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Faith Leaders 4min read

The Biggest Church Giving Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

Church giving is an important topic for all bodies of believers. Without regular offerings and other financial gifts, many churches would not be able to operate. No church wants to close its doors due to financial difficulties.

Unfortunately, many churches approach giving in ways that aren’t very successful. What mistakes is your organization making that could be negatively impacting church giving?

Mistake #1: Never Asking Parishioners To Give

A lot of churches make it a point to never request donations from their parishioners. They have the best of intentions; after all, you don’t want to drive people away from your church because you are constantly asking for money.

But if you never remind members to give, they may forget entirely — especially if you never educate them on the importance of giving, or why your church needs financial assistance.

Mistake #2: Limiting Church Giving Options

Passing the plate is a wonderful tradition for many places of worship. But what about the churchgoers who do not carry cash or checks? By limiting yourself to physical offerings, you are missing out on other potential donations.

That is why it is imperative that you offer more than one church giving option. Using new technology like church giving apps and online giving can help you create the opportunity for more members to give.

Adding new church giving options has a great track record of success. Pastor Brian Jones of Christ’s Church of the Valley reports that as a result, just under 50% of his church’s giving happens outside of the offering plate.

Mistake #3: Asking for Equal Offerings

When asking for gifts from your church members, avoid this common misstep: asking for each church member to give a fixed amount. For example, using this sort of phrasing: “If everyone in our church gave $1,000, we would meet our goal.”

Why is this a mistake? Your church members all have different resources. Some are capable of making large donations, while others can barely afford to give $10. Requesting a large donation from someone who simply can’t make such a gift might embarrass them and cause them to avoid your church.

Additionally, requesting a relatively small donation from someone with the finances to give more might convince them to not give all that they can — which leads to less money in your offering.

Mistake #4: Only Accepting Gifts During Service

Sunday service is of course a very significant time to request and accept church donations, but why stop there? By allowing members to give during the week, when they are away from the physical church building, you can increase church giving significantly.

By using a mobile giving app like Givelify to accept offerings, driving church giving outside of Sunday service is easier than ever. Using their smartphones, parishioners can give from anywhere at any time — even if they are on vacation in another state or stuck at home with an illness.

Mistake #5: Emphasizing “Taking” Over “Giving”

One common mistake many churches make is in the way they announce offering time during service. Often, a speaker will refer to the process as “taking the offering.” This may seem harmless at first glance, but the phrasing can give the impression that members’ money is being taken from them rather than given freely.

Instead, emphasize the act of giving. Refer to the offering as a “time to give.” According to Pastor Dave Sumrall from itownchurch:

We say several times that giving is an act of worship, specifically for those who call itown home. I think it’s very important phrasing because people need to remember it’s not a business transaction between them and their church. It’s actually an act of worship between them and God, so reminding people of that is very significant.

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