Church Giving During COVID: Reasons for Optimism
God’s people are still giving, churches are learning from this pandemic, and God is still faithful.
October 26, 2020
Recurring giving is a helpful tool for churches and church members.
As a church, recurring donations is money you can count on to budget, which makes it so much easier to forecast your expenses.
As a church member, automatic monthly donations makes it easy to make donations automatically and to make room for your gifts in your budget. No more waiting for the end of the month to see if you have anything leftover to give!
When it comes to recurring giving, there are six reasons why your church should regularly promote automated giving. In this post, I’m going to share with you six proven ways you can increase the number of recurring givers in your church.
What I’m going to share with you isn’t based on theory, either.
I asked several local pastors to share the lessons they learned in increase their recurring giving, and here’s what they had to say:
The hardest part of changing anything is starting.
It's no different with your givers who want to give.
If becoming like Jesus is a process, so is the journey toward becoming a generous giver.
For most non-givers, their giving journey usually starts small and increases with time.
At first, encourage non-givers or irregular givers in your church to set up a recurring gift of 1% of their income. After a few months or more, challenge this group of givers to increase their monthly donations.
As you share with your church the biblical reasons for financial generosity, let them know why setting up a recurring gift is best for the church.
As I mentioned above, recurring donations will make it easier for your church to manage your budget and plan on reaching more people for Christ.
Many people in your church probably don’t realize that setting up recurring giving with your church is helpful. So just let the people who already make donations know how recurring giving works and that it’s useful for the church.
Confidently teach stewardship in the Bible and don’t be timid in talking about giving.
Remind your church that generosity is our response to the generosity of God. When you remind people of God’s overwhelming generosity, they will be more inclined to respond with generosity.
As you talk about given, here’s a huge list of verses about tithing in the Bible, giving, and generosity you can use.
When you talk about giving in your services, share a testimony of a faithful giver on video or in person while the offering buckets are being passed around.
Also, talk about how donations are being used in and through your church.
Are you financially supporting a homeless shelter in your community? Let people know.
Did your church provide for clean water in another country? Show your church where.
Does your church support missionaries? Provide them with updates.
When people see how their generosity supports the work of the ministry, they will be inclined to give more.
To lead people to sign up for recurring giving, you have to promote recurring giving. I know I’m stating the obvious. But based on a study conducted by Dunham+Company, many small churches don’t promote online giving or mobile giving well.
For promoting recurring giving, you don’t need to make a big deal or announce it every Sunday. All you really have to do is just let people know it’s an available option.
One of the easiest ways you can talk about recurring giving is to promote it with a graphic during your announcement. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
Also, keep in mind that you have a lot of people visiting your church’s website. So it’s also a good idea to include a recurring giving option on your site.
There are several more ways you can easily promote recurring giving. Be sure to read this post for more ideas: 5 Ways to Engage Givers in Your Church Every Day of the Week.
Here’s the deal with recurring giving: You have to make it easy in more ways than one.
First, you have to make signing up for recurring giving super easy. If people find it difficult to set up, then they’ll most likely pass on the idea.
At Tithe.ly, we make this really easy for people. Here’s a short video that shows you how:
From changing debit or credit card information to the amount of money donated every month, there are several reasons why someone in your church may need to make changes to their recurring giving.
When you provide recurring giving to your church, make sure the service you use makes it easy for people to change their information.
“Ahem,” did someone mention Tithe.ly?
This point may sound counterintuitive. But it works the same way as a money-back guarantee does.
Basically, before signing up, people want to know whether or not they can cancel their recurring gifts. Having the ability to cancel at any time is a compelling angle.
Don’t worry if you think people will cancel their monthly donations after the first month. Many studies show that donors give more when they sign up to make recurring donations.
Growing your recurring giving is not a set formula or guarantee or every church would have more people signed up. These are some practical and helpful reminders for you and your team to consider as you continue to do what God has called you to do.
Have you had success increasing the number of recurring givers in your church? What did you find helpful? Let's compare our notes in the comments below.
Eric Bryant serves as the implementations team lead for Tithe.ly. He has spent the last decade in the local church as a creative pastor. He lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and two dogs.