If you think about it, most churches value tradition. In other words, when it comes to church, most people like things to stay just the way they are. If you need proof, just try sitting in someone else's spot (haha). Other weekly traditions in church include the order of the worship service, the type of worship music played, the role of a pastor, and the church location. If any of these things are in jeopardy of changing, there is guaranteed to be some backlash. But in order to keep up with modern times and church demographics, there are times that change simply can't be avoided.
Giving is one of these areas. For years, churchgoers have been content with writing a check or dropping cash in the offering plate. As technology changes, however, the church needs to include other options. This is one reason a lot of churches are making the switch to online giving. If you don't think you need to jump on this bandwagon, think again. You might be surprised to know just how much impact online giving has.
Here are some statistics that will reveal how much influence online giving can have on your tithes, offerings, and church growth.
We Live In a Society that Likes Being Online
In case you haven't noticed, Americans spend a lot of time online, especially if they have a cell phone. This is evidenced by the following:
- On average, cell phone users check their phone 110 times a day
- Consumers in the United States spend 5 hours a day on their mobile devices
- Consumers in the United States are spending more time using apps on their mobile device than they are watching television
- 55% of Bible users search for Biblical content online and 43% use a Bible app on their phone
- The average person spends almost two hours a day on social media, especially YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat
- When it comes to spending money online, 8 in 10 Americans consider themselves online shoppers
- Because of the increasing numbers of online shoppers, fewer people are carrying cash and most of them carry less than $50 when they do have it
These numbers will be sure to increase in the upcoming years. In fact, by 2019, the estimated number of digital shoppers is expected to be 224 million in the United States. These statistics show that it only makes sense that giving will become more and more electronic.
Online Giving Statistics
In a society that spends so much time online, it makes sense that people want to give online as well. To prove this point, here are some of the most recent online giving statistics:
- When it comes to church giving, 49% of all transactions are made with a card
- 60% of those who attend church are willing to give digitally
- Overall donations increase by 32% when churches accept tithing online
- Donors between the ages of 40 and 59 years old are the most likely to give online
- When donors receive a letter in the mail asking for a donation, 51% go online to make their contribution
- According to Blackbaud's fifth annual Charitable Giving Report, from 2015 to 2016 faith-based giving has grown by 0.7% overall and online giving to faith-based organizations grew by a whopping year-over-year 8.8%
- 59% of donors that are 66 years and older have given online
- According to the most recent statistics, 1 in 5 donors has given by using their tablet or smartphone
- When it comes to philanthropic growth, all sources of giving are projected to increase contributions in 2018
- While it's true that Sunday is a very popular day for giving, 67% of giving happens Monday through Saturday
When you take all these online giving statistics into consideration, doesn't it make sense to provide a way for those in your church to give online? For some people who don't have any way of giving online, it might either cause them immense frustration or cause them to not give at all. You certainly don’t want your church members to become frustrated, and you certainly want them to give!
So when it comes to giving, not only should you make online giving an option, you should make the process as simple and convenient as possible.
The good news is, there are many online giving platforms that make online giving a piece of cake.
What to Look for In an Online Giving Platform
- Flexibility - your member should be allowed to give on any platform and with a variety of payment options
- Great customer service - a dedicated support team is a must-have, as well as after-hours emergency access
- High security - look for options that are Level 1 PCI compliant and secure
- Reporting - a dashboard that displays reports and shows a real-time transaction log will come in handy
- Beware of setup fees - while monthly fees and processing fees are normal, you should avoid platforms that charge a setup fee
One of the greatest advantages of having an online giving platform is that you can enable church members to set up recurring giving, which makes giving easy and convenient. The average recurring donor generally gives 42% more in one year than those who give just once a year. When searching for an online giving platform, you will also want to make sure that people are able to text-to-give and that it's mobile friendly.