It’s been a tough couple of months so far for churches as we’ve all scrambled to make the best of a trying situation, especially when it comes to church finances. But, no matter how your church’s giving has been impacted, current trends reveal there’s actually some good news.
We know, it might sound crazy to say that there is good news when it comes to church giving right now, especially considering the many churches that are facing budget cuts, staff layoffs, and uncertain futures. However, as we examine current trends that are coming to the surface in digital giving, there are encouraging statistics that show brighter days lie ahead.
We looked at a random sample of 1,000 churches to see how effectively digital giving is being leveraged this year versus last year. The result showed some promising trends that will lead to a stronger, more generous church as we come out of the pandemic.
Let’s take a look at five positive trends we’re seeing as we examine giving in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic:
More First-Time Givers
On average, churches received a staggering amount of new, first-time givers. In fact, as we evaluated our random sample of 1,000 churches that use SecureGive, we found that the number of first time digital givers increased by 141%. That’s two and half times the number of new digital givers compared to this same time last year.
While some of these first-time givers are comprised of donors who previously gave to their church through traditional methods, many are people who are giving for the first time. When people give digitally, they are more likely to give consistently. I think we can all agree that consistent giving is a good thing for your church.
This data shows us two things. First, people who gave through traditional methods, like cash or checks, have the potential to fully embrace giving digitally. Second, even in the midst of uncertainty, people will still rally behind the mission of your church to reach and meet the needs of your community. This upward trend of digital giving is great news for churches.
More Recurring Givers
Recurring givers are donors who give a specific amount that is charged on a regular increment to their bank account, debit card, or credit card. By leveraging tools, like recurring giving, you create not only stability within your finances but you also encourage biblical stewardship in your church.
We have a saying around here, “You automate what’s important to you.” When you have more donors choosing to automate their giving, it shows you have a growing number of people prioritizing honoring God in their finances. After all, if we’re going to make sure our payment automatically gets to the power company on time, why wouldn’t we make sure it goes to The Church before that?
Compared with 2019, the total number of recurring givers increased by 25% during the six weekends we collected data from during the pandemic. This growth shows donors’ willingness to embrace consistent giving to their church and shows donors taking a step forward in their giving journey.
Seeing your donors embrace faithful, consistent giving, is a win in itself, but this also means another important thing for your church: increased financial stability.
Increase in Total Dollars via Digital Giving
“Total dollars” includes digital giving that was given to organizations through SecureGive by mobile, online, and/or text to give platforms. From this time in 2019 compared to 2020, there was a 27% increase in donations received through these digital platforms.
The good news here: the people of your church are ready to embrace and are embracing digital giving, especially when it’s offered in the way that’s most convenient to them.
But, there’s also a valuable lesson that we can take from this as we move forward. There’s no “one-size fits all” giving method, especially during a pandemic. What works for one donor might not work for another. One donor may prefer to give by text message while another feels more comfortable giving online from their computer. This is why it’s so crucial to implement a variety of giving options for your church.
The increased acceptance of various giving methods will be extremely beneficial for the church’s future financial health in the 2020/2021 ministry year by allowing churches to better project total giving, manage money more efficiently, and budget more accurately.
Increase in Total Dollars via Online Platform
At SecureGive, online giving is our most in-demand digital giving option. Because of this, we also wanted to examine how Covid-19 affected total dollars donated only through the online giving platform.
When looking at only-online donations, there was a 19% increase in total dollars that came in through SecureGive during this six week period comparing 2019 to 2020. This shows not just an upward trend in digital giving right now, but also a likelihood of stronger giving in the future. Because, as we talked about earlier, digital giving is more often consistent giving.
But, like before when we looked at total digital giving, we can also learn something from this. When you have a more diverse giving strategy, there is greater potential. Yes, a 19% increase in online giving is strong, but a 27% increase across all digital giving platforms is even stronger.
People like options. By implementing a variety of ways that your people can give digitally, you ultimately increase your overall giving potential. This will lead to greater financial stability in the coming ministry year.
Easter Giving Was Up
This year, there were no Easter egg hunts, stopping to take a picture of coordinating family outfits in front of the church, and many missed hearing the choir sing “up for the grave He arose” while gentle vibrations from the organ moved through the pews.
While we missed our favorite traditions, Easter offerings were not missed.
We saw an exponential increase in all categories for Easter during the 2020 pandemic compared to Easter 2019. We saw total first-time givers dramatically increase this Easter by 220% compared to Easter 2019. Total recurring givers also increased 13% while total digital giving dollars increased 17% and total dollars through online giving increased 49%.
Bottom line, Easter digital giving was up. This shows that people are embracing new ways to give, consistently investing in your church, and choosing to prioritize giving in their lives.
No matter where your Church stood before, the pandemic forced every church to trust God, increase communication about generosity, encourage people to get involved and give in different ways, make wise plans, and examine church finances.
Even if overall giving to the church is down or decreased during the pandemic, digital giving has increased. This increase builds the foundation for all giving to continue to grow within your church, leading to greater financial stability.
The stage is set for churches to come out of the pandemic with stronger giving than ever. This is good news.