The traditional giving culture that has worked so effectively for churches since the 1800s is undergoing the same technology-driven disruption that has changed so many other parts of our lives.
Mobile phones and the Internet have changed the way we communicate, read and shop, and they’ve changed the way we give. With more people carrying smartphones and fewer carrying cash and checkbooks, churchgoers want more giving choices than just adding to the plate when it’s passed.
That’s why electronic giving is an important option for your entire congregation. Offering e-Giving to members so they can give when they can’t attend services is important, but active members who are at your church regularly also want the convenience of electronic giving.
Highest demand for e-Giving
In our survey of more than 1,000 U.S. churchgoers, active members expressed the highest demand for e-Giving. They sometimes can’t attend services because they’re participating in other areas of the church’s mission, but they still want to give and are asking for alternatives.
Members who prefer e-Giving the most attend two or more activities per week, participate in leadership or committee roles (70 percent), or have children involved in activities like Sunday school (67 percent), afterschool activities (76 percent) and in youth sports (80 percent).
That’s up to 80 percent of your most active members asking for easier ways to give. Are you listening?
It’s not just millennials – it’s everyone
Every age group wants to increase its use of online, digital and web-based giving. Asked for the top three ways they would prefer to give, regardless of the options their churches have to accept contributions, some age groups said they want some e-Giving options as much as 10 to 12 times more than they currently do:
• 38 percent of respondents age 66-72 said they would prefer to set up recurring electronic contributions on a credit card. Only 3 percent said they have the option at their church.
• 20 percent of respondents ages 45-54 would prefer to give through text. Only 2 percent said their churches provide this channel.
• 30 percent of respondents ages 55-65 would prefer to give through their smartphones. Only 7 percent have this option at their church.
• 37 percent of respondents ages 35-44 would prefer to give through a kiosk. Only 5 percent said their churches have a kiosk.
These findings and more from our survey suggest that electronic options can close the Giving Gap for a group that you may be overlooking — regular, generous attendees who like the convenience of e-Giving.