Why is the Church Lagging Behind in Giving Technology?

A few years ago I wrote a blog post called “Eleven Reasons NOT to Offer Online Giving” – a rare tongue-in-cheek post meant to encourage the implementation of electronic giving solutions in churches across the country. It’s a quick and easy read if you want to revisit it. But little did I know then just how relevant that post would prove itself today.

This summer a Dunham+Company / Campbell Rinker study showed only 42% of churches in the US offer an electronic giving option. Less than half. While larger churches have an increased likelihood of having electronic giving solutions, that percentage drops to 29% in churches with fewer than 200 in attendance.

Online Giving Stats

While the percentages themselves may not surprise you, another recent Campbell Rinker study showed that 70% of other (non-church) non-profit organizations offer online giving. Now there’s a discrepancy worth talking about!

What’s the difference? Non-profit organizations throughout the country (of which there are over 1.5 million currently, by the way) understand the importance of this technology. It’s really pretty simple: Non-profits employ giving technology because it works. Your people have a choice where they give, and these non-profits make it easy for the giver.

Charitable Giving to Churches is on the Rise… Or Is It?

Did you read the most recent charitable giving report from Giving USA released in late June? It’s on the top of that neatly-piled stack of books on your desk to read this summer, right? Maybe not? In that case, allow me to summarize for you. There’s a point worth making here that directly affects the church.

There is some good news in the report, but also a resounding alarm I’m guessing 99% of you are missing. (If you’re one of those readers who doesn’t want all the stats I’m about to share, but want to get right to that alarm I referenced, scroll down to “The Resounding Alarm” heading below – the most applicable part of this post!)

THE GOOD NEWS
First, the good news, taken from Giving USA Highlghts – 2015 Press Release:

2014 Giving Data Infographic4
  • Total charitable contributions to all causes in 2014 = $358.38 billion. That’s an increase of 7.1% over 2013 (5.4% when adjusted for inflation).
  • Giving by individuals grew by 5.7%.
  • Giving to religious causes (including churches) is the largest recipient category, receiving 32% of all charitable giving. (Education and Human Services are the next highest categories, receiving 15% and 12% respectively.)
  • Giving to religion reached a record high last year when adjusted for inflation.
  • The charitable giving forecast for 2015 indicates the year will finish up 5.6% over 2014, with a total of $482.27 billion. (2015 Mid-year report – Atlas of Giving).

3 Steps Toward Healthy Conversations About Money in the Church

People just don’t like to talk about money. Maybe you’ve already come to that conclusion. But did you know this? More people dislike talking about money than death or politics or taxes. (Yes, you read that right!)

lightstock_225206_xsmall_user_3596395A survey from Wells Fargo last year revealed “nearly half of Americans say the most challenging topic to discuss with others is personal finance.”

It’s not just your church. It’s not just the people at your church. No one seems to like it!

Interestingly, although conversations about money seem to be avoided or heated, financial concerns are staying top-of-mind. Two in five people in the survey said money is the source of the most stress in their life, and one in three people said they’ve lost sleep worrying over finances.

And when you look generationally, 71% reported learning to spend and save from their parents, but only one-third of today’s parents reported teaching these principles to their children. You see, there’s a fallout happening.

Webinar Replay – Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving

Last Friday more than 250 church leaders across the country listened in on a moderated discussion on the topic of generosity and technology.

Giving Technology WebinarI was honored to be a part of the conversation, along with Derek Gillette of Pushpay and eChurchGiving, and DJ Chuang a strategy consultant.

In case you missed the webinar live, you can watch it now without a login or email address required.

And be sure to listen for the question asked by a participant that we couldn’t answer! (You guys ask really tough questions!) In case you’re interested in a good laugh, it happened around 26:45 in. Sometimes even a panel of experts doesn’t know the answer!

During this one-hour conversation, we covered some really compelling points:

  • The recently changing methods of giving, and maintaining the worship of the offering moment.
  • Church attendance rates – how they’re impacting giving, and how the church should adapt.
  • How leaders can improve communication around giving to encourage future gifts.
  • Best practices learned after working with thousands of churches to increase generosity.
  • The importance of technology for new and future generations of givers.

Free Webinar on New Giving Technology E-Book

Now that my latest e-book has launched, I’m happy to let you know about a related webinar I’m really excited about! This Thursday, June 18, I’ll be partnering with my friends at Pushpay to take a behind-the-scenes look at the stories, stats, and best practices of churches using technology to inspire generosity.

Giving Technology E-BookSo, first, in case you haven’t already downloaded and read my e-book “Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving” I would encourage you to do that right now. I’ve heard from several pastors across the country they really appreciate its easy-to-read format and practical application.

If you have already downloaded this free resource, I want to thank you! Please let me know what you think. I greatly value your feedback and input as I continue to serve you.

And please join me for the webinar, too! I will be joined by Derek Gillette of Pushpay, and DJ Chuang, a church tech specialist who both have loads of experience and expertise in this area.

In this 60-minute webinar we will cover topics like:

Giving Technology E-Book Now Available

What should the online giving experience look like? What giving technologies are most efficient and effective? How can my church afford to employ new giving technologies? How do we reach every generation of givers in the church?

Giving Technology E-BookDo these questions resonate with you? I bet as a church leader you’ve asked something along these lines at some point in time because you know the importance of generosity in the church.

I’m happy to provide you the answers to these questions today! It’s all in my newest resource, an e-book titled “Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving.” And this 37-page e-book is available to you today for free!

GET MY COPY!

 

The bulk of the e-book actually gets pretty practical. Once you download it you’ll quickly find:

  • resolution to some common giving technology myths
  • teaching on how to reach Millennials (the future givers of your church)
  • guidance on how to remove the hurdles of online giving
  • examples of the ideal online giving experience
  • recommendations on giving technology to consider
  • a self-analysis to help you understand your current position in the realm of giving technology

Generis Continues Growing Generous Hearts with New Website

How do you grow generous hearts? As a pastor you’ve probably asked yourself (and your other pastor friends) that very question. How do you accelerate generosity in your church? How do you help people take the next step in their giving journey? How do you encourage your people to live radically generous lives?

Generis website

You’re not alone. The team at Generis is asking those same questions, and with more than 600 years of combined ministry and consulting experience on the team, we have a few answers to share.

With the launch of the new Generis website, you can find some of those answers while our team continues growing generous hearts toward God-inspired vision.

6 Solutions to Remove Giving Limits in Your Church

Giving is perhaps the best spiritual tool we have in our inventory – and often the most ignored. As a result, many church leaders find themselves in a giving rut, stuck in habits and routines that limit the generosity of their people. (We talked about those habits in my last post.)

church giving repairsBut today I’d like to focus on the solutions. What can church leaders do when they find themselves stuck in routines that actually work against growing the generosity of their church? I’d like to propose six solutions to get you started.

1. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO IMPLEMENT CHANGE. SLOWLY.
When you realize you need to make a change, the first thing to do is give yourself permission. Change things up when they need to be changed. But do it slowly. Gradually.

Do You Limit the Generosity of Your Church?

Do you limit the generosity of your church? Now, I have to believe you would never intentionally limit the generosity of your church. In fact, I believe you would love it to improve, to grow, to flourish. But are there things you are doing unknowingly, or habits in place at your church, that hinder or interfere with your giving culture?

limited giving aheadI just returned from the UnEarth Conference in Jacksonville this month, and I was blessed again to share information with church leaders from across the country on the topic of generosity. This time the topic was “8 Ceilings that Limit Giving to Your Church” (and several solutions to fix them). My thanks to colleague Brad Leeper, President of Generis, for contributions to this content!

Today I’ll share with you these “ceilings” and we will explore the solutions in my next post, so stay tuned!

First, let’s look at something quickly to get us started. From data collected through Generosity Audits and giving analyses of hundreds of churches, Generis has found the following to be the typical pattern in church giving:

OF 100 PEOPLE

  • 50 give nothing
  • 20 give $1,200
  • 30 give more than $1,200
  • If you have 10 elders/deacons/trustees, 2 are likely not giving
  • 1/3 of your staff is likely not giving

Now those figures might surprise you, but here’s what is typically going on behind the scenes to create such skewed giving metrics.

Giving Technology E-Book Coming Soon!

With fewer of us carrying cash in our pockets and more of us carrying smartphones in our hands, mobile giving and technology have become popular topics among church leaders. And they should be. Part of our responsibility to future generations of givers means we need to consider new technologies that encourage generosity.

As a church leader, have you ever asked any of these questions?

  • How can we encourage younger generations to give (or start giving)?
  • What should the online giving experience look like?
  • What giving technologies are most efficient and effective?
  • How can my church afford to employ new giving technologies?
  • Where do we start when considering new giving technologies?

giving technologyI’ll soon uncover answers to these questions (and many more) in my brand new e-book titled “Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving” coming in May.

(Stay tuned to Generosity Matters to download your FREE copy very soon, and be sure to let your pastor friends know about the upcoming e-book too!)