3 Ways To Get Out of the Money Pit

Have you hit a summer slump in attendance and giving?  Are you in need of some emergency work on your finances?  Today we’re offering financial triage.  Here are three things you can do to help relieve some of the financial burden you might be feeling right now:

  • Maintain a long-term view

When summer is over, people will return.  When people return, giving will return.  This happens every year in almost every church.  So, don’t freak-out completely.  Better yet, use whatever freaking-out you’re experiencing to your advantage.  Use this summer to plan for next summer because, guess what?  The same thing will happen again next year.  When you maintain a long-term view, you should be able to forecast your shortfall pitfalls, and budget your spending around decreased giving.  OR, you could increase your giving during summer with an “Automate the Important” initiative.  That way, even when people are on vacation during the summer, their giving isn’t.  When you forecast better, summer won’t feel so hot.

  • Spending Freeze

A spending freeze might be necessary to prevent heat exhaustion.  Review the past few years’ giving records to see when giving returns to normal levels.  Then, calculate whether you can make it until that timeframe.  If you can’t make it, stop spending money.  It’s alright to tell your staff that they can’t spend any money for a time.  Next year, you’ll be better prepared, but this year, you need to do what you need to do.  If your staff complains, tell them it’s better than losing their job.  In the process, you’ll better discover who can make a lot happen with little and who generally has a good and positive outlook.

  • Cut the Budget

When finances get tight, it actually can make you better.  Tight finances force you to determine what isn’t working or who isn’t working.  Determine if that July event you typically offer isn’t working or the person who runs it isn’t working.  Summer’s financial slump should never replace the truth about a ministry or a person’s value, but it might give you an open door to address it.

  • BONUS IDEA: Send-out a Mid-Year Giving Report

Sending a giving statement for the first half of the year will remind people to give. Along with the contribution statement, include a letter sharing about how your church is helping people and changing lives. Complete the form below for a sample you can cut and paste.

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