Why You Need to Automate Giving
Automated giving is paving the way for churches to receive donations anytime from anywhere. Some churches have yet to make the leap from simple online giving to automated giving. Others have it set up, but they don’t encourage their congregation to use electronic giving avenues often enough. This means many churches are halfway to their goal of raising donations permanently, but just need to do the legwork.
It can take some time for your congregation to adopt new ways of giving. But once they do, many members never switch back to cash or checks. The convenience factor is a win-win for members and church administrators. In today’s digitally-focused world, there are many reasons to automate giving – many of which relate to the financial health and sustainability of your church.
Automation is ubiquitous.
Church leaders sometimes worry that their members will find digital or automated giving tedious – especially older generations who didn’t grow up with technology. However, automated giving is already a part of most people’s lives with 68% of bills being paid automatically. We live in an age where most people expect some level of automation in transactions, and some strongly prefer it. Automated giving is a set-it-and-forget-it strategy that supports donors in giving to their church without having to remember cash every Sunday.
Donors want privacy and security.
Another practical element of automated giving is its capacity to maintain privacy and safety. As a rule of thumb, many families consider it good etiquette to keep finances private. Whether a donor is making a big gift and doesn’t want to make a fuss, or a family has fallen on hard times and needs to reduce their typically generous tithe, automated giving provides the privacy many donors crave. It also eliminates the chances of personal information being lost or stolen in transit.
Churches are missing out on donations.
According to Nonprofit’s Source, 49% of donations are given using a credit card. Churches that accept electronic tithes report boosting donations by an average of 32%. When members miss a Sunday service, churches are missing out on their tithe. 2020 has been a devastating example of how cancelled services and events can dramatically disrupt donations. The National Congregations Study showed roughly a third of congregations had no savings in 2019. 20% streamed their services online and just 48% accepted online donations, which means many churches were unprepared when COVID erupted.
Big donors prefer online giving.
Families that earn more tend to give more to their church through the internet. Statistics by the USCCB showed 36% of Catholic families earning $100,000 or more gave money online. Among families that earned $35,000 or less, just 12% supported their church with online donations. This provides churches with a clear view of what income bracket is most likely to take advantage of electronic giving and set up recurring donations.
Unsurprisingly, USCCB data also revealed members who attend church weekly donated more to faith organizations overall. This means churches that install giving kiosks are offering their top donors a quick and easy method for giving on Sundays.
Automation saves church admins time.
There is no longer a good excuse to let your staff be tied up in manual tasks that can be done faster. Automated giving software streamlines the giving process from start to finish. Stored donor data can be retrieved for analysis anytime, giving all relevant staff access to vital information. Church administrators can spend their time more constructively, working to improve current programs and systems rather than tracking donations. Software empowers your donor base to log in, edit their preferences, update card details, and make one-time or recurring payments without staff intervention.
Software is more affordable than ever.
Just a few years ago, church giving software was seen as a luxury for only the wealthiest churches. Today, there are hundreds of affordable software options for small and mid-sized churches, along with more robust ones for large churches. Advances in software development have made many of these solutions customizable.
Automate Giving for a Stronger Community
In the wake of COVID, 1 in 5 churches are facing permanent shutdown. Faith organizations are experiencing firsthand how critical it is to have a network of support in trying times. Church leaders can’t afford to wait for this support structure to build itself. Instead, it must be a strategic and collaborative effort between church leaders, volunteers, and congregations as a whole.
In a perfect world, every one of your members would come to church and present their weekly tithe. But especially in 2020, organizations are learning that ideal circumstances are not always possible. In too many churches, this means the weight of the financial burden falls on a handful of committed donors. But by implementing automated giving into your church culture, you can inspire all members to give what they can regularly. This is how struggling churches tip the scales toward a community that gives automatically without being constantly reminded.
Need help finding the right online giving solution for your church size and budget? Donorwerx online coaching helps churches increase tithes by improving their communication strategy and church leadership. We work with churches to employ key performance metrics to reach new funding goals and track progress efficiently.