Online and Mobile Giving Keep Church Donations Steady During the Pandemic
By Basha Coleman
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, church donations increased or remained steady, per our just-released report Giving In Faith: How Coronavirus Widened the Digital Divide. This generosity is not surprising, but it is a direct result of places of worship adopting online and mobile giving.
The unprecedented call for social distancing and shelter in place orders inspired a new way of doing our usual day-to-day activities, including how we worship. At Givelify, we set out to learn how giving to churches changed during the pandemic. We heard directly from faith leaders and their donors to better understand the good taking place. We learned how giving is changing. And, we identified the gaps so places of worship can learn how to best remain engaged and connected to their generous givers during this time.
In the new Giving in Faith report, we look at four key areas that every church must know:
How places of worship that adopted online and mobile giving thrived during the pandemic.
The shift in how donors gave before the pandemic and will give after.
The trend of online and mobile donations to multiple churches from a single donor.
Insights that show that online and mobile giving is here to stay.
In this nationwide study of faith leaders and donors, we discovered that despite a global pandemic, individual generosity shined; it was resilient and persistent. Unfortunately, we also uncovered that during COVID the digital divide widened and digitally savvy churches fared better financially than those that were not.
The results were clear, technology became the saving grace for more than half the churches we surveyed. In fact, nearly 55% of churches reported receiving increased or consistent donations during COVID. As one pastor indicated, “Giving is more frequent and steady. People are observing services online due to recommendations and enjoying them and donating.”
How is it possible that church giving remained the same or grew during an unprecedented event that caused churches to close their doors? It is a direct result of embracing the convenience and power of technology. “It’s very convenient for more of the members and non-members to give. We have truly been blessed,” said one pastor. Digital savvy organizations, those that have a website, live streaming, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, saw 533% more donations during the pandemic than slow to adopt digital organizations
Another revealing insight is that giving to churches increased or remained steady during the coronavirus pandemic. Among places of worship, nearly a third reported an increase in donations, and a quarter saw consistent levels. A faith donor expressed in the survey, “I give based [on] scripture. However, being away from the church building has just made me think more about supporting ministry. I realized that just because you aren’t there, things still need to be taken care of.”
While the generosity of givers has not been surprising, the Giving in Faith report reveals that removing barriers to giving during this time is necessary. As Givelify’s Founder and CEO Wale Mafolasire recently said,
“Mobile giving and online engagement allow faith leaders to tap into that generosity, making it easy for people to show their support. A digital transformation was already underway in the faith community, and COVID has accelerated it. Places of worship need a digital presence to not only survive the pandemic but thrive into the future.”
Wale was recently joined by David King of the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Presiding Bishop of the 10th Episcopal District African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church for a panel discussion where they discussed the report findings in detail.
At Givelify, we’re on a mission to help every place of worship seamlessly adopt mobile giving tools and giving generous people easy ways to support the organizations that matter to them.
Download the report to learn how places of worship are adopting digital tools to remain connected and engaged to their members despite closed doors. Find out what is the difference between the churches that are thriving and those that find themselves in financially vulnerable situations. The 10-page Giving in Faith report is free and easy to access. Click the button below to download it now.