Though tithing is referenced in the Bible, statistics from as far back as 2013 indicate that only around 25 percent (at the highest) of people tithe within the church. With such a low percentage, it becomes crucial for ministry leaders to explore ways to increase gift giving in their congregation.
Number 18:26 reads:
“Speak to the Levites and say to them: “When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD’s offering.”
This is far from the only time tithing is mentioned in the Bible The decline in gift giving cannot solely be attributed to the absence of giving references in the Bible. Various other factors contribute to the decrease in tithing rates.
Reasons Why Tithing Has Dropped
Recognizing the reasons behind a person’s decision not to tithe is crucial in devising effective strategies to address this perspective. Some valid reasons for not tithing may include financial constraints, differing beliefs about tithing’s relevance, or concerns about the use of funds. By understanding these factors, churches can implement thoughtful approaches to create a more supportive environment for congregants and increase gift giving.
Individuals who are new to Christ might not be aware of the biblical concept of tithing, just like a new student needs to be taught and guided to learn what is right. It is essential not to assume that everyone understands the Bible’s teachings about stewardship. Instead, it must be taught and communicated effectively to promote a deeper understanding and practice of giving.
Money Is Tight
Many of us experience times when we have less than usual or feel like we have nothing left to give. During these moments, we can turn to 2 Corinthians 8:1-2, 7 for guidance and inspiration:
“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.”
This verse tells us how God’s grace can assist us through even the most difficult of times. Teach your congregation that God provides support when we might feel as if we don’t have enough to give. Another important verse is Proverbs 11:24-25:
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”
They Don’t Know Where Their Money Is Going
Curiosity about finances is common among many individuals. Some might hesitate to give if they are unsure where their money is allocated. Being transparent with church funds is essential, as it fosters comfort and trust in giving.
When congregational members have a clearer understanding of the church’s finances, they can identify specific needs and feel more assured that their contributions are purposefully directed rather than simply going into an unknown void.
They’re Unsure How to Give
The reason for not giving can be as simple as not knowing the available options. Newcomers to the church might notice the collection plate but may not be aware of other tithing methods. It’s essential to inform them about various giving options to ensure they know their choices.
Furthermore, avoid assuming that everyone understands church procedures automatically, even if they have attended church before. Providing explanations and guidance can help individuals feel more confident and informed about tithing practices. In turn, this will help increase gift giving.
They Fail to See the Importance
For some individuals, having a clear vision of how their money will be used is essential before they are willing to contribute. This applies even within the church context. To foster giving, ensure that members are well-informed about the impactful work of God being carried out within the ministry.
Share the initiatives aimed at helping the less fortunate and the support provided through counseling services. Additionally, inform them about the various programs benefiting children and the broader community. Transparency in showcasing the church’s endeavors will inspire greater confidence and engagement in giving.
Also, show congregants Luke 21:1-4 so they’ll understand the importance of a generous heart:
“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Understanding the Statistics on Church Gift Giving
Here are some interesting statistics regarding tithing and church donations:
Out of the approximately 230 million self-proclaimed Christians in the United States, slightly over 1 million individuals actually tithe. Surprisingly, this constitutes less than 1 percent of the Christian population.
While charitable giving, in general, has been on the rise, religious giving accounts for just one-third of all charitable donations, a decline from the 50 percent reported in the 1980s.
The majority of people who give to religious organizations are aged 65 and older, comprising 54 percent of donors.
On the other hand, individuals under the age of 40 are less likely to donate to the church, accounting for only 23 percent of contributors. Considering the importance of engaging the younger generation of churchgoers, it becomes crucial to ensure their active representation in the realm of giving.
How to Increase Church Gift Giving
All churches can take specific actions to increase gift giving. Consider the following approaches to witness a rise in tithing and donations.
1. Lead by Example
Giving starts from a personal standpoint. When you ensure you are giving according to your capacity, it becomes easier to share your transformative experiences with others. Embrace conversations about money — because transforming someone’s finances can profoundly impact their life. Speak from your own experiences, highlighting the positive outcomes, while also sharing valuable lessons from any challenges encountered along the way.
2. Provide Giving Alternatives
Giving has evolved beyond the traditional collection plate method. Embrace new ways of giving, such as digital giving technology — which offers online access, recurring donations, and secure mobile giving.
Consider text-to-give for added convenience during sermons or discussions on stewardship. Moreover, implementing giving kiosks can increase stewardship significantly, with kiosk donations averaging 25 percent higher than text-to-give.
By adopting these modern methods, churches can boost giving while dedicating less time to fundraising efforts.
3. Collect a Special Offering
During Christmas and Easter, a church-wide special offering is a powerful means to boost giving. Excitement grows as many contribute to a meaningful cause. To maximize impact, select a need that resonates with your congregation, whether it’s an international mission or a local initiative.
Set a realistic yet challenging goal that motivates people to participate without feeling discouraged. Utilize the previously mentioned giving methods for easy and transparent donations, allowing progress tracking. You should also start the campaign at least six weeks before the goal’s deadline to provide ample time for planning.
Emphasize that contributions can be made anytime up to the goal’s completion. Prepare a compelling presentation about the offering’s significance and the impact it will make. Assure donors that they will witness the results of their efforts, such as a video of a mission trip.
This engagement fosters a deeper connection to the cause and encourages greater giving.
4. Host a Fundraiser
Organizing a targeted fundraiser immediately after a service is an excellent strategy to attract a large number of attendees. With your congregation already present, there’s no requirement for an external event space. This post-service event can be enjoyable and celebratory, offering a fresh and exciting experience that ignites enthusiasm among participants.
These are just a few methods to increase gift giving and create opportunities for greater generosity among members and guests. Encourage your congregation to view giving as a joyful act, as 2 Corinthians 8:12-15 suggests:
“For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
Start Increasing Church Gift Giving Today
Increasing gift giving in your church requires a comprehensive approach rather than relying on a single step or tip. Each of these recommendations plays a crucial role in a larger strategy for success. The DonorWerx Framework incorporates all these steps and more to effectively boost donations for your ministry.
Schedule a Discovery Call with us now to explore how we can empower your church to excel in fundraising and giving endeavors.