Money is an important part of the success of your church. I know…we don’t like to say it out loud, but it’s true. Not only does God’s vision for your church need funding, but also, God’s desire for your people is that they become givers of their time, talents and treasures.
As leaders, it’s up to us to LEAD our people to give.
Check out these ‘incredibly discouraging’ findings:
- In recent years, church giving is reaching all-time lows, even lower than the numbers reported in the era of the Depression.
- According to Nonprofit Source, on average, Christians give less than 2.5% of their income to churches. During the Great Depression, this number was 3.3%.
- According to the New York Times, religious giving is down about 50% since 1990.
- Of families making more than $75,000/year, less than 1% give at least 1/10 of their income to churches and non-profits.
- According to ChurchMag, almost 50% of church members reported giving NOTHING at all to their church.
Those numbers are honestly pretty discouraging, but there are ways you can improve this at your church. On the contrary, some churches are seeing their giving trends going UP. But it’s not by accident. We, as leaders, have to recognize these trends and lead our congregations to be the givers God wants us to be.
With that in mind, we put together a short list of:
4 SIMPLE WAYS TO INCREASE GIVING AT YOUR CHURCH IN 2020
1. Talk About It (in the right way)
Some people think the church just wants their money. Thanks to some poor examples and the public exposure of bad leaders, people rightfully have a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to trusting the church with their money.
But we can’t let that keep us from talking about giving in our churches.
First of all, we need to teach about giving. I don’t necessarily recommend having a Giving Series every year, but it IS healthy to bring a message about the importance of GIVING – not only of their money, but of their Time, Talents AND Treasure.
Also, there shouldn’t be a 30-minute lecture, but some kind of mention about Giving in your discovery class, membership class, growth track, or whatever you call the process for people getting involved at your church.
The biggest way to talk about it is Weekly in your Services. Yep – Every week. And it doesn’t have to be offensive or off-putting. Some churches do this in the middle of service, and some do it at the end. At my church, we have a “transition” between the worship and the message. During that 5-7 minute transition, we say a few intentional things about what’s coming up, etc. But we always talk about giving.
Something like this, “Hey, as our ushers are joining me, we always want to give you the opportunity to give. We’re so thankful for your generosity, and being such a giving church. There are several ways you can give. You can give here in the service as they pass the buckets. You can give online through our website. Or you can text “Give” to the number you see on the screen. Listen, thank you so much for giving. You’re the reason our church is able to do what it does for God.”
Simple, Non-offensive, Encouraging…and yet, it communicates the message of Giving.
If you don’t talk about it, it will fall out-of-mind for those who have not yet developed the habit of consistent giving.
2. Make it Easy & Convenient
More and more, this is an issue for churches. We expect people to give the ways they did 25+ years ago.
This is the real world your congregation lives:
- Everywhere they go accepts digital payments.
- They do most everything on their phones.
- They rarely write checks.
- They carry very little cash.
- They like to setup “auto-pay” for their regular payments.
Digital Giving isn’t the only thing you should offer, but it’s something you should definitely be offering. You should still offer the option for people to give with cash and checks, but more than ever, people want other options that make sense for them.
There are some fears about digital giving: Pastors think it’s too complicated, it’s too expensive, it’s not spiritual-enough, and it will cost a fee for transactions. But those fears are keeping churches from being relevant and seeing an increase in their giving trends.
The truth is that digital giving is easier than ever for your church to implement. Faith Teams (and other companies) make it easy for you to add a Giving button on your website, setup Kiosk stations where people can give on a tablet in your lobby, or simply text-to-give, making the entire process simple & fast.
Bottom line: If you aren’t offering digital giving, you’re missing out on income. And it doesn’t have to be hard.
Make it easy & convenient for your members to give the way that makes the most sense to THEM.
Learn more about Faith Teams Online Giving Here.
3. Offer Recurring Giving
Recurring Giving for Church Online GivingAnother advantage of online giving is that you can offer Recurring Giving to your members. Most of us use this in other areas of our lives: the cable bill, our mortgage payment, etc and it just makes life easier. For those members who are consistent givers, they will appreciate you giving them the option to setup a recurring gift and not worry about doing the task every week. Some people give monthly, some give every two weeks, and some give weekly. Software like Faith Teams makes it simple for them to setup their recurring giving and know that it’s taken care of for them.
Another benefit of recurring giving is that you don’t have to worry about those cancellations or absences. Sometimes, weather and other factors cause us to cancel our weekend services. In those weekends, giving dips drastically – there’s no doubt about it. Also, what about when people are for sickness or vacation? We all know that sometimes that income never arrives when they have to miss the weekend. But with recurring giving, their gift comes in just as always.
Some people say that Recurring Giving isn’t spiritual-enough, that we should bring our gift each week and actively give it to God. Respectfully, that may be your conviction, but it may not be the conviction of everybody. People who decide to intentionally setup recurring giving to their church are doing it as a response to their commitment to God, and God honors that as much as He honors a person who writes a check and manually puts it in an offering plate each week.
Recurring Giving is a simply a tool your church can use to allow people to setup a system where their gift is always accounted for, and it can definitely help increase giving at your church.
4. Link WINS to Giving
This is one of the easiest and most impacting things you can do to increase giving at your church. Celebrate the Wins, and Link those wins to Giving. So often, your members hear us asking them to give, but rarely hear us celebrating what their gift is accomplishing.
- What about that family who needed assistance and your church provided it?
- What about the food pantry giving away dozens of boxes of food?
- What about the marriage that was mended because of counseling that was given?
- What about the new updates to the lobby?
- What about the new lighting that was installed?
- What about the new updates to the décor in the Kids Ministry?
All that is possible because people GIVE!
One of the most powerful things you can do is to build celebrations into your communications from the stage. Talk about how your Kid’s Ministry area is better than ever, and that happened because of your gifts.
Don’t just talk about the Win – Link it to the Faithful Giving of your members.
People want to KNOW that their gifts are Making a Difference
It’s simple, but powerful. And if you will build those intentional statements into your communications, people will feel more fulfilled, and naturally, you’ll see more gifts come in over time.
Money is a touchy-subject, but it shouldn’t be taboo at your church.
Communicate about it in a life-giving way, give people options to give how they want to, and celebrate how their gift is making a real difference. These things require us to be intentional as leaders.
As you do these things, you’ll see God bless more and more, and you’ll set the tone for giving to increase in your church.