How Much Money Can You Expect To Come In?

Trying to figure out the money flow in a church can be challenging. Through the years, there has been a simple formula that I have used at Stevens Creek Church. We project our attendance and then multiply that attendance by $1400. That number becomes our projected income for the year.

This is based on the average attendance of all people in the congregation… infants to grandparents. If you have 5 people in a family, then that family represents $7,000 for the year. Please know that I don’t expect every family of five to give $7,000. That would be a strain on some families of five while not stretching the faith of other families of five. This is a simple formula that looks at the big picture. For the last 15 years, I have used that formula with great success at The Creek.

I stumbled this concept during one of my doctoral classes at Emory in the early 1990s. Kennon Callahan suggested that the national giving average was $1000 per per person per year. I left that class and examined our local church and realized that we were around $1400. I did not use the formula at first because I did not want to believe that budgeting for a church could be that scientific, but it can be and it has been for 20 years.

There have been times when the income has exceeded the $1400 per person, but only during times of great challenge (ie capital campaigns) and / or times when major gifts have come in. For instance, in 2008 Stevens Creek budgeted around 1.9 million to come in. At the end of the year, we exceeded 2.4 million. What made the difference? We had four major gifts that totaled a little over $500K. If you subtract those gifts, the formula still worked.

Now, this blog is about giving kiosks. How much of this money flowed through electronic means? This year of the 1.9 million budgeted $425,000 came electronically. So, we are averaging around 30% of our donations through SecureGive.

If you want to know more details about giving kiosks, online giving or how SecureGive can help your church maximize your stewardship potential, give Stu a call at 706-228-3210 or you can email him at

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