After a distracting summer, many families find their passion for church re-ignited in the fall. They’ll begin regularly attending services again around August and September. Beyond seeing familiar faces return to church, you’ll also notice an uptick of new visitors. With this increase in attendance, there are plenty of opportunities to ignite giving, grow membership, and further the mission of your church. The first step to engage your community is getting organized and making sure you have a plan of action. We’ve created the ultimate back-to-church checklist to help. Use this list throughout the fall to inspire giving right now and well into the giving season.
Collect new visitor contact information
Expect to see A LOT of new faces in church this fall. Over 20 million people relocate in the summer and 34% of people searching for a new place of worship do so because they moved.
Retention rates are highest when you reach out to new visitors within 48 hours, so collecting contact information is vital. Here are a few simple ways to obtain contact information:
- Contact cards in welcome packets
- Sign-up stations with giving kiosks
- Buckets for business cards
- Encouraging text or online gifts as small as $1
Plan a back-to-school outreach event
The 4th highest day for church attendance and participation is a special event. A back-to-school outreach event not only inspires the community to come together, but it also helps local schools and children. Here’s a quick rundown of how to plan the event:
- Choose a theme
- Choose a date, time, and place
- Set your budget
- Recruit volunteers
- Invite guests using multiple outlets, like email and social media
- Include information about your giving platform to inspire gifts
- Organize event set up and breakdown
- Thank everyone for coming
Spread the word about online giving options
Throughout the fall and leading into the biggest giving season of the year, be sure you’re spreading the word about online giving. Many people don’t give online merely because they don’t know you have the option available (or that is incredibly easy to sign up). Here are a few tips to help:
- Engage with givers about the ways they can give through your website, social media, and email and text
- Post the options on bulletin boards and any place that your church has a presence. Include links to help them easily navigate
- Show people how simple giving online is, so there’s no excuse!
- Share a slide before service or during your offering with instructions for how to give by text
- Talk about giving during sermons and other live events like a fall festival
Ignite giving and membership all fall long!
A single event or service doesn’t define fall. It’s a time of new beginnings, and you can ignite giving and membership all season long. Here are a few ways to keep your church inspired:
- Stay active on social media with images showing the impact of giving
- Have a clear way for people to get involved, whether through volunteer work or donations
- Connect and share with churchgoers via email newsletter
- Continue sharing the ways to give and how to give
- Get active in the community with your church family by volunteering at soup kitchens or signing up for a charity walk