Health and Growth

10 Surprising Church Giving Facts that You Absolutely Need to Know

In just about any field, there’s always the “standard” advice that seems to get repeated all over the web without any real proof.

10 Surprising Church Giving Facts that You Absolutely Need to Know

In just about any field, there’s always the “standard” advice that seems to get repeated all over the web without any real proof.

And then there’s the truth.

Researched and proven findings that, although sometimes unconventional, can hold the keys to better results.

It’s with that in mind that we share real church giving research based on thousands of churches and donors giving hundreds of thousands of gifts.

Note: The church giving data and research is based on churches using for mobile, text, and online digital giving.

Let’s jump in.

1) Digital Giving by Month

It’s common for churches to see what’s been thoughtfully coined “the summer slump” where giving declines in the May-Aug window. Many churches see a twenty percent or more hit in giving during those months due to members being on vacation, going to BBQs, traveling with family, etc.

If you look a the chart below you’ll notice something odd — it doesn’t look like the normal giving distribution that churches all over see. There is NO SUMMER SLUMP!

The fact is, giving people great mobile first options enables anytime, anywhere giving. Vacation, work travel, sick, rained or snowed in, regardless of the reason, when people can give by mobile app, web or text, they’ll do it even if they’re not in the building on Sunday morning.

Also, beyond the fact that churches using don’t see a slump in the summer, it’s also import to pay attention to the way giving tends up and to the right as the year goes on with over 31% of all church giving happening in the last three months of the year.

Key takeaway: The “Summer Slump” is 100% based on the fact that people have to be “in church” to give. You have the power to change that by providing your church with digital giving tools.

The Summer Slump is a Myth

2) Digital Giving by Day of Month

You might guess that giving to churches mostly happens based on when people get paid, but when you look at the data you might be surprised!

Giving spikes on the first and fifteenth, but take a look at the second, fifth, twelfth, nineteenth, and twenty-sixth. Fairly sizable spikes in giving for an unknown reason.

Key takeaway: Be sure financial giving is a common part of your worship and language so that you’re hitting peoples hearts at all times. You never know when someone will be ready to give.

Digital Giving by Day of Month

3) Digital Giving by Day of Week

While Sunday accounts for 33% of digital giving, it’s crazy to see that when you give people the ability to give any time, anywhere, that that 67% of giving happens Monday through Saturday!

If you think about it, this makes total sense! Most people tend to manage their money and bills on their own time while also tending to align their “spend” (eg. paying bills, grocery shopping, etc) based on when they get paid which happens during a week day in most cases.

Key takeaway: Give people easy to use mobile first tools and options they so that they can give on their own terms.

Digital Giving by Day of Week

4) Digital Giving by Hour of Day

40% of gifts come in between the hours of 9am and 2pm, which means that 60% of gifts come in early in the morning or late at night! Over 28% is given between 10pm and 7am — the “late hours” of the night.

Similar to giving by day-of-week, giving by hour-of-day tells us that people like to give when it’s right for them.

Perhaps donors are watching sermons late at night or reading a bible study and feel a call to give. Or they may just be working on their finances after a long day at work and with family.

Key takeaway: When you enable options for donors to give on their own terms, you open up more giving opportunities.

Digital Giving by Hour of Day

5) Digital Giving by Source

Mobile leads the charge when it comes to the way people prefer to give. 57% of giving across the platform happened through the native iOS and Android app.

The ability to store your card or bank account, track your personal giving, setup and manage recurring giving and other little benefits make app-based mobile giving the easiest way to give, hands down. In fact, when setup, it’s so easy that you can give in just 2-clicks using our QuickGive™ feature.

Of course, if you take mobile, text and web together, it’s clear to see that people, when given the opportunity, love digital giving! I mean, who carries checks or cash anymore? :)

Key takeaway: Give people digital options that include app, text, and web. Just text, or just app, or just web won’t cut it.

Digital Giving by Source

6) Digital Giving by Gift Size

Some may think digital giving is mostly for small gifts and that those who give large amounts still choose to use checks as their preferred means of delivering the funds, but the data shows that isn’t the case.

Over 80% of gifts processed on were over $100, with 33% above $500, and 18% of the gifts processed on were over $1000!

Key takeaway: People are no longer afraid to process transactions, big or small, through digital options.

Digital Giving by Gift Size

7) Recurring vs. One-time Digital Giving

13% gifts given were done through “recurring giving” where an individual decides to setup an auto-pay gift that happens weekly, twice a month, or monthly, while 87% of digital gifts processed were one-time.

An interesting contrast is that we see many churches using with over 50% of their giving coming in through auto recurring gifts. The key difference is that these churches educate members on the option to setup auto recurring giving and show the impact of that type of giving on the work of the church in the community.

Key takeaway: Educating your people on the option to setup recurring giving is often all it takes to go from average to great! You can easily get over 13% of your giving to be auto-recurring.

Recurring vs. One-time Digital Giving

8) Digital Giving by Occasional vs. Consistent Givers

It’s likely something you already know, but the data proves it out. Consistent givers are also the most generous givers.

Looking at the chart below you’ll see that consistent givers — those that give at least one time a month — make up only 15% of the total population, but they account for 51% of the giving total!

Contrast that with 85% of givers being “occasional givers” who make up under 50% of the total giving.

Key takeaway: Education on giving and generosity, financial management, coupled with consistent calls to give, will help increase the number of “consistent givers” at your church.

Digital Giving by Occasional vs. Consistent Givers

9) Digital Giving by Method

In a mostly cashless society, we are very accustom to using using credit or debit cards for everything and when given the option, that holds true with our giving habits as well.

Only 7% of donors give by entering their bank account details. The vast majority of givers prefer using a debit or credit card. It could be due to the added layer of security, it could be because they’ve memorized their card info and don’t know their bank account/routing number, or it could be because they’re financially responsible people who want the card points/rewards.

Key takeaway: Given the choice, most people choose to use their credit/debit card. If you don’t offer this option you’re likely missing out on some people giving consistently.

Digital Giving by Method

10) Digital Giving by Card Type

This one might be of lesser interest, but it’s good data to understand from the perspective of having options. Clearly most people will give using a VISA or MasterCard credit or debit card, but offering AMEX and Discover is important for those individuals.

It’s also good to note that AMEX fees are generally higher, but it’s a very small porting of the overall giving pie.

Key takeaway: Along with digital giving options (text, web, app), be sure your service allows for the four major card brands as people use all of them.

Digital Giving by Card Type


It is clear that digital giving on the web, in app, and via text is essential to your church fundraising strategy! People are starting to expect these options as they get more and more accustom to “paying” for things with their phones — think Uber, Starbucks, Amazon, and the like.

It’s a fact, we’re becoming a mobile-first society and mobile giving is here to stay!

It is our hope that this data will help you as you prepare your giving strategy and messaging for your church. Data like this helps us avoid false assumptions and guess work, and focus on reality.

Why Write Church Donation Letters?

In a previous blog post, I shared the different ways your church can thank donors—from automated emails to year-end giving reports. Printed donation letters also play an essential role in your church’s stewardship efforts.

Donation letters are the Swiss Army knife of your church’s gratitude arsenal. It may not be the most powerful—but it’s versatile, handy, and gets used often.

Your basic church donation letter can serve many different purposes, including:

  • Acknowledging that you received a donation
  • Thanking the giver for being generous with their finances
  • Sharing other ways the person can support your church
  • Allowing the donor to write the gift off on their taxes
  • Encouraging supporters to make recurring donations
  • Requesting future donations from church members

A single, well-crafted donation letter can pull together several of these things simultaneously. Better donation letters lead to more giving, which leads to more donation letters—thus creating a cycle of on-going church generosity.

Church Donation Letter Samples

Here’s the good news—you don’t have to write an individualized letter for every person who gives to your church. That would be tough to do for even smaller churches. And most donors don’t expect you to. They’d rather you be putting their gift to better use in the community, instead of ceaselessly writing thank you notes.

With the possible exception of some unique circumstances, your church can use template language for the majority of your church donation letters. You’ll have to add in custom details like the donor’s name and gift amount, but you can write everything else in advance.  

To make this even easier on you, here are a few basic church donation letter templates you can copy and paste. Keep in mind that not all of these have to be in print—you could just as easily turn some of these samples into email appeals.

1. Donation Acknowledgment Letter

The Donation Acknowledgement Letter is a basic way you can confirm and affirm a monetary gift to your church. Sending these is standard practice in church and nonprofit culture.

Dear [first name],
I want to personally thank you for your donation of [gift amount] to [church name]. We’re honored you would bless us with your generosity. Donations like yours make a big difference in the work our church is doing in the community.
Without givers like you, our church can’t have an impact or influence in our community. With your support, we’re partnering with local nonprofits, sending out global mission trips, and hosting small groups on topics that help real people like you. Together, we can make a difference.
Because we’re a tax-exempt nonprofit, you also get to write this donation off on your taxes. This letter serves as official proof of your donation, so keep it in your records come tax season. At the end of the year, we’ll also send you an annual recap with how much you’ve given to the church.
Thank you for supporting [church name]!
[your name]

2. Donation Request Letter

Not every church member realizes the importance of giving, or understand Bible verses about tithing and giving.  So a Donation Request Letter helps to spread that awareness and encourage a spirit of generosity.

Dear [first name],
How are the finances in your household? That was a rhetorical question, so you don’t have to answer—besides, this is a letter so we wouldn’t hear you anyway. But we still want you to think about that question.
Money is a uniquely human issue, one we all struggle with to one degree or another. Even if you’re financially blessed, you still have the burden of stewarding your money wisely. And we believe that one of the best ways to invest your money is into the local church.
Tithing (giving 10% of your income) on a regular basis not only supports the work we do at [church name]. It doesn’t just support local missions and community growth. It also shows an obedience to God by making his work a financial priority in your life.
So if you find yourself ready to put God first in both your heart and your wallet, we encourage you to make a one-time gift or sign up to make recurring donations. That way, you won’t have to ever wonder again about the financial status of your household.
[your name]

3. Monthly Giving Letter

Many church donations aren’t just one-time gifts. Plenty of givers contribute monthly—and that should be acknowledged.

Use this template to correspond with recurring givers.  

Dear [first name],
Thank you for being an active and faithful member of our church community. By giving to our church on a monthly basis, you’re showing that our church has a meaningful place in your heart. We just wanted to write this to let you know that you’re in our heart, too.
Donating to the church monthly allows us to preach the gospel, make disciples, and support others in our community who need help. Others like the local food bank and the nearby homeless shelter. We’re answering the cry of the needy, and it’s all thanks to contributors like you.
We earnestly appreciate your ongoing support and want to let you know we’re here for you. If there’s ever anything we can do for you and your family, don’t hesitate to reach out. You are a valued member of our church family. And you’re financial support is making a difference.
[your name]

4. Year-End Giving Letter

At the end of each year, it’s customary to give your church supporters a summary of their gifts. The primary reason is for tax purposes, but it’s also a way to recap everything your church has done over the past year with their support.

Dear [first name],
You’re getting this letter because you gave to [church name] at some point during the past year. That might have been a one-time gift, or recurring donations. Either way, we want to thank you for your generous support. Every contribution helps.
One of the official reasons for this letter is for tax purposes. That’s right—you get to write these donations off on your taxes. Which is why we’ve included a summary of all the contributions you’ve made to our church this year.
But the other reason for this letter is to let you know what we’ve done with the money you gave. We take stewardship very seriously, which means we value spending our time and resources wisely.
During the year, our church supported local nonprofits, sent global missions teams, and baptised quite a few people. It was a great year for us—thanks in large part to donors like you.
So thank you for your support of our church, and we hope you’ll consider continuing to contribute to our mission in the coming year.
[your name]  

5. Church Fundraising Letter

Sometimes you need to make a more significant financial push using tried and true church fundraising ideas. Some churches call this a Stewardship Campaign or a Church Capital Campaign. Either way, the goal is to raise a certain amount of money for a big project. And typically, a solid letter of appeal is an integral part of that.

Dear [first name],
God has a plan for everyone and everything. That includes you, and it includes [church name]. None of us can fully know God’s plan—the best we can do is pray and listen for clarity. Our church leadership has been doing just that and are excited to announce our latest church project.
[Detail the outline of the major church project—this could include a building campaign, or raising support for a global mission trip. Anything specific to your church that requires a fundraising letter. Be sure to include a fundraising goal so everyone knows what you’re shooting for.]
But we can’t pull this off without your support. Whether you give to the church on a regular basis, or just attend on occasion, we’re asking you to consider contributing to this massive undertaking prayerfully. It’s something we need our entire church community’s help with.
Even if you can’t make a large gift, know that every little bit helps. It’s more about coming together as a community united behind a common cause. We hope that you’ll consider making a donation towards this great step forward that we’re making together.
[your name]

Tips when writing church donation letters

It’s not enough to just copy and paste this content and send away. The key to an effective church donation letter is a touch of personalization. Follow these tips to take your donation letters to the next level:

  • Examples: Add specific examples of how your church will use the donation. Tell a story about the work your church is doing in the community and connect that with giving.
  • Personalization: For regular donors, don’t be afraid to add a short, handwritten personal note. This shows that you’ve singled them out with praise.
  • Timeliness: Sending donation letters quickly reminds people you’re thankful for them. But this also takes organization and efficiency. All the more reason to use pre-written templates.
  • Storytelling: Everything is better with stories—including donation letters. Weave in a specific narrative of how your church is making a difference and how the money will be used.

There’s no one right or wrong way to write a donation letter or request contributions. You’ve got to do what is right for your church and congregation. But if you stick to these general tips, you’ll probably start to see some traction when it comes to giving.

What’s next?

Most people don’t love talking about money in church. But it’s a necessary and vital part of your church. And maximizing your efforts when it comes to donation letters will help make those conversations more comfortable. So what do you do next to put this into effect?

  • Customize these letters: Take the samples above and make them work for your church. Personalize the content. Remove the stuff that doesn’t sound genuine and add in stuff that does. Remember that these are just a starting point.
  • Create some systems: Develop processes that make it easy for you to replicate sending donation letters. Use a letter template that allows you to drop in names and details. Then develop guidelines for when these letters will be sent out.
  • Empower a champion: Find out who is going to be responsible for making these letters happen. Rather than thinking of this as adding more work to their plate, think about how you can elevate their work. This could be a staff member, or a volunteer.
  • Start sending: All of this will be for nothing if you don’t actually send out the letters. Take the time to get it right and get them into the hands of your church donors.

And if you’re looking for ways to grow your church’s giving capacity, Tithely can help.

We provide several different ways your church members can support your church financially—from online giving, text to give solutions, and giving kiosks.

Tithely’s systems make it as easy as possible for people to give to your church. Now all you need to start doing is generating a culture of gratitude. There’s nothing standing in your way. Go unleash generosity in your church.

How does your church use donation letters to spread generosity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Robert Carnes. Robert is a writer and storyteller. He's the author of The Original Storyteller: Become a Better Storyteller in 30 Days. A former church communicator and nonprofit marketer, Robert works as a managing editor for Orange in Atlanta.


10 Surprising Church Giving Facts that You Absolutely Need to Know