How seriously is your church taking recurring giving?
I ask because we, at Tithe.ly, see two camps …
- 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.
- 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
A 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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!