Do your members give because it’s simply what is expected of them? Do they give out of guilt? Or do they give because they are truly generous and want to give whatever they can for the sake of the church? Those questions will get you started on the road to learning how to encourage your donors to give more. DO YOUR MEMBERS DONATE TO MINISTRIES AND MISSIONS? Tracking and measuring this will give you an idea of how much money is donated and distributed to needs outside of the church. If your members only donate to cover the bare necessities of the church and nothing more, you may have a problem. DO THE DONATIONS YOU GET MATCH UP WITH YOUR OVERALL ATTENDANCE? Set out how much you expect per adult per week, and then calculate the total you should be getting each week based on your average weekly attendance. Based on a giving analysis, you could count on about $20 per head per week (this is a rough average, and is definitely dependent on zip code as well—certain areas will have lower or higher averages). If your attendance grows, yet your donations remain the same, that may mean that your new members don’t quite comprehend the importance of giving. A report by The Chronicle of Philanthropy actually revealed that middle-class Americans give a much larger portion of their income to churches/charities than the wealthy do. It states that households earning $50,000-$75,000 give an average of 7.6%, compared with an average of 4.2% for people who make $100,000 or more. ARE YOU LISTENING TO AND MEETING THE NEEDS OF YOUR CONGREGATION? Are your members conscientious about giving to the church? Do they have opinions on where the money is going and the way the church is managed? Make sure that you involve your members and listen to their input, ideas and feedback –the more that you take their thoughts and needs into consideration, the more generous your members will be. Please reach out to Shelby Systems for more information about assessing the reasons behind your members’ donations. Once you’ve asked yourself those questions, you should think about taking these next steps: 1) TEACH YOUR MEMBERS ABOUT GIVING. Communicate with your members about donating and how the church operates, and how much it needs help. Some ways to do that are by speaking to your members about how donating to your church can be a way to worship, by beginning stewardship campaigns, making more giving opportunities available to your members, speaking about giving in talks and sermons, and having meetings for your members where you can speak with them about the church and its finances. 2) MAKE THE DONATION PROCESS EASY FOR YOUR MEMBERS. When donating becomes a hassle, members are less likely to give, even if they are the most generous people in the world. Having tools that enable your members to donate online, set up recurring donations, and give via mobile device are just a few good ways to make donating easy for your members. Shelby offers several church management software tools to streamline the donation process. 3) ILLUSTRATE THE EFFECTS OF GIVING Essentially, showing your members the true effects of being generous by having fundraisers, hosting events, and showing people what the church gives money to will encourage your members to donate more. They’ll be willing to put more money towards something that they can witness firsthand is worthwhile. Source: Church Tech Today Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how, contact one of our Ministry Consultants today. And don’t forget to ask about our special Digital Giving Package!