Answers to your two most asked giving questions
Many church leaders report giving declines due to coronavirus. The mix of not meeting together on top of household financial strains have real effects on church budgets and mission work. Giving can be a difficult topic, even in good times. It’s no surprise that these questions arise time and time again.
Churches need funds, and not just for salaries. Missions work and serving the community often requires funding. Donated supplies need to be transported by the church van that needs gas and maintenance. Ministering to children over daily video conferences require a/v equipment, internet access, and sometimes materials or other supplies. Providing families with Easter boxes involves purchases egg dying kits. The funds help to do the things that reach and encourage hearts.
To help your church stay on mission and encourage cheerful giving, we’re addressing the two most common questions from church leaders. And how to turn around the giving decline many are seeing.
Our church doesn’t do online giving because of the transaction fees issue. How can we overcome this issue to start collecting online?
First, it’s important to remember that not being in the church provides a hurdle for people to give. Is your giving affected during the summer months? During bad weather? People tend to not give when they are not there, and often forget to “make it up.”
Second, if the church’s giving is negatively impacted financially during this time, what ministries are going to have to be curtailed to make up for it? Will people’s hours need to be cut back? Staff let go? We don’t know how long this could last, and those are very tangible considerations. Our communities need us now more than ever, and for us to give generously, it helps a whole lot to have financial stability through it.
Finally, 97% of something is better than 100% of nothing. And that 3% can be a tax write off. Some service providers, such as Tithe.ly, give donors the option to cover the transaction fees.
Pro Tip: Fees are not the only thing to consider. There’s also the ability for recurring giving, integration with ChMS, etc. Check out this very helpful tool to compare various providers based on your church’s giving amounts and needs.
What are some creative ways to encourage people to keep giving?
Ultimately, it’s about inspiring cheerful giving by answering the question “WHY.”
Church leaders, a reminder of the need to be sensitive that giving is down not just because people aren’t meeting in person, but also because of the significant impact on household finances as well. Layoffs, furloughs, reduced hours and more have become a reality for many. Asking to give without context falls flat.
When you do talk about giving, tell stories about how your church is making an impact and being generous in these times. People don’t give to the church, they give through the church. As church communicators and leaders, we all need to lean into inspiring them and assuring them that they can trust us to multiply their impact.
Yes, giving is a spiritual practice and an act of obedience, trust, and worship. However, you compel giving when you show you are a worthy cause.
How your church can inspire cheerful giving in THREE steps – and turn around giving declines
TELL your story. Church leaders know where the church body is in action. Capture those moments with a quick photo or video. How did this act of service help people? The impact behind the giving encourages your church to keep being the church.
PRACTICE generosity as an organization. Even with cut budgets, your church can still share time and resources generously. For example, you can host a food or supply drive for a local organization. Reach out to church members and recent online visitors individually to check in on them. If you have a/v resources, can you welcome other churches without equipment to record services to use yours so they can reach their church families? If you still aren’t sure, pray for opportunities to serve and reach out to local community leaders to find out what needs exist where you can have an impact.
THANK and intentionally acknowledge people (in the general sense) that are giving digitally. What gets rewarded, gets repeated. On social media, in videos, in email – thank them for their generosity and their faithfulness.
This naturally leads back to telling your story. Long after this season is over, the ability to tell your story and to help people understand the WHY of your church aids in the collective mission to spread the gospel.
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