Generosity Labs Podcast // Summer Check-Up

Generosity Labs Podcast // Summer Check-Up

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For today’s episode of the Generosity Labs Podcast, Kenny Jahng shares how people can be forgetful when summertime comes. He will discuss key points to be considered by churches and nonprofit organizations for check up during summer.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hey everybody, it’s Kenny Jahng. It is summertime. Feels like it. It’s definitely heading up to almost 90 degrees here in Jersey this week. This is Kenny Jahng with Generosity Labs, and we are checking in with the podcast. Haven’t been with you lately but we are back on track. And here’s the reason that we’re checking in today is that it is summertime. We are now at a point where the back to school or end of school rush is gone. Mother’s day is gone. Father’s day is gone. We are looking at July 4th, and then it’s just the summer slump for most of the churches and nonprofits that we are talking about. 

Now, you might have a vibrant schedule for the summer. But here’s one thing that I’d love to talk about today. And that’s a summer checkup.   of times you hear that before you go on vacation, you should check your vehicle to make sure the tire pressure’s there, the oil, radiator. All that stuff is in good condition before you go on a big trip. And this is the same time to do this summer checkup for your donor development activities. And it’s just a couple things that I think you should put on your radar. This is a great thing to put on for either the end of June or for the rest of July. To just check-in and see how you’re doing. 

And so there are a couple of things. The first thing is just where you are in terms of progress for your overall plan for the year. Are you on a budget? Are you ahead of the game? Are you behind the game? And it’s time to rejigger your plan. Right? Basically, we’ve got July, August, September, and then October, November, December. Right? Six months, two quarters to go. It’s time to get back onto the white board, and to find those smart goals, right? The specific, measurable, attainable, what’s the R? Relevant and timely. Right? Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals regarding your fundraising plan. How are you doing that? What are you going to do to achieve that for the rest… To meet your original goals. Maybe you’ll need to revise those goals.

And then also on the spending side, how are you doing in terms of realistic assumptions about your budget spending? Because so many times at the end of the year, you’ve seen it in so many organizations, both on the marketplace and ministry side, that their line items on the budget where you have overflow. You just haven’t used them, used the dollars, and people are just racing to the end of the year, in December, to just spend out all of their budget in certain line items.

On the other side, people run out of money early, and they’re looking for funds in the fall at some point. So this is the time to revise those budget lines, because you have clarity. You actually have 50% clarity on what’s going to happen in 2019. So revising those goals and objectives in your budget is the number one thing that you should be doing in June and July.

A second one is looking at some other things that you typically don’t have time for. But you actually have the time now to pay attention to that. And so that is looking at your donor base. Both your high capacity donors, and your first time donors. And seeing what the rates are there in terms of first time donors turning into second donors, renewals, et cetera. Basically your donor retention rate, as we might call it. Trying to figure out how to get those first time donors to donate again in the second half of the year. Do you have any type of plan or campaign or excuse, honestly, to give them for them to consider contributing to the vision and the mission of your organization once again in the second half of the year?

The other part is that those high capacity donors. This is a great time to make sure that you are engaging them. You might have engaged them really heavily during the end of your giving season. You might have engaged them during the spring or even the Easter season, right? We’ve got these big days that hit the calendar. But summertime is the time that most people get forgotten. This is a great time for you to break through the clutter, and reconnect with some of your high capacity donors, and share them. How you doing? Are you on track or ahead of the game in terms of both your funding as well as your outcomes, right? All the actual objectives in terms of the activities and the ROI and the impact that you’re going to put out there.

Give them an update. Let them know how you’re doing. And give them some realistic assessments of, this is where we’re doing stuff in a strong way, and this is where we, because all these variables, we’re at a position where we might have a deficit, or we need to strengthen and shore that up. And that might be a place where donors can jump in again and participate. So cultivating those relationships, even outside of asks. Just checking in with them and seeing how they’re doing, and getting advice from their perspective is definitely something that I think you would want to start to do in the summer, because many other organizations are not. And again, it’s easy to cut through the clutter.

And the last one is looking at the rest of the year to refine it. Right? If you have story brands work that you’ve done with your organization, this is a great place for you to go back to your SB7 place mat, as we call it. And look at the core messaging. Are you still being caveman simple, as Don Miller says? Is your messaging clear? Is it something that allows people to understand that they’re the hero and that they are the ones that are able to make a difference? Are you showing them what happens if they don’t actually contribute or become a supporter or donate to the cause. What is the opportunity cost? Are you having between now, even starting in July. You’ve got six months. Do you have at least six pieces, 12 pieces? That will be biweekly. 24 pieces weekly communication that you can actually plan out right now during the summer, and start to drip, drip, drip. Send out that out to your constituents, your high capacity donors, and your general community.

Whether it be framed in terms of a financial and budgetary type of conversation, or just the ministry impact type of conversation. Is this something that you’ve started to think about now? This is a great time to work on that communications plan, set it, and forget it. At least between now and sometime in Q4, where you really should be amping up the communications regarding end of year giving, as well as Giving Tuesday, and the last week of the year. So looking at that, kind of like the smart goals. Are you doing anything on a overarching plan to relook at what you’re planned out for the last six months of the year in terms of your communications to your community. And this is the time to make those adjustments, alignments, and then put it back on track.

So those are some of the things that I would say is the summer tune up. Part of that summer tune up for a donor development or fundraising perspective that every single organization should take some time out between June and July of this year and see how you’re doing. I’d love to hear your perspective, and show me the wins or show me the deficits of where we might be able to add to the conversation, help give you some support here at Generosity Labs.

This is the type of thing that we’d love to dive down deeper if this is something you’d like to hear about. So let me know what part of this interests you? Is it the smart goals? Is it how do we communicate more effectively with high capacity donors in our community? Is it the communications plan? I just had recently, someone just flagged that they wanted to hear a little bit more about the serving. We talked about building a testimonial engine for your audience and your community to help build authority that you have in relation to your own community.

And there was a great question that came up that says, you know, I can see how the net promoter score surveys are done for the marketplace, for secular businesses, for profit businesses. But how do you phrase it for nonprofit, for ministries, and churches? That was a great question that came up recently, and we shared some concrete examples in response.

All of this, all these resources that we’re trying to pull together for Generosity Labs, are for you. 

So selfishly I’m asking you, reach out to me. Drop us a note on the website. Visit our website, our blog. Share the podcast with others. But more importantly, let us know what are the types of resources and information topics that you would love to hear more about? Are there specific leaders in the industry? Are there organizations that you are seeing do these things well, and you’d love to hear more behind the scenes stories about their approaches, about their philosophies, and even the tactics and resources that they’re using specifically. Let me know. I’d love to hear that so we can make this resource an even better one for you.

So that said, hope you’re doing well with your summer checkup. We’ll check in with you again soon here on the Generosity Labs podcast as we’re revving back up again here at generositylabs.org. I’m Kenny Jahng, I’ll check you out next time. And remember, generosity begins with you.

HIGHLIGHTS:

03:13 The first thing is just where you are in terms of progress for your overall plan for the year. Are you on a budget? Are you ahead of the game? Are you behind the game? And it’s time to rejigger your plan. Right? Basically, we’ve got July, August, September, and then October, November, December. Right? Six months, two quarters to go. It’s time to get back onto the whiteboard, and to find those smart goals, right? The specific, measurable, attainable, what’s the R? Relevant and timely. Right? Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals regarding your fundraising plan. How are you doing that? What are you going to do to achieve that for the rest… To meet your original goals. Maybe you’ll need to revise those goals.

04:06 A second one is looking at some other things that you typically don’t have time for. But you actually have the time now to pay attention to that. And so that is looking at your donor base. Both your high capacity donors and your first-time donors. And see what the rates are there in terms of first-time donors turning into second donors, renewals, et cetera. Basically, your donor retention rate, as we might call it. Trying to figure out how to get those first-time donors to donate again in the second half of the year. Do you have any type of plan or campaign or excuse, honestly, to give them for them to consider contributing to the vision and the mission of your organization once again in the second half of the year? 

06:25 And the last one is looking at the rest of the year to refine it. Right? If you have story brands work that you’ve done with your organization, this is a great place for you to go back to your SB7 placemat, as we call it. And look at the core messaging. Are you still being caveman simple, as Don Miller says? Is your messaging clear? Is it something that allows people to understand that they’re the hero and that they are the ones that are able to make a difference? Are you showing them what happens if they don’t actually contribute or become a supporter or donate to the cause? What does the opportunity cost? Are you having between now, even starting in July. You’ve got six months. Do you have at least six pieces, 12 pieces? That will be biweekly. 24 pieces weekly communication that you can actually plan out right now during the summer, and start to drip, drip, drip. Send out that out to your constituents, your high capacity donors, and your general community. 

Generosity Labs Podcast // The Ultimate Litmus Test For This Coming Sunday

Tune in to this the most recent episode of our Generosity Labs with Kenny Jahng. In this episode, Kenny will share 8 points from an article at Barna entitled, What Motivates Christians to Give.

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

TRANSCRIPTION

It’s generosity time. It’s time for the Generosity Labs podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in. Wanting to share this study that I found out over at Barna. It was actually titles what motivates Christians to give, and it was released around Giving Tuesday of this past year, which is the Tuesday after Cyber Monday, Monday after, what’s it, what is it after Thanksgiving and Black Friday. And so the question, what motivates Christians to give us a great one? And as we go into 2019, there’s a bunch of questions that I’d love to challenge you as you go to church this Sunday. Are you demonstrating the answers to these questions of what motivates Christians to give? So they had one, they have this great article you should read the whole thing of the name of the article again is What Motivates Christians to Give. It’s in their culture and media section over at Barna and there’s one question in particular. I first got involved with a cause because, and then they do all these splits between practicing Christians and all US adults. And practicing Christian Christian is just to let you know they define it in this article as somebody that’s self identified as Christian who says their faith is very important in their lives and have attended a worship service in the past month.

Nonpracticing Christians are self identified Christians who do not qualify as practicing. So, we’re looking at Christians and adult behavior. The question is I got, I first got involved with the cause because I first got involved with a cause because fill in the blank. And so, I want to go down this list. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight factors. Eight, fill in the blanks. And here’s the question I’ll challenge you with is, on Sunday when you go to church, can somebody who sits there in the pew for the first time or for the 10th time or the hundredth time? Can they say yes to any or even half of these questions? So, the first question, the first answer is I felt I could make a difference. So in your church services, in your church communications, in your storytelling, are you demonstrating that any individual that gets involved with tithing, with their offerings, with donations, with volunteering, that are you making a space for them to actually make a difference?

Or are you just asking them to fund your mission and you’ll go off and do a turnkey? A second one is I heard or saw a story that moved me. Storytelling examples, case studies, testimonials, are you publishing these things on a regular basis? Are you asking people to share their experience as they volunteer, as they give, as they fund your ministry? Number three, I felt an overwhelming sense of purpose. And an overwhelming sense of purpose, so this really comes down to clarity of vision casting, sharing what your mission is for the ministry. Has that been done in a credible way and authentic way so that sound feels that there’s this overwhelming sense of purpose in this place when they visit you for that hour on Sunday. Next one is, someone I know personally wasn’t very involved in this cause. And so that’s where you need to take advantage of those volunteers that you have already, those committed even staffers and are they sharing about their involvement?

Are they sharing their excitement? Are they sharing what their passion i?s and the reason why they are onboard with the mission, with those people around them. Those people that are active are your referral engine. They are the people that you need to rely on and equip, not just instruct. You need to equip them in better sharing. Exactly what they’re doing, why they’re doing, and how other people could get involved. Giving is obviously one of those things. And people don’t give unless they have this sense of cause and that they see others doing it at the same time. And so here’s the next one. I love this one. I first got involved with the cause because I accepted a personal challenge to get involved. Are you afraid of the money topic? Are you not going to the actual call to action, but just stopping, just shy of it because you feel guilty or you just don’t feel it’s right not to personally challenge people to get involved with funding your mission, whether it be a small campaign, whether it be the big picture, whether it be as a part of their own spiritual discipline because how you behave with your money is a reflection of your heart in their understanding of God’s love and generosity.

Are you actually doing that on a personal level? Are you challenging people explicitly to get involved financially? Even, any church can do this on a week by week basis without making it an obligation fest. This next one is very important. My church cast a vision for me. I think this is the one thing that many churches completely forget about. The leadership team or the senior pastor might have something in their mind, but they’re not sharing it. They’re not articulating it. In fact, what we say is that there’s usually something called vision leak in most organizations and that you need to repeat it and make sure everyone is indoctrinated with the vision that you have for the community, once at least every six to eight weeks. Because of a variety of factors, one, people are not coming to church every week anymore.

They’re catching it every other week, every three weeks, you know, once a month. That’s the new norm. And second there is visually, there’s just so much messaging they’re bombarded with. They’re busy with their lives more than ever for them to understand and hold onto what you are trying to instill in their lives and practice as a ministry gets lost. And so just that practical effect of visionlink is something that you need to figure out how to do it in a intentional, almost scheduled where every six, eight weeks within your ministry somehow. It can be from the pulpit that can be from outside of the pulpit, but can someone can so and say, “yes, my church actually cast a vision for me”. The next one is, I was given or assigned a specific task to do. Micro commitments are one of the best ways of getting people involved.

It doesn’t need to be financial commitment at the beginning either. Usually it’s a commitment of time, of volunteering of some other type of talents before you actually asked them to give a treasure. So, giving or specific tasks or assignments, some projects involving people in the ministry. And the activation of putting their faith into action is usually a great way to start that process of opening up the stewardship conversations and letting them dedicate all their lives holy, not just their schedule, their time, their mind and their heart, but also part of their wallet too, to financially support the mission. And the last one here is, I took a foreign trip and saw the need firsthand, mission trips. There’s pros and cons of mission trips. There’s a big debate whether or not short term mission trips are actually doing any good or even harm, but you don’t need to take a foreign trip.

You might do an open house. You might actually take one or two at a time and let them invite them to visit your ministry outreach, where the acts of transformation are happening in your ministry to witness that firsthand. The whole point here is they saw the need firsthand not reported, not in a slideshow, not in a slick video. It needs to be something that they see physically, tactically in person, embodied, so that they actually see the need firsthand and go back and start to consider it and integrated into their faith life. And so these are really interesting things. Obviously the ones at the beginning of the list are the most impactful. The first, I first got involved with the cause because of these first three I would say I felt that can make a difference. I heard or saw something that moved me or I felt an overwhelming sense of purpose are three things that you can start to do with your messaging, with your communication, with intentionality in your worship and the stories that you tell in your sermons, in your offering time.

You know, the little offering scripts that you might be using in your announcements and also reporting of all the great things that your ministries are doing inside your building and outside your building. I challenge you to take a look at this article. There’s a lot more to it than just this one survey question, but as we break this down, this is my question too, are the majority of the people that walk into your building on Sunday this coming Sunday, are they going to walk away and they say, “I felt I could make a difference and part of this community”? Or, “I saw or heard something that moved me today in terms of wanting to get involved” or, “I felt an overwhelming sense of purpose in this place or this community for everything that they’re doing in terms of mercy and justice and outreach and life change”.

Can you say yes? Is that something that the majority of people will on an exit survey, you know, on a volunteer basis they will volunteer to say yes to those questions without being prompted by you without being coached, without being reminded. That is one should be one of your top messaging and communications goals going forward to see what type of artifacts, what type of storytelling, what type of conversation pieces, what type of messaging that we can integrate into their whole experience when they come into our building on Sunday so that they leave and they say yes to every single one of those statements.

So, I would love to know your thoughts. Leave your comments below and share this with friends and see what they think. It’s great. I think conversations started to say, “hey, is this is a different way of doing a checkpoint in ministry and I’d love to hear your feedback and what you think about using this as a litmus test as to see if you’re on track”. I’d love to hear that in the comments below, or reach out to me directly or join our Facebook page for Generosity Labs and comment there as well. I’m Kenny Jahng for Generosity Labs. Go to our website, generositylabs.org. Check out the blog, check out the rest of the podcast issues, and I’d love to reach out and connect with you further in any of those places. Thanks for listening and we’ll catch you here next time at the generosity labs podcast.

HIGHLIGHTS:

03:16 So,  the first question, the first answer is I felt I could make a difference. So in your church services, in your church communications, in your storytelling, are you demonstrating that any individual that gets involved with tithing, with their offerings, with donations, with volunteering, that are you making a space for them to actually make a difference?

Or are you just asking them to fund your mission and you’ll go off and do a turnkey?

03:50 Storytelling examples, case studies, testimonials, are you publishing these things on a regular basis? Are you asking people to share their experience as they volunteer, as they give, as they fund your ministry?

04:06 Number three, I felt an overwhelming sense of purpose. And an overwhelming sense of purpose, so this really comes down to clarity of vision casting, sharing what your mission is for the ministry.

04:31 Next one is, someone I know personally wasn’t very involved in this cause. And so that’s where you need to take advantage of those volunteers that you have already, those committed even staffers and are they sharing about their involvement?

05:28 And so here’s the next one. I love this one. I first got involved with the cause because I accepted a personal challenge to get involved.

06:31 This next one is very important. My church cast a vision for me. I think this is the one thing that many churches completely forget about. The leadership team or the senior pastor might have something in their mind, but they’re not sharing it.

07:17 And second there is visually, there’s just so much messaging they’re bombarded with. They’re busy with their lives more than ever for them to understand and hold onto what you are trying to instill in their lives and practice as a ministry gets lost.

07:59 The next one is, I was given or assigned a specific task to do. Micro commitments are one of the best ways of getting people involved.

It doesn’t need to be financial commitment at the beginning either.

08:54 And the last one here is, I took a foreign trip and saw the need firsthand, mission trips. There’s pros and cons of mission trips. There’s a big debate whether or not short term mission trips are actually doing any good or even harm, but you don’t need to take a foreign trip.

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.

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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.

Relationship Building Automation Tip

Relationship Building Automation Tip

Kenny Jahng from GenerosityLabs has your Generosity Tip of the Day!

It’s regarding the A.R.T. of Engagement  — when you want to build a culture of giving across your community, you want to focus on the three main drivers of increasing gauge right that’s just a remind you it’s a for Authority or for Relevance and Trust,

One of the things that you can do very easily to help build trust is with this tip that I am sharing with you today.  Now, it’s my birthday this week — happy birthday to me! But one of the things that you’ll notice is that there’s a very small set of relationships out there that do take advantage of that in today’s day and age.

You’ll get a birthday card from your dentist or lawyer or real estate agent or from your car dealer — and sure enough I open my inbox today and I get a happy birthday message from a car dealer.

It a very simple message — they know it doesn’t need to be spammy; there’s no call to action; it is a complete relationship play.  And they know that they are a car dealer and they’re not my friend or relative etcetera right so it’s a simple message that’s clean and just takes advantage of the fact that they have my information in the database.

It says, “we noticed that today is your special day so in commemoration of this occasion we want to send along our best wishes and thank you for your past business May the next year bring great joy to you and your loved ones happy birthday.”

See, very simple, right? It’s something that gives you an excuse to reach out and build that relationship over time.

All you need to do is sit down and write 6, 10, a dozen different variations of happy birthday messages. Some can be humorous, some to be straightforward, it is something that you can insert some fun links into, maybe a YouTube video, etc.

Basically anytime someone in the database has a birthday, that triggers the email to get sent out and sometimes you can send it one day early or on the day.  But you have personalization done for the next 6 years, 10 years, etc. You can have a decade’s worth of happy birthday messages that don’t repeat, are varied and you can do that all in one shot.  Just sit down and write half a dozen to a dozen different versions and then schedule them in your email system.

Each and every organization should be taking advantage of this. But there’s very few I’ve met — only maybe two churches there taking advantage of birthdays. And birthdays are easy to collect from your people! It’s one of those fields of information in a database that most people are comfortable sharing– their birthday.

And the best practice is if you collect a piece of information yous hould use it. If you collect a piece of information and don’t use it you’re wasting your time and energy; it is not respectful of the audience that you collecting from;  and in you introduce friction to the relationship that you have with them. So collect only the information you’re going to use and birthday should be one of them at some point in the beginning of the relationship.

And then you build the automation that simply sends out an email message to them on their birthday. It could be the day before saying, Hi I want to be the first to wish you happy birthday this week!

Let me know what you think about this automation idea and if you have any other ideas on how to use marketing automation to the benefit of increasing the relevance and trust in your relationship with your people in your community. I always want to discover, learn, and brainstorm about other ways to use technology to scale personal relationships,

That’s it for today’s tip.Thank you for listening and watching here at GenerosityLabs.Org.

3 Things Churches Need To Focus On For Giving Growth in 2019

3 Things Churches Need To Focus On For Giving Growth in 2019

If you ask any pastor, if they would like to see growth in giving by their congregation in 2019, I doubt many would disagree or shy away from that outcome.

If you ask most pastors what is the status of their giving with respect to their budget and actual needs, again, most would answer that their dreams for ministry are greater than the offerings and times collected via the offering plate.

Church finances

A good portion of churches “need” more funding, not just “want” more funding.

This next year, somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 churches will have to close their doors.

Lack of strategy or intent regarding finances is one of the major reasons churches are struggling.

Here are 3 THINGS TO FOCUS ON IN 2019 TO CULTIVATE A CULTURE OF GIVING

1. Your church needs to adopt a cause.

One of the big things many churches have lost his their outward focus. Many churches do have outreach activities and support missionaries, but don’t have clarity around it and positioning it all as a core part of its identity. Every church needs to hang this shingle so it’s people can identify with this behavior or outward generosity.

2. You need to plan on sharing of stories of impact regularly.

Where did the money go? How did it help? You need to ensure there is a FLOW of stories being shared with your congregation so they connect their giving behavior with the outcomes.

3. The pastor needs to see all giving activity.

The leadership needs be fully involved with the church’s financial activity. This is because financial stewardship is a discipleship issue and without knowing and supporting financial health, a church isn’t doing its job of helping its people to fully worship through daily living.

Also, no church can maximize its impact without understanding when it can invest in ministry opportunities and when there is less or no margin available.

Those of the first three things every church needs to reconsider at the beginning of the year. Without these three fundamental approaches, it will be difficult to install a culture of generosity in the community.

WHAT WOULD YOU ADD AS #4 TO THIS LIST?

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.

 

Offering Plate vs Digital Giving?

Offering Plate vs Digital Giving?

This week we visited a landmark in the town, mainline denominational church.

The architecture was historic and beautiful. As expected, almost everything inside felt like a time warp. Homage to tradition and legacy. But not much evidence of evolving and contextualization with current culture.

There’s much sadness when stepping into these ministries that seem destined to become museums as this last generation of booomers and older disappear.

One of the things that I always look for is signs of the church giving its congregation options for giving.

Well there was no mention of text to give, mobile app given, or other mobile directs option to give immediately, the service bulletin did make reference to an online donation button on their website. “YES!” at least they do take donations online.

The next step would’ve been to make it easier for people to give in the service, not on the web. Finding the donate button on the church website and going to the process of giving online was tedious. This time consuming. And unnecessarily distracting from the worship service anyone would be sitting in.

That said, this church did have a bulletin insert which featured an option for people who do give electronically. You could use that quarter page insert to place into the offering basket as a symbol of your commitment to support the church financially.

I’ve seen this in a couple of churches before. There are two perspectives on how you can look at this practice:

The first way is to knowledge the awkwardness of receiving the offering plate and having other people see you pass it along without contributing anything. While you should not be concerned about how others perceive you, especially if you are actively giving to the ministry, there is a part of you that wants to make sure no one mistakes you as a slacker in the community! You get it, right?

The second way is to think of it from a very positive participation point of view. I think it is an interesting way to physically involve everyone that is giving during the offering time in the liturgy.

There is something to be said for the physical ritual of everyone putting something into a shared plate that gets passed around to every single person that’s part of the church body and membership. There is sort of a “Book of Acts beauty” to such as shared participation activity by everyone in the community.

Personally, I might consider using some sort of simple open ended question form that captures a prayer or space for encouragement to the ministry that people can write on the card that they drop into the Offering Plate during the physical giving time via check or cash.

In the end, I am encouraged that this church is offering some sort of digital giving solution for other people.

Let me know if your church does something similar or if you have seen this in the past elsewhere.

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO SHARE WHAT YOUR CHURCH enough church leaders are talking about the nuances of embracing online giving with details such as the online giving placard for the offering plate.

Transparency Regarding Credit Card Transaction Processing Fees With Donors

Transparency Regarding Credit Card Transaction Processing Fees With Donors

One of the most common comments or hesitations that I hear from church leaders regarding adopting credit card giving pertains to credit card transaction fees.

Typically the price you pay for being able to take credit cards is usually about $.35-$.50 per transaction plus somewhere around 2.9% of the actual transaction amounts.

Ask any CFO, they hate that much money leaving the church without any other options.

Today, I had a chance to visit another church in my area.

They had a woman host the announcements and offering part of the Order of Service.

This church does offer texts to give as an option, but curiously did not push it or even mention it from the stage. So that’s not the part that they are doing well.

But I did hop onto their giving page which was printed on their giving envelope available in the back of seat pockets.

There, they had a FAQ list that stuck out when I was scanning the page:

List the credit card transaction fees so donors know

WHAT THEY ARE DOING WELL

The question they decided to include asked:

Will 100% of my online giving go to the church?

And then they used that opportunity to explicitly list their transaction fees for taking credit cards online.

I think this is a great tactic to help address the internal concerns that usually come up arguing that by offering online giving, you will end up giving up a significant chunk of it to fees unnecessarily.

SIDE NOTE: This base argument is a fear-based and scarcity minded approach. Experience shows that overall giving increases as soon as they pull the trigger in offering credit card based giving options. You will receive more giving incrementally than the 2.21% utilized to receive funds through that channel.

WHAT THEY CAN DO BETTER

While it was great to be transparent about the transaction fee so that some supporters will proactively use other methods to maximize every penny of that goes to the church directly, I don’t believe it is then only or best counsel they can provide.

Pushing people to go to a physical check or cash methods in order to eliminate 100% of transaction fees seems odd and very shortsighted.

Instead I would reword that FAQ to contrast credit card giving versus ACH giving (giving via echeck). For this church, that’s only a 0.64% fee. Saving over 71% of potential transaction fees.

PLUS, most leaders don’t consider the cost of collecting cash and checks, sorting, counting and sending someone to physically deposit them. It doesn’t seem that you could do that for less than 0.64% of the cash & check collection amounts in most cases.

So I would also use it as an opportunity to reinforce the option of recurring. electronic giving.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Regardless, the tactic to appreciate here is how they explicitly shared the specific transaction amount credit cards would trigger.this allows them to present the options in the way that’s not guilt infused and puts the options in the hands of the giver.