We don’t generally make it a habit to feature content produced by our competitors here on The Mogiv Minute. But, every now and then, one of them will produce something so vital and so valuable that we feel compelled to set aside our professional rivalries and share it with you.
Such is the case with Vanco’s recently completed “Churchgoer Giving Study.” This survey of over 1,000 U.S. churchgoers reveals some tough to ignore findings about when, where, and how churchgoers in America would like to give.
Don’t want to sign up for another email list? We get it. Below are 5 key takeaways from the study.
60% of American Churchgoers prefer electronic giving.
Think online giving is only a “young man’s game?” Think again! 60% of all churchgoers say that they would rather be giving online. Yes, the preference for digital giving spikes to 79% with givers 24 – 34, but it also hovers near 50% for givers over the age 45. Long story short: no matter the median age of your congregation, you’ve got some online givers out there!
There is a gap between the way churchgoers would like to give and the way their churches allow them to give.
While 60% said they would prefer to give online, only 25% of respondents reported that their church actually offered an electronic giving option. This gap becomes even more significant with mobile giving. 29% of respondents said they would take advantage of text giving if it was provided, but only 7% of them attend churches where text giving is an option. A 4 to 1 difference!
(Side Note: With recent studies reporting that close to 50% of American churches offer online giving of some sort, the “giving gap” uncovered by the survey could be blamed on poor communication as well as poor technology. Some of these respondents may very well attend churches that DO offer online giving. They just don’t know about it. No less concerning of a trend, but worth noting all the same.)
Your most engaged members have a strong preference for electronic giving.
The highest demand for e-Giving options comes from people who participate in at least two or more church groups or activities. 70% of members who serve on leadership committees prefer giving online. Church members with children involved in youth sports or after school activities prefer online giving at a rate of nearly 4 to 1. This indicates that sporadic attenders and frequent travelers are NOT the only members who will find value in online giving. People who are there every week will appreciate the convenience as well.
Emotional motivators play a significant role in giving.
When asked to rank the reasons why they give to their church, respondents frequently ranked emotional sentiments as their strongest motivators. Statements like: “I enjoy helping my church,” “It’s the right thing to do,” “The Bible teaches us to help others” were affirmed by over 74% of those surveyed. Churches would do well to remember this when communicating about generosity. Giving is not a simple monetary transaction. It’s an emotional response and an act of worship.
Despite a preference for online giving, churchgoers still want to feel actively involved in the act of giving.
When asked what negative associations they had with electronic giving, the #1 response (with 43% of respondents) was that they enjoyed the feeling of giving when the plate was being passed. This drives home the importance of tangible signs of giving to many of your givers. Even if they are giving online, being able to participate in the Sunday Morning offering is still a priority for many Christians. This is not a reason to avoid pursuing digital giving options, but it is certainly something for your church to consider when you are incorporating additional channels for generosity.
Interested in reading the full report? Click here to download.