Tithe.ly News

6 Reasons Your Church Should Regularly Promote Automated Recurring Giving

Tithe.ly News

6 Reasons Your Church Should Regularly Promote Automated Recurring Giving

How seriously is your church taking recurring giving?

I ask because we, at Tithe.ly, see two camps …

  1. Churches that just don’t seem to believe in it (or maybe don’t understand it) and have under 10% of their total digital giving coming in via automated recurring giving.
  2. Churches that “get it” and see upwards of 50–60% of their digital giving being done via automated recurring giving.

The question is .. which camp are you in? And if you’re in camp #1, why?

As you’ll see below, empowering your members to give in an automated way makes a lot of sense. Study after study proves out the concept and the results are usually dramatic.

Hopefully, the below six points will help give you the conviction you need to start really promoting recurring giving within your congregation!

1) They’re Familiar with Recurring Payments

An economics study done in 2015 showed that 41% of all recurring bills are paid automatically and approximately two-thirds of U.S. consumers with recurring bills use automatic payment options, to the tune of $23 trillion per year.

The kicker here is that the numbers being used were from 2010. Imaging what the results would have show if data all the way through 2015 was available!

The fact is that your members already understand the benefits of automating. They’ve likely already automated as many of the bills that they can and and many would happily setup automated recurring giving to support the church they love.

2) Improve Financial Health

survey of over one thousand churches found that “the ability to accept automatic, recurring donations” was the most important factor shared by financially healthy churches.

Why? Because the more your congregation uses automated recurring giving, the better you can budget.

And the better you can budget, the better you can manage your church resources, plan ahead, and deliver ministries that meet needs long term.

3) Increase Overall Giving

Recurring giving is perhaps the most effective way to increase giving. And that’s not just an opinion. Consider the below three data points based on research in the nonprofit and charity space:

  1. Network for Good data shows that the average recurring donor gives 42 percent more during the course of a year than those giving one-time gifts.
  2. ActBlue, a political fundraising organization, sent an email to half of their database, one asking for a one-time donation of $75 and the other for a monthly gift of $3 for up to 24 months. The results: the one-time donation resulted in $2,557 donations, while the recurring ask projected out to $4,365.70.
  3. Blackbaud’s Target Analytics reported that, on average, based on the donorCentrics report, every 1,000 new donors recruited as recurring givings over five years will donate about $67,000 more than traditional givers.

4) Smooth Out Seasonal Dips in Giving

Traditionally, giving dips way down in the summer months. Couple this with other reasons people miss church and you have a recepie for disaster!

Here’s how it plays out in a real world scenario …

Let’s say someone gives $100 per week. You’d expect to receive $1,200 for the year, but they miss one week due to sickness, two weeks for summer vacation, a week for work travel, and a week because they forgot their checkbook.

Ugh, that’s a lot of missed giving!

  • Giving via passing the plate: You’d receive $700 due to the sick days, summer vacation, work travel, and forgotten check book. If you multiplied that by 120 members (an average church size in the US) you’d be missing out on $60,000 per year in revenue! Even if this person was extra awesome and “made up” for missing by “doubling up” … giving $200 on two occasions … you’d still be short $36,000 for the year. This, of course, would have a serious impact on your budget for the following year. I could even impact your ability to pay bills or salaries depending on how much you have in the bank.
  • Giving an automated recurring gift via Tithe.ly: You’d receive the full $1,200. The amount the person had initially set out to give in their heart.

In the automated recurring giving scenario both the church and the giver are in a better place at the end of the year.

5) Inspired & Educated Members will Respond

When you inspire your members to grow in their faith, reach out to people and/or change, they respond! When you educate your members about the right way to live the Christian life by using the scriptures they respond!

Similarly, if you educate your members about recurring giving and the impact of “giving dips” while also inspiring them with how their giving is making an impact on the community around them, they’ll respond.

You just have to be bold enough to get in front of them!

6) You Already Have the Tool

That’s right.

If you’re using Tithe.ly you can let your members know that they can setup automated recurring gifts via the mobile app, text, or through your website. All that have to do is switch the button on and set their preferred schedule. Simple as that!

Expert Tips on How to Effectively Launch a New Online Giving Tool

Make it accessible so people can give in the way that is most comfortable to them. Don't make it hard for people to give money.
Some people like to give online, some like mobile, some like text. Whatever they like, let them give in that way if you can.
Brady Shearer
Talk about it every single week. Consistently promote it on every platform. 
Be patient. We all resist change.
Michael Lukaszewski
Launch it to your staff, your leaders, and your volunteers (in that order) and help those groups use it before you launch it publicly.
Teach it in your new member class.
Allow for people to sign-up right on the spot via their mobile phone (or through a laptop or iPad for those that don't have a mobile device handy).
Justin Dean
On launch weekend, have volunteers and staff accessible with iPads to walk people through how to set up an account and get recurring giving configured.
Daniel Irmler
On a regular basis, tell stories from members who are using and loving it. 
You don't don’t need a big production value shoot. Keep it simple by using an iPhone (horizontal) and a decent mic.
Invite your congregation to take out their phones and download the mobile giving app right in the service.
Nik Goodner
Explain the why behind the change and highlight the benefits of the new system. 
People like to be "on the team".
Kevin Ekmark
I always tell people, "you need to clean your house before you invite friends over". It's crucial that your giving platform is easily found, whether it's on the web or in the church. 
On the web, making sure that your website is mobile friendly (Google and Bing both recommend mobile responsive design) can be a huge help. You can also incorporate bots from Facebook or a service like Intercom to help walk people through online giving on your website. When necessary, a human can jump in and help too. This helps complete the process from being found online to completing the online giving.
Logan Fields
Tell them the real reasons. Giving members are concerned with what's best for the church and not just what they individually prefer. Transparency.
"This platform will allow us to better manage finances and spend less staff time on the books and more on people." etc. The temptation is to treat members like consumers who we need to impress instead of team members. Treat them like equals who you assume are interested in what's best for the church/ mission and people will likely rise to it.
Kenny Jahng
Launch a $3.16 campaign. Ask people to all give just $3.16 to a weekly or bi-weekly blessing fund. Then, pick one person or cause to bless IN TOWN and go give that person all the money collected.
  • It could be the all volunteer firefighter squad in town. "We'll take all the $3.16's collected and go buy a meal or treat and drop off for the firefighters who volunteer."
  • It could be a widow the church knows about - bless her with something new for her home or hobby or pets.
  • Single mothers - supply them with a night out. Or pay for a house cleaner or a handyman for a couple of hours.
  • Special needs families - pay for evening out for the parents and child care for the special needs kids so the parents get a break.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
This works incredibly well because you are teaching generosity / outward posture to your people on a consistent basis and getting people to give on mobile- while making it about PARTICIPATION vs AMOUNT. You'll have people regularly trying out the mobile option as well as pre-register them in the system.

There you have it! Some amazing tips, right?

Which tip stood out the most to you … or looked to be the craziest?! Share with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!


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6 Reasons Your Church Should Regularly Promote Automated Recurring Giving


Tithe.ly powers mobile, text, and web giving for
churches and ministries.

Sign Up