Health and Growth

9 Charitable Giving Statistics Your Church or Ministry Needs to Know

As a church or ministry, understanding giving and fundraising statistics is important! This information can help you sucessfully raise more money and make a greater impact in your community.

We like talking about numbers at Tithe.ly. It’s what we do.

Fundraising statistics and the numbers related to them are of particular interest to us. Especially as they relate to the Church!

One thing we like about numbers, or in this case, charitable and church giving statistics, is that they provide real data you can use to make informed decisions as a church or ministry. Having information gathered from different resources can inform the tactics you use as a church to raise financial support.

There is a tremendous amount of information available that we can share with you. But we found the following nine charitable giving statistics worth your consideration.

#1. The amount of money donated to charitable organizations is HUGE!

In 2016, $390.05 billion was donated to charitable organizations, which is equivalent to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Colombia. That's one amazing fundraising statistic!

Here’s what you need to know: Money is not exhaustive.

The members of your church have individual or family budgets to maintain, and their money can only go so far.

As you are building a generous culture, know that the members of your church will be compelled to give to your church and to other organizations or individuals, which is a good thing. Be ready to help the people you serve to think through how they steward their resources.

#2. Religious institutions receive the most charitable giving

Among the donations made in 2016, 32% were made to religious organizations, 15% to education endeavors, and 12% to human services.

For a variety of reasons, many people are more inclined to give to religious institutions.

As a church leader, it’s important to know the different factors that influence whether or not someone in your church is inclined to give and these church giving stats can help you in that endeavor. In short, giving boils down to discipleship.

As you preach the gospel and equip people to live for Christ, you will, over time, observe the people you serve be transformed into generous givers.

#3. More and more people give online every year

In 2016, Blackbaud’s annual Giving Report reported an increase of 7.9% in online giving, which equaled 7.2% of all fundraising. As time goes on, you will observe these numbers to continue to increase until most people in the United States are giving online. Keep an eye on this fundraising statistics as it's going to play a major role in overall giving to churches in years to come.

If your church does not offer an online giving solution, then it would be a good idea to start sooner rather than later.

#4. Mobile giving is growing fast

Roughly 17% of online giving was made on a mobile device.

As of 2015, two-thirds of Americans owned a smartphone, and the number of smartphone owners continues to climb, which is why we expect to see the number of people who make donations on a mobile device to dramatically increase in the near future.

It will only be a matter of time when most people are using their smartphone to make donations. Be sure to check the church giving stats mentioned in #9 below to see how mobile giving is impacting the church.

#5. Mobile optimized giving experience are lacking

Even though we are observing an increase in mobile giving, 84% of nonprofits donations landing pages are not optimized for mobile devices. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, then you run a high-risk of losing mobile donors.

Make it easy for smartphone users to give by providing them with a mobile giving app.

#6. People who choose recurring giving tend to use credit cards

For recurring gifts, 79% are made with a credit card. Your church may not have such a high percentage of members who give recurring gifts with a credit card. But, you should anticipate the number of people in your church who make recurring gifts with debit or credit cards to climb.

Don’t worry about spending thousands of dollars to offer people the opportunity to give with their credit or debit card. With Tithe.ly, you can quickly and affordably provide credit card, debit card, and ACH giving.

#7. It pays to be personal

Half (50%) of donors prefer to receive personalized thank you’s versus fast responses. When you engage with your donors, it’s important to communicate with them one-on-one. As a church leader, you won’t have the ability to do this personally.

But, you can personalize your interactions with donors by branding your communication with them. In other words, you can share who you are with your givers by creating a fluid experience with their donations.

#8. Email is still your best bet

On average, emails have the highest return on investment compared to other marketing channels. Send your church regular emails. Provide them updates. Share announcements. Send encouraging words.

And consider using email as a way of encouraging donations or for one-time gifts. For different reasons, you’ll observe a greater response in contributions from the emails you send versus other channels you use, such as social media.

#9. Mobile giving for churches is a must

If you don’t know much about mobile giving for churches, the first thing you should do is read our complete guide to mobile giving. It will give you all the information you need to get up to speed.  

Once you have a good understanding of what mobile giving is all about, the church giving research (10 Surprising Church Giving Facts that You Absolutely Need to Know) will help you see how mobile giving is impacting the Church all over the world.

Here are a few of the church giving stats that matter…

  • Over 50% of the gifts processed by Tithe.ly in 2016 were $250 or greater.
  • Consistent givers — those that give at least once a month — make up only 15% of the total population, but they account for 51% of dollars given!
  • 67% of giving happens on days other than Sunday.

Back to you…

That’s a lot of data to digest. While you’re thinking about it all … which stat stands out the most to you?

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9 Charitable Giving Statistics Your Church or Ministry Needs to Know