As the leader of your ministry, one question on your mind right now is how to increase church giving. Without adequate financial support from members of your congregation, it becomes nearly impossible to…
- Cover building utilities
- Pay staff members
- Donate to charity
- Continue outreach efforts
- Maintain your state’s social distancing protocol (necessary items are increasing by the day)
Your doors have been closed, and it’s time to reopen. This means that the giving habits of your congregants may have changed.
Some may give more, and others less—you simply don’t know what giving habits will be in the next 30, 60, and 90 days.
But even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, as many as 7,000 churches closed annually. In part, this is because church leaders struggled with growing and keeping a sufficient donation base.
Giving habits have changed over the years. And they are about to change again, due to the times. The reality is that passing around a collection plate, asking for tithes and offerings only when the church is in financial trouble, and assuming members understand how funds are being used won’t cut it nowadays.
If this season has proven anything, it is the need for an online presence is paramount.
A Must-Have for the Times We Are In…
A website that has online giving capabilities is essential. If you haven’t done this for your church yet, start researching and planning for one today!
Here Are the Facts…
To understand how to increase church giving, it’s worth taking a look at the facts.
- On average, recurring givers contribute 42% more than one-time givers.
- Roughly 25% of givers make their donations on mobile devices.
- Of all church-giving transactions, 49% are made with a credit card.
- Only about 5% of churchgoers tithe.
- About 67% of giving happens on days other than Sunday.
As you read this, research is being conducted as to how this pandemic will impact church giving. The results aren’t in, but it is no doubt giving habits are about to change.
What does this mean for church leaders?
It means that you must adapt to the wants and needs of modern churchgoers, and by “modern churchgoer,” I mean people have moved to watching a sermon from their living room couches rather than sitting in the pews.
7 Tips to Increase Church Giving by Making It Easier and More Effective
If you want to increase church giving, you need to make it easy for people to contribute. This is what the Viral Solutions team calls a “lower barrier to entry.” Making giving as easy and convenient as possible increases the likelihood of people doing it.
Moreover, you need to focus on the why, as this has a huge impact on whether members choose to give (and how much).
1) Allow Church Giving through Website and Mobile
As shown in the stats above, a large percentage of people make church-giving transactions via credit card. And it makes sense, doesn’t it?
In the modern age of technology, people have grown used to paying for the things they want electronically.
Therefore, meet your church members and goers where they are… online. Provide your members with other options besides just putting money in the collection plate.
- An online giving form on your website
- A mobile app for your local church
- A text-to-tithe tool
In addition to making it easier for members to give, it also allows for greater flexibility with regard to when they can give.
Think about this; people have been watching church services live-streamed for weeks now. And many will continue for some time. Therefore, an online giving tool allows them to give any time, not just Sunday morning.
2) Add an Option for Recurring Donations
If you want to increase church giving, setting up recurring donations is a wise choice.
For starters, many people appreciate it when they’re given an autopay option. It’s more convenient than having to remember to give.
Additionally, those who contribute on a regular basis give more than those who make one-time donations.
As you implement electronic pay options for members, make sure you give them a choice to make recurring donations. Recurring donations also help you with budgeting.
3) Be Transparent about How Funds Are Used
This is something I’ve discussed before, but it bears repeating: You must be transparent about how you’re using funds.
Because it helps build trust between you and members of your church. When they know where their offerings are going, they feel more comfortable giving.
Further, showing people that their donations are truly making a difference can increase church giving, as they’ll be encouraged and inspired to give more.
You can be transparent about how funds are used by…
- Including such information in your church annual report
- Giving updates before services begin
- Discussing fund allocation in a monthly/quarterly email or newsletter
- Posting about building improvements and outreach efforts on social media
Right now, churches are banding together to give funds to help healthcare and other essential workers. Who isn’t inspired to hear stories of Believers coming together to make such a powerful impact during this time?!
And every time a report is mentioned about the impact, giving is increased.
4) Speak on Church Giving throughout the Year
Many leaders fail to ask for tithes and offerings until the church is in financial trouble. But this isn’t the way to go about it.
To increase church giving, you must be consistent. And that means not only asking for offerings on a regular basis but also speaking on church giving throughout the year.
What’s the best way to do this?
First, educate your congregation about biblical giving. Teach them about how the Creator Himself is generous, and His design is for us to do the same.
Second, don’t be afraid to address this subject throughout the year. In fact, there are people out there looking for a biblical approach to finances and don’t know how to get started.
If talking about it from the pulpit isn’t your jam, then consider doing a biblical study on finances and giving. You can set up a video series on your website that people can watch at home. You can start a private Facebook group for those who are interested and upload teaching videos there. Viral Solutions has helped a number of churches do all of the above with great success. They’d be happy to answer your questions about which approach would work for you.
5) Practice What You Preach
As a church leader, you must lead by example. If you want to increase church giving, then you need to be giving as well.
Moreover, you need to be honest with your flock and tell them how you’re contributing to the financial well-being of the church.
Obviously, this isn’t something you share from a place of pride or manipulation. Instead, approach the subject with a heart of transparency. Let them know you believe in the biblical principle of giving because you’ve seen it work, proving God is faithful to His Word.
When members hear how their leaders live out their faith, they naturally do the same.
6) Share Stories of How Church Giving Has Helped Others
Storytelling is a powerful tool. It gives potential givers in your church a point of focus. It shows how their contributions are improving the lives of others.
If you’re not already doing so, then start sharing stories of how giving in your church has helped individuals, groups, and the community as a whole.
Some ways you can do this include…
- Allowing members who have benefited from donations to speak during services
- Adding video testimonials of those you’ve helped or those who have an overcomer story to your website (P.S. Online viewing trends continue to spike, and even more so during this time of social distancing. Video is key to reaching the hearts of your congregation.)
- Uploading videos of volunteers in action to your website
Sharing such stories not only helps increase church giving but also strengthens the bond between members of your church family.
7) Don’t Forget to Thank Your Members
Even if you set expectations for giving, you should always thank members for choosing to do so.
Because it demonstrates your gratitude and makes them feel valued. Further, it’s a means of positive reinforcement. When you thank members for their contribution each time they give, they’re more likely to give again.
If you want to increase church giving, be sure to direct people to a thank-you page after they donate on your website or via mobile. Consider thanking givers in your church publicly during an online service.
Having adequate financial support for your church isn’t just necessary for keeping the doors open. It’s also a major part of ensuring that you’re able to fulfill your mission, encourage members to grow spiritually, and help the community in which your local church resides.
So, if you want to increase church giving, you must make it easy, convenient, and worthwhile for members to contribute. You must understand how and why people give so you can adopt a more effective approach.
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