We’re living in a time where everything around us is shifting pretty quickly, from the tech we use every day to what people value most.            

And guess what? The way people give to church isn’t staying the same either. 

As we’re moving forward, it’s important for churches to understand and adapt to these changes. After all, staying updated with current giving trends is key to growing your ministry in a world that’s increasingly digital and driven by meaningful causes.

Looking ahead, church giving is expected to evolve in the following ways…

Dominance of Electronic Giving

We’ve already seen a significant increase in donations through electronic and online giving, and that will continue to skyrocket over the next several years. This method is set to become the largest total bucket of all giving. With electronic giving, churches can cater to a broader demographic, including younger congregants who rarely carry cash or checks but always have their smartphones or contactless cards on hand.                                                              

Tap-to-pay systems are at the forefront of this trend, appealing to a tech-savvy generation that values speed and convenience. This approach modernizes the giving experience and aligns with the preferred payment methods of a significant portion of givers (not to mention the largest group of up and coming givers in your congregation).      

Increased Importance of Security                           

As digital giving grows, so does the importance of online security. Donors need assurance that their financial data is protected against breaches and misuse. Churches must prioritize robust security measures and communicate these protections to their congregation. 

Demonstrating a commitment to security is essential for maintaining donor trust and confidence which are foundational to sustaining and growing support in the digital age. Ensuring the safety of sensitive information not only guards against potential risks but also reinforces your church’s reputation as a trustworthy steward of its members’ generosity.

This doesn’t mean your church needs to add cybersecurity experts on staff, but it does mean you need to make sure the online giving and other digital platforms you use uphold the latest security protocols.

Shift in Giver Motivations

One of the most significant changes is the declining loyalty of givers towards institutions, with a stronger desire for supporting specific causes. This is particularly true among Gen Z, who may love your church but want to know what is being done with their gifts. With this, churches face the challenge of articulating the significance and outcomes of their work more clearly than ever before. 

The key is attaching generosity to impact. This means moving beyond the traditional appeals of simply asking for donations to demonstrating how your church is using those donations to make an impact through stories or statistics. When you create a narrative that connects gifts to real-world change, donors will feel like active participants in a shared mission. 

Giver Retention is Crucial

With the growing prevalence of online and multi-site churches, retaining donors will become a top priority. Churches will need to develop strategies to keep their congregation engaged and committed through consistent communication and gratitude.

Keep your congregants in the loop with ministry updates and thank them when they give. It’s always better to risk over communicating with your donors than under communicating. Demonstrating transparency and appreciation fosters a positive giving environment and reinforces trust and the value of each contribution towards achieving your church’s mission. 

 

What does this mean for your church?

To successfully navigate these shifts in your church, here are some strategies to consider: 

  • Implement Modern Giving Solutions: Ensure a substantial online giving platform is in place and integrate platforms like tap-to-pay and cryptocurrency.
  • Conduct Regular Security Audits: Commit to regular security audits and upgrades to protect donor information and maintain trust. Make sure your digital platforms, online giving in particular, are implementing the latest security measures. 
  • Communicate Missional Outcomes on Church Platforms: Leverage your website, social media, and other communications channels to share values, stories, and updates that connect individual contributions to tangible changes and achievements. 
  • Show Gratitude to Givers: Develop a consistent and meaningful way to express gratitude to your donors through thank you emails, personalized letters, impact reports, and appreciation events.

 

These changes are not problems to deal with but are opportunities to deepen your engagement with your congregation, grow the spirit of generosity within your community, and amplify the impact of your ministry in a world that is increasingly digital and cause-driven.

By understanding and responding proactively to the trends, you can ensure that your church not only navigates these changes successfully but thrives in the years to come.