A few days ago, I ran across this Huffington Post article mentioning that charitable giving will likely continue to flatline throughout 2013. While the article doesn’t highlight giving within churches specifically, I’ve had enough conversations with pastors to conclude that most churches aren’t that far off from other charities in these overall nonprofit giving reports.
If a church wants to solve its giving issues and stabilize its giving overall, leaders must think strategically about how they are going to fund their ministry. I’ve seen too many pastors try to ride the wave of a tough economy only to barely stay afloat to let myself allow church leaders to sit back and hope things get better.
One of our goals at Church Community Builder is to continually help pastors and church leaders challenge the current system and identify areas they can improve that will make a difference in the overall success of their ministries. In the same way that preventative maintenance helps your car run longer, we want to help identify areas that will keep your church healthy enough to reach more people. When it comes to church giving, we’ve seen how thinking strategically about the giving options a church offers can make a tremendous impact in its overall giving.
For the past several years, as we’ve helped churches think strategically about giving, the most common antidote to flat giving we’ve found is to offer online giving to members. Once online giving is instituted, we’ve seen not only a measurable increase in online participation but also a stabilization in the overall giving. In fact, you can read the testimonies of some of the churches in the Churches Report Increase In Online Giving With Church Community Builder case study.
Here are just two of the ways we’ve found online giving has helped stabilize a church’s overall giving:
- It gives you the opportunity to connect with people who might not carry cash or a check. A significant number of today’s churchgoers don’t carry cash or checks with them on a regular basis, which means that if the only giving option you offer is by passing the plate, you’re missing out on an entire group of people who have the capacity to give to your church.
- It helps ensure you have an accurate picture of your members, their habits, and measurable trends. When you utilize online giving and consolidate it with other technology like your church management software, you’re able to make sure that both you and your church members are aware of their online giving trends.
If your church wants to avoid another flat year of giving, I encourage you to download the online giving case study and see if you can implement any of the successful ideas from other churches that have used Church Community Builder to think strategically about giving methods.
In what ways has thinking strategically about giving made an impact on your church’s bottom line? What are some other examples of technology’s role in improving the way you do ministry?