The way people handle their money is changing. Years ago, your church probably adopted digital giving because people no longer carried cash or checks. Instead, they lived with a debit or credit card in their hand.
In fact, the Harvard Business Review estimated in 2021 that over 97% of the money in circulation today is digital.
But things have continued to evolve.
Now you can tap your phone to pay for your cup of coffee. You can have recurring grocery orders delivered to your door.
These trends create new opportunities for churches to fund more ministry than ever before. Advancing technology opens doors to greater engagement and new streams of revenue.
Advancing technology opens doors to greater engagement and new streams of revenue.
There’s just one catch – you have to be ready for it.
While digital spending continues to rise, people are, in contrast, more cautious of the security of the systems they interact with. And it’s understandable when you look at the number of data breaches and stolen personal information in recent years. People are more wary of the security of their payments.
When the world continues to change faster than ever before, how can your church be set up for success? Here are three things churches need to know about giving in 2024.
1. Giving needs to reflect modern payment options.
People are more likely to give when they can do it in a way that’s comfortable for them. Today, people are less and less likely to carry a physical card. Digital wallets, like ApplePay and Google Wallet, have paved the way for widespread adoption of contactless payments.
But the evolution of currency isn’t stopping there. Despite the uncertainty around digital currency like cryptocurrency, 1 in 5 Americans have used cryptocurrency (NBC). The average cryptocurrency gift size is $15,000.
People are more likely to give when they can do it in a way that’s comfortable for them.
For a church, there are several benefits to accepting crypto donations, such as access to a new high-impact donor base and global reach. With the rise of this emerging technology comes new funding opportunities for ministries.
The next generation of givers is going to give using the next generation of currency. As millennials gradually become the largest giving demographic of your church, these will be the ways they do it. Be ready for it.
2. Security and transparency are essential.
In the age of digital transactions, security and transparency aren’t just nice-to-haves — they’re essential.
With cybercrime on the rise, donors need to feel confident that their contributions are safe and being utilized exactly as they intended. This means ensuring your giving software is robust and secure, protecting sensitive financial information from potential threats.
However, security is only half the battle. Transparency plays an equally important role in building donor trust. Donors want to know where their money is going and how it’s being used. As such, it’s crucial to provide regular financial updates to your congregation.
This could include:
- Detailed impact reports that break down how donations are allocated
- Highlighting some of the programs or initiatives that the church has been able to fund on social media, in emails, or during services
- Holding regular congregational meetings where financial updates are given and members have a chance to ask questions
In a world where scams are all too common, these measures can reassure donors that their money is in safe hands. They foster a culture of trust and openness, which can strengthen the bond between your church and its donors.
3. You need to know the giving trends within your church.
People are spending their money differently due to technological advances, but they’re also spending it differently because of economic circumstances like inflation.
This is key to understanding when it comes to your church finances. It’s not enough to just see the final number that’s coming in – you need to understand the ongoing health of your giving so you’re not caught in a financial hard place.
Giving analytics can show trends behind your church’s giving and arm you with valuable insights that help you navigate changing circumstances like inflation. By analyzing factors such as average giving per person, the number of recurring givers, giving breakdown based on platforms, and donation trends during specific seasons, you can anticipate future trends, and make informed decisions about your fundraising strategy.
It’s not enough to just see the final number that’s coming in – you need to understand the ongoing health of your giving so you’re not caught in a financial hard place.
Remember, understanding your church’s giving trends is not just about increasing revenue—it’s about stewardship. It’s about ensuring that your church has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission and serve its community. When you are aware of how people are giving, you are able to identify potential ministry opportunities. So take the time to dive into your giving analytics. You might be surprised by what you find.
Technology can feel like a moving target, and digital giving is no exception. Embracing these changes and advancements will not only help your church keep up with the times but also create new possibilities for funding your ministry and serving your community.