 866-930-4774 x6 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.