Recurring giving is a gamechanger for maintaining generosity
By Shanda Boyett
With COVID nearly in the rearview mirror, it’s been so refreshing and joyful to meet in-person with our Church families again. And yet, many congregations are about to thin out once more.
The annual ‘summer slump’ has arrived. You’re undoubtedly aware of the trend: Once the kids are out of school, families start planning vacations, taking road trips across the country, or simply spend their Sundays at the pool. As a result, their engagement with the Church drops off.
It’s not all bad news. With the rapid adoption of technology among churches in recent years — especially during the pandemic — it’s now a simple matter to engage with congregants whether they’re at home, out of town, or halfway across the planet. The ability to send mobile notifications, livestream sermons and events, and host content on your church’s own custom app have effectively made distance no barrier to ministry.
This is especially true with regard to giving. In this digital age, where most people use computers and phones for transactions daily, it’s a natural extension to make tithing and generosity possible through technology as well. These services are as effective as they are popular — according to Pushpay’s 2021 State of Church Technology report, more than 90% of churches are already using some form of online or mobile giving.And yet, come summer, the collection basket still takes a hit. The explanation is simple enough: Say your members are familiar with your church’s digital tools. They use mobile giving regularly, and fully intend to give on 4th of July weekend — but between the fireworks and barbecues and wrangling the kids, most of them (understandably) forget to give.
Sometimes, especially during the craziness of summer, mobile giving simply slips your congregants’ minds. But what if you didn’t give them the chance to forget?
One of the most powerful digital tools for beating the slump and maintaining generosity through the summer is recurring giving. Instead of hoping your members consistently make their regular donations, they can simply schedule gifts of whatever amount and frequency they wish.Having a strong base of recurring givers is financially beneficial for churches. “On average, a recurring giver donates over 40% more per year than givers who initiate individual gifts,” says Brian Byersdorf, Pushpay Director of Product Marketing. “This allows our customers to have more predictable budgets and income.”
On top of providing stability for your ministry, congregants also appreciate the simplicity and consistency — recurring giving means one less commitment they have to remember during the week.
Kevin Johnson, Lead Pastor at Dare to Imagine in Philadelphia, has leaned heavily on recurring giving since the beginning of the pandemic. While he’s had great success with the tool, he stresses that it took a concerted, analytics-driven effort to motivate his congregation into adopting the practice. “The only way we were able to increase that recurring giving,” Johnson says, “is that we paid attention to the data [within Pushpay] and we were able to see who signed up for recurring giving and what were the opportunities we had to encourage others.”
By leveraging digital tools — especially recurring giving — you can do more than just survive the slump; you can thrive during these traditionally slower months. To discover more tech-driven strategies for keeping your congregation engaged all summer long, check out Pushpay’s free ebook, 10 Tips For Overcoming The Summer Slump.
Shanda Boyett is the Director of Corporate Marketing for Pushpay. For more information about how we’re working with churches to build community and inspire generosity, visit pushpay.com.