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Faith Leaders 3min read

4 Church Giving Facts You Need to Know

Church giving has been in a steady decline over the last few decades. As you have likely noticed in your own place of worship, traditional payment methods like cash and checks are becoming obsolete. Our increasingly mobile world means that worshipers are looking to alternative methods of giving for convenience.

In case any doubt remains about the importance of technology in church, the following facts will make it abundantly clear why your church should consider making an update to its giving methods.

1. Christians give less to church today than during the Great Depression.

According to The Washington Post, church giving in this decade is at an all time low. As of 2011, church members gave an average of 2.3% of their income. This figure is comparable to giving rates between 1928 to 1934, when giving was (understandably) in decline during the Great Depression.

The traditional “check in the offering plate” is no longer working, and this is why it is so important that churches find alternative avenues for members to give. Online giving and mobile giving are two such avenues that have seen success in the nonprofit sector and among places of worship. In fact, mobile giving has increased by 80% since 2013.

2. 60% of donors aged 66 and over use online giving.

Online giving has been growing much faster than any other type of giving, and many nonprofits and churches expect online giving to account for 20% of their total contributions within the next few years. Put this together with the fact that 59% of donors aged 66 and over now use online giving (up from just 29% in 2010), and you have a recipe for success.

Don’t underestimate the older adults in your congregation. They use modern technology, too. Setting up an option for online giving at your church will appeal to youngsters and seniors alike.

3. Your members can still participate in church giving from afar.

Church giving historically takes a nose dive in the summer months. Family vacations, weekends away, and warm-weather outings mean that many worshipers who regularly give are simply not present in church. Even in the winter, inclement weather can lead to cancelled services, leaving members without a method for giving.

How can you make giving do-able for worshipers who can’t make it to church? Mobile giving can make a huge difference. Only 26% of Givelify mobile giving app contributions are made when people are physically located on church property. That means the majority of this giving occurs while churchgoers are at home, at work, or traveling.

Just think: the Smiths from Ohio could be snowbirding in Florida all winter, but can still take their smartphone and quickly and conveniently give to the church they love back home each week. Rather than seeing a decrease in giving when members are away, providing the opportunity for mobile giving means that your church can see giving steadily rise instead.

4. Three out of 4 American adults own a smartphone.

You have probably heard of the 80/20 rule: 80% of wealth is owned by 20% of people, 80% of work is completed by 20% of employees, 80% of sales comes from 20% of products. You get the picture. The same applies to church giving: 80% of contributions are made by 20% of the congregation. The big question is how to get the rest of the church to catch up.

Mobile giving can be your answer. Around 77% of American adults own a smartphone, and in 2015 nearly one in five donors gave using their mobile device. Taking advantage of your members’ affinity for smartphones with mobile giving is sure to boost overall giving in your church — and get people involved who otherwise wouldn’t give at all.

About the Author

Allison has a passion for charitable giving and believes that small acts of kindness can make the world a better place. She uses her web content and social media expertise to guide churches and nonprofits through the mobile fundraising process.

Allison Weaver