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Navigating the Changing Landscape of Church Giving

How technology will empower generosity in the years to come.

Navigating the Changing Landscape of Church Giving

How technology will empower generosity in the years to come.

For centuries, Christians have leaned on the promise that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. No matter the world’s shifting tides, the gospel remains the same. How that gospel message is proclaimed and heard, however, changes depending on cultural context. If the modern age of Christianity has taught us anything, it is that an unchanging Jesus can meet Christians right where they are.

One of the ways a local church can meet people where they are is by keeping up with evolving technologies, something that became apparent as congregations adapted during the pandemic. While some congregations still pass an offering plate down the pew on Sunday mornings or distribute labeled envelopes for parishioners’ checks or cash, giving electronically has revolutionized the tithing experience for giver and clergy alike.

As congregations seek to make disciples and bless their communities in the years to come, ministry leaders can empower their congregants to give with confidence and purpose–which starts by first understanding some of the major trends affecting giving.

Trend #1: Users Increasingly Expect Digital Giving Options

Just a few years ago, whether a church offered an app, live streamed its services, or even had a functional website was a bit of a toss-up. While the pandemic pushed congregations online en masse, it simply accelerated a shift toward the digital that was already taking place. In 2018, 40 percent of millennials were already donating via a website.

A study of 2,200 churches revealed that online giving solutions are by far the most-used feature in churches’ mobile apps. Users love the simplicity of digital giving, as well as the ways it can prompt both immediate and recurring gifts.

When pastor Danny Anderson returned to his Indiana church after a trip to Haiti, he invited his congregation to partner with the orphanages he had visited. He pitched a $50,000 campaign to his congregation on Sunday morning. Within 24 hours, Emmanuel Church raised $24,000 through their online giving portal and text giving. They proceeded to more than double their goal in just a few weeks, raising $113,000. The right digital tools enabled the church to communicate and meet a need in record time.

In addition to empowering spontaneous giving, digital giving options also encourage and increase planned giving. Celebration Church, which has 11 American locations and one in Zimbabwe, increased their recurring givers by six times when they switched from a complicated website interface to a streamlined digital giving option.

Churches that want to cultivate generosity in their congregations in the coming years will find simple, well-designed online giving options to be an invaluable asset to their ministries.

Trend #2: Great Software Plays a Vital Role in Maintaining Church Financial Health

From increased cybersecurity to greater gift completion, the right digital tools can play a key part in assessing and ensuring financial health in congregations. Pastors and ministry leaders do not need to become technology experts in order to navigate the next era, but they do need to know the right questions to ask of a digital giving provider. Digital giving software that includes security measures like payment card information certification, machine-learning fraud protection, and independent annual audits can help churches maintain financial health.

In addition to greater gift security and completion, technology can empower consistency of giving throughout the year. While many churches report a summer slump when it comes to tithing, the right digital giving software and messaging can stop that downward trajectory. For example, Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas, eliminated their typical seasonal dip in giving by regularly communicating with their congregants about text message giving options, which has increased their first-time givers, upped recurring donations, and helped the church maintain financial consistency throughout the year.

Asking the right questions about giving software can help church leaders determine how to best steward their church’s finances, reinforcing the congregation’s confidence and encouraging consistent giving.

Trend #3: Technology Empowers Church Leaders to Focus on Ministry

Pastors and ministers who are hesitant to implement new tech in their churches often cite the learning curve and the time it will take to maintain the software. Then there are glitches to consider, and the fact that many church leaders are already overwhelmed and overworked.

The right technology, though, reduces the burden many leaders experience when thinking about the breadth of their responsibilities. For example, set-and-forget live streaming technology like Resi can ensure that Sunday services run smoothly in the sanctuary and the living room.

Technology can also bridge the gap between the church and its donors’ desire to give through gift completion support. Instead of fielding calls from congregants whose credit cards won’t process, or losing out on donations altogether because the giver gave up, the right software can reduce time spent on giving challenges and increase donations received. Pushpay, the leading payments and engagement solutions provider for mission-driven organizations, recently introduced Everygift TM, which reduces failed payments and increases payment reliability. Internal research shows that Everygift’s combined features contributed to more than $213.5 million in additional church gifts in 2022.

As church leaders implement technology solutions that free their time, focus, and energy, they will find themselves better able to focus on their mission.

Face the Future with Confidence

Keeping up with the latest technology and trends can feel like an overwhelming prospect for church leaders. But it doesn’t have to be. Pushpay’s suite of church technology tools—including Everygift, Resi, and Text Giving and more—helps churches keep up with current trends and contributes to overall satisfaction with the giving experience. Learn more about Pushpay’s technology solutions by downloading their ebook designed to help church leaders find the right tools for their congregations.