In the realm of church donations, a gender disparity prevails. Considering the present social and cultural context regarding the treatment and backing of women within institutions, the approach your church adopts to bridge the gender giving gap could serve as a decisive factor in determining the longevity of your ministry for future generations.
Facts Around the Gender Giving Gap
First, let’s look at the facts related to the gender giving gap. This will give you a solid foundation to understand what you’re up against. After reading these, you’ll recognize just how serious the issue is:
- Women exercise control over nearly 70% of net worth in the United States, constituting a significant consumer segment. This phenomenon explains the prominent focus of numerous advertisements on women.
- Across various giving categories, women showcase greater generosity compared to men. Given the resources and opportunity, women consistently surpass men in their philanthropic contributions.
- Women exhibit heightened receptivity towards “impact giving,” a pivotal shift in charitable contributions. This transformation is shaping how non-profit organizations secure a larger proportion of annual charitable funds, often at the expense of churches.
- With the rise of incomes among women in various industries, an escalating proportion of them are inclined to contribute to charitable causes, in contrast to their male counterparts.
- Women tend to allocate their giving toward secular causes more frequently than men. Consequently, when entities fail to address issues like the harassment of women, female donors readily redirect their contributions to alternative avenues.
When you combine these facts with the prevailing condition of church donations in the United States, a possible reckoning looms for ministries that persist with the status quo. It’s foreseeable that churches unwilling to fully integrate women into all facets of leadership and guidance could witness a decline in giving, leading to a detachment of financial support from such institutions.
Approaching the Gender Giving Gap
Now that you know about the gender giving gap, exactly how can you combat it? To be clear, it’s not something that happens overnight. However, the following strategies will put you on the right path to overcoming this gap:
- When crafting giving appeals, enlist a woman to formulate the language and possibly even deliver the appeal, especially if presented before an audience. Women possess an acumen for detecting and distinguishing subtleties in both writing and speaking that cater to varied audiences.
- Unless the giving appeal is directly targeted at men, incline towards utilizing feminine language that centers on impact and empathy.
- If the responsibilities of women and men on your leadership teams are parallel, maintain consistency in titles. Refrain from designating a man as “Pastor” while referring to a woman as a “Director.”
- Men are more responsive to the concept of “Giving to God,” while women are more receptive to the appeal to contribute toward missions and making an impact. Clearly elucidate and depict the transformative influence that giving will yield.
- Formulate transparent and well-defined policies detailing the church’s response in cases of staff-related accusations and disclosures of sexual harassment. By preemptively addressing these issues, churches can avoid being caught off-guard, as evidenced by recent controversies such as the Willow Creek Community Church incident.
- Your stance on the role of women in leadership should be unequivocal. With the advent of websites that allow churchgoers to assess and rank churches based on their clarity concerning social issues, including women in leadership, it’s imperative to establish a clear and unambiguous position. This burgeoning platform already boasts submissions from over 1,400+ churches, underlining its relevance.
Change Is Happening
For centuries, the dominance of men in leading the ministry has remained unchallenged. Traditionally, the church, like many institutions, has adhered to a patriarchal structure for generations. However, this paradigm is evolving. Presently, an increasing number of women are assuming prominent roles in church leadership.
Ministries that fail to acknowledge and welcome this change might find themselves lagging behind, as financial support is likely to align with this progress. In light of this, let us emulate the example set by Jesus and elevate the stature of women. Jesus defied numerous societal norms to integrate women into His ministry. Noteworthy women like Joanna contributed to funding Jesus’ ministry. Some of Jesus’ closest disciples were also women, a rarity for a Jewish rabbi.
The women disciples did not forsake Him during His crucifixion. Significantly, it was to women that Jesus initially revealed His resurrected self. Ultimately, after more than two millennia, women are finally attaining the rightful positions they deserve within the church. May God enrich the ministries of churches that likewise embrace and empower these women!
Let DonorWerx Help Your Ministry
While it might initially appear to be solely a matter of gender, the underlying challenge of increasing giving centers on comprehending your donors. A solitary shift in ideology or emphasis won’t independently resolve giving issues within your ministry. This is precisely where DonorWerx can step in to assist.
Schedule a Discovery Call with us today to explore how you can enhance donor engagement, effectively bridging the gender giving gap, and ultimately elevate the success of your church. The call is free, and you’ll walk away with actionable steps to increase giving in your ministry immediately.
* Giving data from Insidephilanthropy.com & Lilly Family School of Philanthropy: Indiana University–Purdue