Generosity Labs Podcast // Fascinating Tithing Statistics

For today’s episode of the Generosity Labs Podcast, Kenny Jahng shares tithing stats within America from an article that he ran across. He talks about tithing and the data that they have from self-surveys regarding tithing. Kenny also talks about the church messaging, marketing and strategy and how it could be better with a few small changes.

Link to article referenced: https://healthresearchfunding.org/21-tithing-statistics/

Don’t miss The Generosity Labs Podcasts. Hit the Subscribe button now! We’re also in iTunes, Stitcher and Anchor.

TRANSCRIPT

Hey there, Kenny Jahng here from Generosity Labs. Find out more details about generosity and giving resources for the church at our website, www.generositylabs.org.

And we are here with another episode of the podcast today. I just want to jump online and I found this interesting article that came across my desk, 21 fascinating tithing statistics and I just wanted to share a couple of them with you, but actually now that I think about it, most of them don’t even matter. There’s a whole great article. What is tithing? Tithing is defined for those people who don’t go to church, you know, they think it’s 10 percent today, that conversation and that definition has been loosened up. There’s Biblical support for it, all this kind of stuff. But when it comes down to it, there’s a couple of things. One, everyone thinks that you need to increase the giving by bringing more people into the church. And you look at the number one type of statistic that they listed here, only three to five percent of Americans who give to their local church do so through regular tithing.

That is kind of crazy when you actually survey people, obviously self reported tithing numbers go up. Number six, when surveyed, 17% of Americans state that they regularly tithe. So 17% say that they tithe regularly, only three to five percent give regular tithing to their church and they’re not even sure what they mean by tithing. They’re just saying regular giving to the church. And so that is kind of interesting. Obviously, you know, the average donations who attended us Protestant churches about $17 a week, which I think is kind of fascinating, that’s really tiny, right? Like you would think that it will be much higher than that, but the average person, if they’re only giving, $17 a week and if you assume that they go every single week, which we know is not the case, the average church goer is only going every other week, every three weeks, every four weeks.

But if they were there every single week, that would only mean $884 per person per year. And we know that’s not the case. And so, that’s really, really concerned some people. Right here at number 13, 17% of American families have reduced the amount that they give to the local church in some way. 7% have dropped regular giving by 20 percent or more. 20% or more. So one of these things that I think is really interesting is that I think that you have the emphasis on the wrong thing, that you have people sitting in your pews and literally the majority of them are not giving regularly. The majority of them are not tithing, even the ones that are giving regular or giving less. And if you listen to our last episode there are some questions that Dan Reiland from 12Stone church actually posted that I would challenge people to do a challenge, sit in the pews the Sunday and try to say yes for every single one of the top responses that people gave for when they give to a cause.

And I would say for the majority of churches, they are not doing a good job at all. In fact, they’re failing to have those answers say yes, yes, yes by anybody who attends the church. And for the most part it’s an easy fix in terms of your messaging, your marketing, and also some strategic, I guess a change in how you’re actually doing your ministry that doesn’t need to have huge overhauls in what you do in terms of your operations, your workflows, your ministries, your causes, all the things, the activities that you’re planning. But if you can tweak them and really think about it and reverse engineer to figure out how someone at your church is going to answer those questions with a yes instead of a no, then you’re on your way to becoming a healthy financial church. There is good news. Number 14 says, in total, about 10 million people actually do donate as tithers to the church and that those 10 million give about $50,000,000,000 annually to the Church and to other nonprofit causes, to the Church and nonprofit causes.

That means you have the ability to influence them and prioritize the church as one of their giving partners. Now 77% of those who people who did give significantly 11 to 20 percent of their income, we’re far more than the baseline of 10%, right? Seventy seven percent of time gave more than they needed to, and there’s a reason why. If you look at those churches in those communities, those leaders, they’re casting vision. They’re making the mission very concrete. They’re allowing people to see the overwhelming sense of purpose in that church every single time they come to church. And so 97% of Christians who do tithe make it their top financial priority, give to the local church. That I think is the fundamental question. How do you take the people that are already in your church, the people that are already giving and up the involvement and increase the commitment and the passion they have for the transformational work that you’re doing in ministry?

Now, there is something to be said about good habits being started from when you’re young. The number 18 says people are more likely to practice tithing when they begin the practice in their teens or early 20s and people tried to regulate typically is less debt than other demographics. This is why a financial stewardship, a debt class Dave Ramsey type of program in your church is something that probably is going to help individuals first, but then the halo effect is that you will receive the benefits as a church, as a ministry, as a community, as you get people out of debt and into a stronger financial position. So, this is one of those things that if you look at this article that there is some really dire statistics here that paint a gloomy picture, but at the same time there’s an interesting trends and interesting facts that Americans are actually giving.

They’re giving their wealth away to good causes are giving their wealth away to from family to family here. One trillion to 3 trillion in wealth will change hands every year within the Christian community, from family to family. A total income of the United States is 5.22 trillion annually, nearly half of the world’s total Christian income. That is amazing. Nearly half of the world’s total Christian income is here, right in the United States. And only three point three to five percent of those Americans who give to the local church do it regularly. So what do we need to do to change the mentality of giving regular financial support and how do we give more of it? There’s, those are the questions you need to start to reverse engineer and start to understand. It’s not about trying to figure out how to bring more people into church through church growth to get more giving families.

It’s really about what do you have in your community now that they’re just making proactive decisions, not to prioritize your church budget over other nonprofit and causes that they’re giving to each year. Now, again, number seven for Christian families making less than 20 percent a year. Eight percent of them gave at least 10% or more. And for families making a minimum of $75,000 more, the figure drops to just 1%. They’re just giving one percent in terms of their tithing to the church. So, there’s a lot to be done, but there’s a lot of opportunity so that if your church is struggling, if your church is one of the 86%, 84%, according to the rocket survey that was done several years ago, 84% of churches are at or below their budget. That means they don’t have any margin for any emergencies.

They don’t have any margin for incremental outreach or spur of the moment ad hoc things they are at or below budget. Only 16% of churches are making their budget or have margin that are raising more money than they spend. And so you got to think of it as, “Hey, there is the answer. It’s right in front of you. It is your community.” But the reason, there’s many reasons why they’re choosing not to give or prioritize your ministry in terms of their giving profile. So I just want to leave that open ended a question with a lot of these stats for this article. Hopefully that’s a conversation starter. I would love for you to comment on the blog or any way that you or anywhere that you were actually consuming this podcast, Youtube, etc. Jump into the comments, share your thoughts and ideas, and let’s start the conversation because this is a critical one as we keep on moving forward to share resources, share best practices on how to help get your church fully funded for your mission and the vision that you have for the ministry in your community.

I’m Kenny Jahng. Thank you for listening to today’s episode, generosity labs podcast. Remember generosity starts with you.

HIGHLIGHTS:

01:46 One, everyone thinks that you need to increase the giving by bringing more people into the church. And you look at the number one type of statistic that they listed here, only three to five percent of Americans who give to their local church do so through regular tithing.

02:13 Number six, when surveyed, 17% of Americans state that they regularly tithe. So 17% say that they tithe regularly, only three to five percent give regular tithing to their church and they’re not even sure what they mean by tithing. They’re just saying regular giving to the church.

03:28 number 13, 17% of American families have reduced the amount that they give to the local church in some way. 7% have dropped regular giving by 20 percent or more.

05:23 Number 14 says, in total, about 10 million people actually do donate as tithers to the church and that those 10 million give about $50,000,000,000 annually to the Church and to other nonprofit causes, to the Church and nonprofit causes

09:15 number seven for Christian families making less than 20 percent a year. Eight percent of them gave at least 10% or more. And for families making a minimum of $75,000 more, the figure drops to just 1%. They’re just giving one percent in terms of their tithing to the church.

Generosity Labs Podcast // 3 Data Points To Persuade You To Adopt Digital Giving in 2019

Tune in to today’s quick episode of Generosity Labs with Kenny Jahng. Kenny discusses an article he found on REACHRIGHT that was 37 statistics that you need to know for 2019. Kenny focuses on three of those points related to tithing through digital giving to share his opinions on this topic.

Don’t miss The Generosity Labs Podcasts. Hit the Subscribe button now! We’re also in iTunes, Stitcher and Anchor.


TRANSCRIPTION:

Hey friends, this is Kenny Jahng and we are back again with another quick episode. I was surfing the web and came across this article on REACHRIGHT, 37 statistics that you need to know for 2019. 37 church statistics and it’s a really interesting round up of all different types of church that’s. And there’s a couple, three of them that I want to call out a number nine, they talk about small portion of tithers and I think it was really important to take note. They say only 10 to 25 percent of church members are tithing regularly. What does that mean? That means that the majority of people, 75 percent or more, you have an opportunity to really cultivate the discipline of tithing. This is something that I think you need to look at as a very positive opportunity in front of you. Number 10, outline something else that’s even better. Online tithing of those options boost the activity of tithing. Right? So a nonprofit source studies says that offering online tithing options, increased timing by 32%.

What does that mean? It means that the majority of people are not tithing right now that are coming to your church and one of the ways to increase them, the tithing activity is to actually just offer online tithing options. Digital giving is something that your church really needs to invest in and make as easy as possible. And, you will be rewarded for that. Basically, it’s well worth investing in online giving solutions. The next set of stats that is pointed out as in point number 15 in this article, and it basically is a little bit mind blowing, I think to a lot of people when you think about it. If you think about when people give to the church, you would think that most of the given activity happens on Sunday morning when the offering plate is passed. There’s a study here that says the single biggest day well of giving is actually not on Sunday. 67 percent of church donations happen throughout the rest of the week, Monday through Saturday.

It’s not actually on Sunday. When online digital giving options are present. That means people prefer to support and give to your church when it’s most convenient to them. And it’s not Sunday morning. It’s not by check, it’s not when the offering plate comes around. And so, it’s quite interesting to see this statistic in hard cold numbers and hopefully that will wake you up and your team to say we need to figure out how to make it as easy as possible for people to give and support the cause that they love and have affinity for. And that’s our church community. Another really interesting stat here that really supports the idea that you have to look outside of that offering plate on the one hour during Sunday morning is that 30% of the donations actually come in between the time periods of 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM.

Let me say that again. Thirty percent of donations to the church when you offer online giving is one of the options comes through 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM. People are giving online on the app mobile digital text giving. They’re doing the activity of supporting the church financially, not during the day, not on Sunday morning, but a significant portion of the people are actually rather do it in the evening or throughout the night or early in the morning. And so this really says, “hey, you need to embrace digital giving, you need to embrace online giving, you need to embrace text giving”. All of it is a must, because if you want people to give more and you want people to tithe more, these are three just sets of stats that I think you need to look at to start to really reconsider your giving and financial stewardship approach to making sure that your people have the options available to them, but also that your ministries are fully funded and supported so they can do what you’re planning to do throughout the rest of the year.

So that’s a quick roundup of a couple of stats from this great article. 37 church statistics need to know in 2019. I’d love to know your response and if you have any Aha moments listening to these statistics, it’s something that we need to really think about when we make data driven decisions usually gives us much better confidence. In terms of leaning into things that are new and uncomfortable and digital giving, mobile giving. That might be something that’s not something that you guys have embraced to dates. But we’ve turned the corner, we’ve turned the page into 2019 and here at Generosity Labs, we want to help you make those decisions and make those next steps into helping your congregation give in a way that lets your ministry flourish for the purpose of outreach, for the purpose of your community and for the purposes of exalting God and Jesus what He has in store for your community and the people that you are influencing throughout your zip code. So, my name is Kenny Jahng. This is the Generosity Labs update on the podcast. We would love for you to drop a comment on our blog. You could go to generositylabs.org or a fall on the podcast and let us know what you want to hear about in terms of helping you flourish your digital giving and a culture of generosity across your ecosystem Thanks listening, catching you next time, have a Generosity Labs.

HIGHLIGHTS:

01:21 number nine, they talk about small portion of tithers and I think it was really important to take note. They say only 10 to 25 percent of church members are tithing regularly. What does that mean? That means that the majority of people, 75 percent or more, you have an opportunity to really cultivate the discipline of tithing.

01:49 Number 10, outline something else that’s even better. Online tithing of those options boost the activity of tithing. Right? So a nonprofit source studies says that offering online tithing options, increased timing by 32%.

What does that mean? It means that the majority of people are not tithing right now that are coming to your church and one of the ways to increase them, the tithing activity is to actually just offer online tithing options.

03:07 number 15 in this article, and it basically is a little bit mind blowing, I think to a lot of people when you think about it. If you think about when people give to the church, you would think that most of the given activity happens on Sunday morning when the offering plate is passed. There’s a study here that says the single biggest day well of giving is actually not on Sunday. 67 percent of church donations happen throughout the rest of the week, Monday through Saturday.

03:42 And that’s our church community. Another really interesting stat here that really supports the idea that you have to look outside of that offering plate on the one hour during Sunday morning is that 30% of the donations actually come in between the time periods of 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM.

GENEROSITY SPOTLIGHT: Nikki Flaming from MortarStone

As a generosity advocate, Niki Flaming aims to build a platform that provides unique data insights to help anyone better connect with givers. We caught up with her to find out more about this discipleship-driven, stewardship management platform, Mortarstone.

How do you define generosity?
Generosity is the virtue of not being tied down by concerns about one’s possessions. Generosity leads to charity and forgiveness.

The landscape of generosity is changing. What is one thing you’ve adjusted in your leadership or teaching when it comes to talking about generosity with your tribe?
Generosity is the stewarding of a person’s heart. We teach stewardship through the lens of generosity, in that all we have is God’s and we should steward our resources for His purpose.

What is one thing that’s working right now that you have seen about implementing digital giving tools and methods in a church community?
Push notifications, text-to-give, and online recurring payments.

To find out more about Niki Flaming and MortarStone, visit their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

Generosity Labs Podcast // What do narcissists have to do with #GivingTuesday?

Generosity Labs Podcast // What do narcissists have to do with #GivingTuesday?

Giving Tuesday is coming.

 

What are some preparations you’re doing?

 

For today’s episode, Kenny Jahng talks about an interesting article from Market Watch entitled, How to get narcissists to give money to charity.

 

Listen as Kenny shares his two cents on taking advantage of Giving Tuesday plus on getting Narcissists to give on this special day.

 

Check out the video below!

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Hey friends, this is Kenny Jahng with Generosity Labs and we are on our countdown to Giving Tuesday which is November 28, 2018. For those of you who just joined us and don’t know what giving Tuesdays we have Thanksgiving and then the Friday afterwards is a coma day before, better known as actually Black Friday, right? So when you wake up from your food coma and you’d go out at 5:00 AM or 4:00 AM or now 2:00 AM or even the day before to get those Black Friday deals and then you have the weekend and then you go back to work on Monday and you actually don’t do work because it’s Cyber Monday. That’s when all the deals happen online. And you’re going to continue your Black Friday shopping craze for Christmas online at work. And now the Tuesday after Cyber Monday has been designated as Giving Tuesday.

 

So if you have any money left over, nonprofits around the world are banding together using this as a day to mark for generosity and giving to causes. And this is the time for your organization, whether it be a nonprofit cause driven or Christian organization like a Church to jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of Giving Tuesday. One of the things that we always say is that Giving Tuesday does not cannibalize your end of year giving campaign, but rather should be looked at as something to kick it off. Use it as an excuse to talk about giving in November as you go into the final month of the year. And one of the things that we talk about Generosity Labs is psychology as well as positioning and messaging on how to get people to give to your cause. Today, there’s an interesting article in Market Watch that has come up and I just wanted to share with you, it’s called How to get narcissists to give money to charity, which is really interesting.

 

Narcissist, they’re not known for their empathy, but this trait can be exploited for good. And so it was a quick and interesting article. Just wanted to share with you some of the learnings that they talked about based on a study that was held with different personalities and the relationships with charities. So, one of the most important things. This is a very short article. They do note that charitable giving has been on the rise. We’re seeing a record giving levels for nonprofits. In fact, there was a 3.9 percent increase between 2015, 2016. I know there was an increase in Giving Tuesday giving between 2016 and 2017. And there’s definitely going to be one this year between 2017 and 2018. Because, this is just something that we need to think about in terms of all communications and messaging for donor development.

 

How do we take advantage of the increased generosity of Americans if you’re in our country? So, back to the title of this is talking specifically about narcissists. That profile or persona of community members in your ecosystem, they too can be tapped in terms of becoming a financial supporter. And one of the most important paragraphs here, and I’ll read it out loud, it’s charitable giving, is about having empathy, recognizing and responding to the needs and emotions of other people according to the co author of this study and an associate professor of marketing. So what our room says is, this is the most important part, narcissists have difficulty with that by having empathy for other people so they’re not going to respond to those appeals that require the receiver, the audience member of the target audience to display empathy in order to open up their checkbooks.

 

Narcissists have a difficulty with that. So instead, asking them to imagine themselves as the person in need can help elicit a response in terms of giving. So, this is a very important thing. Narcissists have difficulty with that empathy characteristics. So asking them to imagine themselves as the person in need, can help elicit genuine concern and thus, donations. Now, this is a study by these two professors, in terms of consumer psychology behavior at the University of Cologne. They had over 1,300 people, you know, in that study, in looking at their responses to different charitable appeals. So this is just something that I want to remind you when you have a diversity of call to actions and different messaging that targets sub audiences, right? We talked about the SWAT framework of targeting, define your sub audience, figure out the win is for them. Then you can talk about different actions or activities to involve them in and the specific tactic or technology in order to elicit a call to action.

 

These narcissists that are a subgroup of your community can be appealed to in a way that puts them at the center of the cause, the need, and that’s when that will trigger some genuine concern on their part and then open up their pockets. So, interesting article on Market Watch, How to get narcissists to give money on charity. Would love your thoughts, leave some comments and some questions. In the meantime, check out GenerosityLabs.org. Again, send us your questions. We’re going to do a roundup Q and A episode really soon. Would love to have your question in the pile of questions that we go through, just submit it using the contact form at GenerosityLabs.org. I’m Kenny Jahng. We will continue this march to do Giving Tuesday on November 28th with more tips, more questions, and answers, more resources as we get closer to that date. Remember, generosity begins with you.

 

Generosity Labs Podcast // State of the Plate for Church Giving 2018

Generosity Labs Podcast // State of the Plate for Church Giving 2018

Did you know that 41% of regular church attendees give to church consistently?

That’s less than half of your congregation. Alarming isn’t it?

Listen as Kenny Jahng discusses the State of the Plate of generosity amongst churches far and wide and how church leaders can bring solution to your weekly giving.

Check out the video below.

TRANSCRIPTION

Hi there, this is Kenny Jahng with the Generosity Labs Podcast. Thank you so much for joining us today. One of the things that we have been getting questions about recently around here is the actual demand or the question really is do people really want to give outside of the offering envelope in terms of cash or cheque. Because one of the biggest rants that I’ve been having around here, Generosity Labs is that churches are stuck in the Stone Age, don’t understand that envelopes and cash are just not relevant anymore to most of the peoples that walk in their doors. And so I just want to refer back to an important,  I guess landmark industry report that comes out on a periodic basis. It is the State of the Plate. And today I wanted to go through Brian Kluth’s work there, where they surveyed almost 1600 pastors, church leaders and lead people across the country. 1,596 people to be exact. And the survey asked these pastors, leaders and lay people’s from churches of all sizes and the types of churches varied as well. And one of the things that, the whole point of the report is to report on their church giving patterns and practices and I think we can learn a lot from just looking at some of the data that has come out of the State of the Plate report. I think the next one is going to be administered too. The latest report that we have is coming out at the end of 2016, but I think if you wanted to name this, it’s really the reality, the church giving is the name of the theme or the takeaway, right? It’s basically a way to Paul, to the church. Here’s a infographic that we produced in cooperation with a title State of the Plate.

 

And It’s what to call out some numbers that just struck me as we built this infographic. First one is 59 percent, so the majority of churches out there, if you are sitting in a church or you’re a church team or staff, 59 percent chances are you’re one of them. 59 percent of churches report declining or flat line giving. That’s in contrast with another study. I think it was by Giving Rocket at one point said 84 percent of churches are at or below budget. That means only 16 percent of churches have any sort of financial margin to do ministry beyond what they’re planning. This report here also says at 20 percent experienced giving decline of five percent or more. And I think they looked at five percent as being significant, right? So if you’re giving year after year is declining at a rate of five percent or more, it’s something to be concerned about if you’re not able to turn that pattern around, something’s going on with your giving behavior and that’s pointing to something deeper in the culture or DNA of your church, so that’s a gloomy outlook to begin with. Almost 60 percent of churches are declining or flat lines and 20 percent are actually saying, Whoa, we’re going downhill. We’re not just maintaining what we have, we’re actually going downhill. That means that you know, in 10 years you’re going to have a major issue, If you’re not doing anything here in five years and even in two years, 10 percent less money in the staff budget, in the ministry budget, in the outreach budget, and the missions budget that is something to take seriously right now.

 

Now let’s look at what’s happening on a Sunday, regular attendance, and we’ve all been talking about this for a couple years now and it becomes louder and louder. Regular attendance to a church no longer means that I go every Sunday. That’s what people are telling us in this report is confirmed. One third of members actually do not attend church on any given weekend. So if you’re looking at a church and you see their attendance numbers, you’ve got to think that those one third that actually are not here on any given some of the, you need to look at the larger community that this church might be responsible for and say that, wow, this is only two thirds of the people there. One-Third aren’t their peers, the bottom line this is the problem, that zero is the amount of giving received from people who missed church, especially if there no digital giving options available.  That’s what has been happening in churches historically, right? If people don’t come to church or if a church is cancelled for some reason, whether it be weather related or anything else, and then you’re giving goes down for that month. And so that’s a critical problem but here on a normal, regular basis, one third of your members don’t attend church in any given weekend. That’s significant shift over the last decade or two as to what’s happening even in your closest, most inner concentric circles supporters and people in your community.

 

Regular no longer means I’m there every single Sunday. They’re just so many other competing things in our culture that happened. That’s enough fodder for a complete other podcast show, episode or blog posts, etc it’s another conversation. But here you can see only 56 percent of people in their twenties or thirties attend 90 percent or more of their Sunday services, only 56 percent, so it is not the norm anymore to go to church every single Sunday. Yet those are still the people that are your most committed and I think commitment is now being defined differently and that’s the challenge whether attendance is the way to define commitment and can you change the nature of your ministry so that physical presence is not the only way to be engaged and to receive and to minister to others, that’s again another conversation, but the norm now, right now, 56 percent of the young folks, 20’s and 30’s, they’re not attending 90 percent or more of the services. So along with attendance, obviously things are changing and shifting the way people give are not other consistent behavior either. Only 41 percent, give consistently on a weekly basis to the church. Whoa, 41 percent. If you had to guess without knowing that initially, I don’t know if I would have guessed that number was that low, that all less than half the people are giving on a consistent basis to your church.

 

So that means I think we need to be thinking about giving it a completely different way. We need to be talking about differently. We need to be experiencing differently. We need to presenting the options differently. In fact, 60 percent of attendees, according to this State of the Plate report, 60 percent of those in the 20’s and 30’s give only one or two times a month or even every few months. There’s not this need apparently, especially in the 20’s and 30’s, that generational band that they feel the need that they need to give their dollars every week. Now, it doesn’t mean that they’re not planning on it and it doesn’t mean that they are not giving enough to cover. But it does mean that giving is not a habit of if they come into church buildings, that they’re going to actually open up their wallets, their checkbooks, their credit cards, etc.

 

This is something that every church leader needs to really process and think about, even alone as well as a team. What does that mean? How does that change the offering time? How does it change the messaging that you give? How has it changed on the reporting and telling us stories of where their money goes in terms of flourishing for the gospel inside your building and outside of your building? Now these guys are giving elsewhere. They’re actually a healthy generation in terms of giving and supporting outside of themselves. You know, the bad reps that the millennials have in the 20’s and people in their 20’s and 30’s get is that they don’t give it all. They’re not helpful people. They’re not helping other, actually that’s not the case. 34 percent of churchgoers give to 4 or more organizations together and they do it consistently, right?  So now you’ve got a culture where giving is thought of as a portfolio of giving, they’re looking and choosing cherry picking opportunities to support multiple organizations 4 or more, more than a third of the people there give or four or more different organizations consistently. And 80 percent of attendees, this is what’s showing that it’s actually happening in the church. Specifically, 80 percent of attendees gift to at least one other organization. The church is not the only share of wallet. There’s other organizations and entities and causes that are competing for the same dollars in the supporters wallet. And so this is just think about that. Hey, you’re not the only game in town. It’s no longer just obligation is enough. It’s no longer, this is the norm, this is the expectation.

 

The landscape has changed tremendously when you think that 80 percent of the people who give to your church and are actually giving elsewhere to begin with, most people are actually looking for meaning in how they give in the relationship and only 41 percent again are giving on a regular basis to church to begin with. So you’ve got to think about, hey, what’s going on? What are we doing wrong? Is there other ways that we can help boost up the rate of giving form from our people? Well, the first one to look at really is preferences. I know that cheques and I know that cash or the preferred method of receiving money for the church and you hear it all the time with church leaders, especially when you bring up credit card options because they say, hey, that 2 point something percent belongs to us, that 2 point something percent through, that’s the reason we’re not going to critic or giving because, you know, that money’s going elsewhere. But yet, digital is increasingly becoming the preferred method of payment. As we go to a cashless society and many, many churches, if not years in particular, are not helping out.  They’re not giving that option on the table, which I think is just completely flabbergasting. You are mandating that people go backwards in their habits back to the stone ages of using cash only or cheques in particular and that’s the only way that they can support your ministry.

 

Now again, the question is, is this true or not? According to the survey, this backs it up in real numbers, only 14 percent surveyed want envelopes in the pews. Only 14 percent of people are going on these churches are giving through envelopes and that’s what they want. And you contrast that with the other portion, 68 percent of people when their church, they want digital options, they want a kiosk or ipad giving or some other digital option. The majority of people are saying to you right now through the survey, you don’t need to think about reaching out to your own people.  This is a cross section of America. 68 percent want digital options like a kiosk or an ipad giving. What have you done to make it as easy as possible to collect those funds and revenue for your church? It’s just shocking how many people ignore that because they’re making some convoluted arguments about, you know, a couple of percentage points going to the credit card processing company. Now 49 percent wanting to give on a phone app. They want an actual mobile app for the church. And 54 percent just want cell phone texts giving options. So here you can say almost half or even more than half, they’re saying, hey, give us digital options, whether it be a phone app or texting. That’s the way we want to do it, and you might say, hey, we don’t really need that, we’ve got online giving on our website.  Well, you know what, only 21 percent of people out there, we’re interested in online giving on the church website. So even if you had that choice, only 21 percent of the people out there expected it or trying to figure out how to fulfill their giving through a mobile phone app or cell phone text to give options. This is something that I think pastors and leaders need to begin to recognize. The importance of digital giving. that can be digital given by mobile, by text, by kiosk, by auto pay EFT payments, a recurring giving, it doesn’t matter. You need to start somewhere and pastors, leaders, are listening today. This is one of those rants or just a appeal podcasts, please, you know, you want to make the act of giving as accessible as possible to all church goers, even when they aren’t physically at the church.  

 

I’m telling you, this is like prophetic. It’s going to be important for churches of all sizes and locations. You’re going to need to actively embrace digital giving methods very soon to encourage, to power greater generosity and more important that consistency in the act of giving amongst your church families. This is something that I just is so so important. 68 percent of the people are telling you they want digital options like kiosks and iPads. 54 percent are telling you they want text to give. 49 percent, almost half the congregation wanted given the full through, say a mobile app. they feel safe to do it in your churches mobile app somewhere. This is something that you need to start thinking about. And if you’re just offering a website alone, that’s not enough because only 21 percent of the people out there we’re interested in giving online on the church website and majority of people are looking elsewhere and you’re forcing them into a model that was made in the stone age and should stay in the stone age, envelopes and cash, cash, envelopes and cheques is definitely clearly here.  Finally, we’ve got to study that, quantifies this, that is something that they do not want and so they are not giving at all.

 

So, those are just some examples of outcomes from the State of the Plate report that came out from Brian Kluth. It’s a very interesting survey. If you want to go further, you can Google it, state of the plate report and actually download the actual report. There’s a bunch of graphs and charts and things that will give you further details and nuances of the state of giving. But here I just want to end this episode with this reality of the church. This is a wake up call for us as leaders and this is one of the reasons why we started the whole resource of generosity labs, that it is time to take a look at digital giving, digital mobile text giving.  All these options are something that you need to start to think about and embrace fully even before 2018 is out. Promise me this that you’re going to start to look at those options if you haven’t started already to figure out how to implement one more option for your church in the next month or two. How much more do you need than the people out there telling you in double digit majority numbers that they prefer to give a certain way. And yet you’re not embracing those types of methods. This is just something that you need to look at seriously with your leadership team and figure out, hey, is this something that we can move on and do so in a meaningful way this year so that we don’t get left behind. You definitely don’t want to be one of the, almost 60 percent of churches that are declining or have flat lined in giving.

 

So, we’d love to hear your thoughts about the State of the Plate report. Again, this seems to be a very good baseline comprehensive study to use as a conversation piece internally with your other pastors and leaders and even high capacity lay people of the church. So that you can start to talk about what does it mean for our church, given our size, given our constituents, given our giving practices that we typically have. What does that mean? Those are the types of things that I hope will start to be prompted in terms of questions because the opportunity and the prospects out there, if you were able to embrace digital giving is a completely different story and I’ll bring one of those stories to you shortly here on the Generosity Labs Podcast, but today it’s a wake up call, the reality of giving in the church is in decline, attendance is added decline. Giving is not consistent in their behaviors and so this is something that you need to look at because competition exists now with other regular giving opportunities. People are choosing, it’s not that they’re not giving it all and you’re just saying, hey, they’ve stingy behavior or they’re just not in a giving mood. No, they are giving, period, they are giving to 4 more other organizations or at least one other organization, 80 percent of the people who attend your church are giving to at least one other charitable organization. And so that means either they’re making the decision to split it or there’s more underlying deeper causes that we need to talk about and figure how to address and turnaround for the future.

 

Well, there you have it. That’s what I have for today. Again, prompted by some of the questions that had been coming up recently asking people, you know, we hear about digital giving, we hear about texting, you hear about mobile giving? But, isn’t that just all sales and marketing? Is that really what the people want? Isn’t really what the people in my church would want? Is giving them something that they would prefer as their primary method of transferring funds from their wallet to the church’s accounts for their offerings and tithes. If we made that easier, if we got rid of that friction, what would it mean for the church? Would it mean that we could be fully funded? Would it mean that we can have an overflowing offering basket at the end of the season? Those are things that I would love to see you guys struggle with. Discuss internally, hold each other accountable and start to explore what would have all the resources out there to help you make that next decision in terms of presenting giving opportunities for your people.

 

I’m Kenny Jahng. Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of Generosity Labs. I would love to hear what your perspective is and what is the hangup in your progression and your journey in terms of adopting digital online text to give, mobile giving, whatever that next step is in your church. What is that obstacle? What is that question? What’s hindering you from taking the next step and not allow you to just completely blow it out and make all the options available to make it as easy as possible for your people to contribute to the mission and ministry of your church. Love for that question for you to respond in, check out our blog GenerosityLabs.Org. Do me a favor, if you are inspired or spurred on by our podcast episodes, if you would, do us a favor and smash that like button and leave us a review, an honest review on Apple iTunes. That’s gonna help get the word out to more church leaders so they can get more of our free resources to help them with this journey that we’re all going on together toward digital giving. I’m Kenny Jahng, thank you so much for joining us. Remember, be generous, stay generous.