Generosity

6 Proven Ways to Increase Recurring Giving in Your Church

Generosity

6 Proven Ways to Increase Recurring Giving in Your Church

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, recurring giving 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:

#1. Teach people to start

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.

#2. Communicate the importance of consistency

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.

#3. Teach the Bible

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.

#4. Share stories

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.

#5. Promote recurring giving

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.

#6. Make it easy

Here’s the deal with recurring giving: You have to make it easy in more ways than one.

a. Make it easy to set up

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:

 

b. Make it easy to change

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?

c. Make it easy to cancel

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.

Over to you

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.

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

01
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.
02
Brady Shearer
www.storytape.com
Talk about it every single week. Consistently promote it on every platform. 
Be patient. We all resist change.
03
Michael Lukaszewski
www.churchfuel.com
Launch it to your staff, your leaders, and your volunteers (in that order) and help those groups use it before you launch it publicly.
04
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).
05
Justin Dean
www.thatcc.com
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.
06
Daniel Irmler
www.churchhero.com
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.
07
Invite your congregation to take out their phones and download the mobile giving app right in the service.
08
Nik Goodner
www.crtvchurch.com
Explain the why behind the change and highlight the benefits of the new system. 
People like to be "on the team".
09
Kevin Ekmark
www.church.org
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.
10
Logan Fields
www.theappguys.org
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.
11
Kenny Jahng
www.kennyjahng.com
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!

Tithe.ly

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

LEARN MORE
Sign Up

6 Proven Ways to Increase Recurring Giving in Your Church

Tithe.ly

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

LEARN MORE
Sign Up