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Reduce the number of lapsed donors over the summer!

June 24, 2022

We all know giving is typically down over the summer, but why?

We’ve all seen a dip in giving over the summer – vacation, pool days, or families just taking it easy on the weekends, means attendance is typically down. If you have donors that only drop a check/cash or envelope in the offering plate or some other method that requires them to physically be there, chances are, they won’t give. Maybe they’ll remember to go on your website and click the “give now” button, but maybe they won’t. Giving goes down over the summer simply because church becomes a lower priority. When they forget about church, or prioritize it low, a lull in giving comes along with that.

What if there was a way to reduce the number of lapsed donors and increase your active donors over the summer months?

The easiest way to reduce lapsed donors over the summer, is to encourage active donors to sign up for a recurring donation.

Turn “ACTIVE” donors into recurring active donors

Active donors are automatically identified by GivFlow using each donors normal give frequency (whether they have a recurring gift or no1). As long as a donor is giving consistently at least once per quarter, GivFlow considers them active.

It’s that simple. You very likely have a significant number of donors that are “active”, but don’t have a recurring donation set up. You can view this by looking at the number of unique donors in recurring donations and comparing it to your total number of active donors to get an idea. You can also run this simple list below;

You’ll be left with the number of people that don’t have recurring donations set up, but actively give. This means they’re naturally at a greater risk to lapse over the summer (for the reasons mentioned above).

“I’m not a GivFlow user”

You should be! However, if you’re not a GivFlow user, reach out to those donors that have given 3 times in the last 3 months, but don’t have a recurring donation. You won’t be able to put this automation on auto-pilot, but it will get you started. If you want to do this every month, you’ll just need to adjust the dates.

Ask them to set up a recurring gift

Active donors are already committed to your church, you’re simply asking them to do what they already do but more formally. Explain to them the reason behind the ask – you want your giving and budget to be more consistent. This helps with forecasting among a variety of other things. Just ask them. If they don’t do it, they don’t do it. However, getting even 1 additional recurring gift is a win, because that likely means you’ll have 1 less lapsed donor over the summer.

Will this increase giving?

Absolutely. When a donor lapses, it means they stopped giving or missed a regular donation. By keeping retaining more donors more often, you’ll increase your giving. Moreover, even if you made the argument that the donor would eventually come back, it isn’t likely that the donor will make up the missed donation.

If I typically give $100 / mo, and go away for the summer (June, July), even if I come back in August, I’m very likely just giving my normal $100, not $300 ($200 missed + $100).