Many individuals, both church leaders and church members, alike, may balk at the idea of enacting more modern giving methods in tandem with their regimented giving strategy. Though many will claim that faithful giving should be observed in the church, and an e-giving platform is not necessary for disciplined givers, the fact remains that your church relies upon the generosity of your church family. Shouldn’t you open up every available opportunity for them to give when they’re feeling generous?
Before deciding between traditional methods of stewardship and online giving, there are a few trends affecting churches today that informed church leaders should be aware of. Have you asked, and answered, the following questions before making your decision about e-giving?
How Much Is The Average Christian Contributing?
According to a report in the Washington Post, in 2011, professing Christians contributed 2.3 percent of their annual income. As dismal as this number seems, the percentage of annual contributions from church-goers that actively participate and attend church has been steadily declining since 1968, when the average contribution was 3.1% of their annual income. What do these falling numbers mean for churches? In the years to come, it will be more important to open every available opportunity for church members to give – and options such as e-giving and recurring may become the main channels for contributions.
Are Checks Still A Main Currency?
The idea of carrying around a checkbook seems archaic, even to older demographics, so why is that so many churches are still expecting checks on Sunday morning. In today’s fast-paced world, the time and effort required to fill out a check may seem cumbersome, and off-putting to many of those used to swiping their credit cards and moving along. Financial Brand claims that 74% of Americans write no more than one check per month – are you confident that your church’s name is in the subject line?
Are Older Givers Comfortable Giving Online?
A common misconception among church leaders is that the older demographic in their church are helpless when it comes to navigating online. However, according to a study by Dunham and Company, nearly 3 out of 5 donors over the age of 66 gave online in 2014. Though online giving adopted early among younger church growers, the senior group has caught up quickly.
How Many Church Members Have Internet Access?
Answer one question: how often do you access the internet on your mobile phone? If your answer is less than once a day, you’re in the minority. CNBC predicts that by the year 2018, mobile devices will account for more than 57% of web traffic. Along the same vein, Google has recently made changes to it’s algorithm in order to favor those sites that are mobile optimized to account for this upswing in mobile searchers. Because online traffic is favoring mobile accessibility, churches need to remain open to changing technology in order to encourage faithful giving.
Though e-giving may seem like an unlikely next step for your church, trends don’t lie. In order to remain a priority to your church family when it comes time to give, it is necessary to appeal to their sense of convenience. So, what’s stopping you from creating an online giving platform for your church?