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CH.1 | ABOUT THIS RESOURCE................................................3

CH.2 | THE IMPACT GAP............................................................4



#3 | DIGITAL GIVERS GIVE LONGER...........................................10



FUNDRAISING INITIATIVES................................................11


DIGITAL GIVING MORE.......................................................13


UNTAPPED RESERVOIR OF GIVING....................................14

CH.3 | IMAGINE A FULLY-FUNDED CHURCH.............................17

It’s no secret your church is surrounded by needs. You have souls to save, broken
hearts to heal, and bellies to fill. Too often, churches have let a lack of resources
strangle their ability to meet these needs. Statistically, Americans are as generous
as ever, but sometimes those resources don’t make their way into our churches.
But a lack of resources doesn’t have to cripple your ministry effectiveness. In
this report, Pushpay and Dunham+Company reveal giving trends that shed light
on one of the most important things churches can be doing to help increase the
support they receive from their members.

The Pushpay data comes from an analysis of local church giving throughout their
platform. Dunham+Company commissioned Campbell Rinker to conduct an online
study of church leaders and administrators in August and September of 2017. The
study included the answers of 512 respondents on a variety of subjects. This sample
delivers an overall margin of error of ±4.3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

As a pastor or church leader, you likely see needs all around you. You know the
single mom around the corner who struggles every month to feed and clothe her
children. You see the neighborhood across town that your church needs to engage.

You want to help.

You serve your community the best you can.

But you dream of what God could do through you if your church had more resources.
You dream of the people you could feed, the lonely you could engage, and the lost to
whom you could bring hope.

Every time the thoughts come up, you may be quick to cover it with a phrase like,
“Where God guides, He provides.”

And of course, that’s true.

But what if He has already provided your church with everything it needs to reach
your community and grow your church, but you’re not taking advantage of it?

Generosity isn’t in decline

Generosity may be declining in your church. You may have heard people say—or
said yourself—people just don’t give anymore. And maybe you’ve felt the pain of
a shrinking budget. This might be the case at your local church. It’s certainly true
of many churches around the country. But know this: Generosity actually is not
declining nationwide.

In fact, just the opposite is true. Your people are giving to all kinds of causes.
They’re giving to local charities and national nonprofit organizations. They’re
donating to their alma maters and helping victims of natural disasters. Your
people are giving. But they might not be giving to your church as much as they
used to.

According to the 2017 Giving USA report, giving to religious organizations now
comprises only 32 percent of total charitable giving in America. That’s down
from 58 percent in the 1980s.

That doesn’t mean generosity is down. In fact, 2016 represented the most generous
year ever recorded in the United States. Americans gave more than $390 billion
to charities during the year, according to the 2017 Giving USA report. Even if you
control that number for the growth in the economy, giving has remained remarkably
stable for decades at 2.1 percent of GDP.

Americans are as generous as ever. But they’re spreading their generosity around
more than in previous generations. We could point to many reasons for this. Some
say religion has played an increasingly smaller role in the lives of Americans over the
past few decades. Others say we’ve privatized our spirituality and aren’t turning to
institutions (like churches) for the spiritual, social, and emotional support we once did.

And of course, you can find truth in all of those statements.

But what if the giving challenges your church faces could be partially tied to how
people give, not just what they give?

Bye, bye cash

Two decades ago, if you wanted to pay a bill, you had roughly two options. You
could write a personal check, put it in an envelope, pop a stamp on the front, and
send it to its destination through the U.S. mail system. Or you could jump in your
car and hand-deliver a check or a stack of cash to the bill collector.

But in the past two decades, the world has changed. Though checks and cash haven’t
disappeared entirely, they’re clearly on their last legs.

Checks have been around since the 11th century, but we’re likely the last generation
to use them. As late as 2003, checks represented 46 percent of all payments. In 2013,
that total plummeted to 15 percent. Many financial industry experts believe they’ll
be gone in a decade. Just look at the generational change: More than one fifth of
Millennials have never written a physical check.

Cash likely has a longer shelf life, but it’s in decline as well. An April 2017 study
said that 38 percent of Americans wouldn’t mind if cash disappeared completely.
A third of the people from that same survey rarely use cash as it is.

Clearly, a growing majority of Americans feel more comfortable than ever making
financial transactions online, particularly through their mobile devices. Today,
Americans pay more than half of their bills online. Prior to the 2017 holiday shopping
season, consumers expected to do more than half of their holiday shopping online.
Not only are the days of dominance for checks and cash over, but most people
now prefer to make their financial transactions online. This will only become more
prevalent as Millennials garner more and more buying power.

These online shopping trends have spilled over into how people give to nonprofits.
Online giving has continued to grow faster than the standard growth of charitable

But churches haven’t kept pace with the trend. Though a growing number of
churches have employed digital giving solutions in recent years (as this report will
illustrate), it still makes up a small portion of the money churches typically raise
in a year. According to research by Dunham+Company, only 15 percent of church
giving in 2017 came in through online sources.

Yes, the trend is moving in the right direction. That 15 percent is up from 12 percent
in 2015, but it still lags behind the digital payment rates for bills and shopping.

But what if…

...the answer to the funding crisis in the American church isn’t just about discipling
people better or growing your attendance?

What if it’s also about providing people in your community with the right tool at
the right time so they can express generosity wherever they are?

Using new data from Pushpay and Dunham+Company, this report will point to seven
specific trends in digital giving that are redefining generosity in local churches
throughout the United States.

Digital Giving Is
#1 Growing in Popularity

Clearly, the data shows a vibrant, growing digital giving trend in churches today.
According to recent data from Dunham+Company, 74 percent of churches across
the United States offer online giving in some form. That’s up from 42 percent just
two years ago.

As we dug a little deeper into those numbers, it became clearer the growth in digital
giving (which included avenues like an online portal on your website, a mobile app,
and giving kiosks in your church) came from churches of all sizes.

It was particularly pronounced among smaller churches, no matter how you
determine church size.
• Churches with fewer than 200 in weekly attendance more than
doubled their adoption of digital giving in the past two years
(growing from 29 percent to 59 percent).
• The number of churches with a budget of less than $250,000 that
offer online giving jumped from 27 percent to 54 percent during
those same two years.
• In churches with fewer than three staff members, digital giving
grew from 30 percent to 58 percent.

No matter how you break it down, small churches are beginning to embrace
online giving.

But the growth hasn’t only occurred in small churches. In the past two years, digital
giving has become almost universal among medium and large churches. Today,
9 out of 10 churches with more than 200 in weekly attendance now have online
giving. That’s up from 70 percent in 2015.

Digital Givers Demonstrate
#2 More Generosity

You might be tempted to see digital giving as nothing more than a different way
to give. You figure online giving simply replaces the more analog versions without
providing any additional funds for your church. But that’s not what the trends tell
us. Digital giving doesn’t just replace other kinds of giving; it adds to it.

Digital givers give more money in general to their church, and they give more often,
too. On average, digital givers donate 33 percent more ($200 a month through digital
means vs. $150 a month from non-digital means). They also donate 44 percent more
often than non-digital givers (2.3 times a month vs. 1.6 times a month).

Plus, over a 24-month-period, digital givers keep growing in generosity. They give
more frequently and give more overall at the end of those two years than they did
at the beginning. Non-digital givers did just the opposite. Their giving decreased
over time.

This isn’t because digital givers are innately more generous. It’s because they have
better tools. Digital givers can give no matter where they are—and regardless of
whether or not they make it to a worship service on any given week. Digital
givers, and particularly mobile givers, can give more easily whenever they’re
inspired to do so (an option not available to those who only give via cash or
check). Generosity is often a product of opportunity. Digital givers simply have
more opportunities to give.

#3 Digital Givers Give Longer

The advantages of digital giving go beyond simply making it easier for users to
give. Through recurring giving, givers can set up a regular gift without having
to think about it each month, allowing churches to better predict income over
multiple months and years.

According to an analysis of giving through Pushpay during the last two years, digital
givers donate to churches over a longer period of time than non-digital donors. For
example, 72 percent of users who set up recurring giving continue to give 12 months
later. Only 13 percent of non-digital givers do likewise over the same period of time.

Recurring givers also consistently give 94 percent of the total value of the original
gifts after 12 months. In other words, the average recurring giver who gave $100 to
his or her church still gave $94 12 months later. Non-digital givers who gave $100
only donated $56 per month a year later.

Digital Giving Happens
#4 Every Day of the Week

Churches also see more consistent giving as digital givers spread out their gifts
throughout the week. This helps churches predict their budget more accurately.
Previously, most churches received a majority of their giving on Sundays, since
that’s when givers were inside of the church building and could drop their gifts into
the offering plate.

But, of course, digital giving changes that. According to an analysis of giving through
Pushpay, only a third of digital giving comes in on Sundays. The other two-thirds come
in throughout the rest of the week. On the other end of the spectrum, 50 percent of
non-digital giving comes in on Sundays.

Digital Givers Support

#5 Multiple Fundraising Initiatives

Digital giving benefits can’t be limited to just a church’s general fund. Pushpay
data shows digital givers are much more likely to give to multiple funds within
a church than non-digital givers (perhaps because it’s easier for them to do so).
According to this data, digital givers are almost eight times more likely to give to
multiple initiatives than non-digital givers.

Not only do digital givers give to a more diverse selection of funds (like building
funds, missions funds, benevolence funds, etc.) than non-digital givers, but they
give more in total. On average, digital givers give 20 percent more across all funds
than non-digital givers. The digital givers who frequently donate to multiple funds
have become key donors for these churches, too. According to this study of Pushpay
churches, digital givers who give across multiple accounts give 92 percent more
over a 12-month period than non-digital givers who donate to a single account.

Churches Are Talking about Digital
#6 Giving More

According to Dunham+Company, little has changed in the past few years regarding
how churches promote digital giving. A similar proportion of churches promote
digital giving through their website, email, or print bulletins in 2017 as they did
in 2015. But the number of churches that now talk about digital-giving options
during worship services has climbed from 52 percent to 65 percent during this
two-year stretch.

But smaller churches are less likely than larger churches to promote digital giving
through diverse means. Smaller churches of 200 in attendance or fewer promote
digital giving less through their website (65 to 91 percent), mobile app (9 to 29
percent), and their welcome center (16 to 25 percent) than their larger counterparts.

Mobile Giving Represents an

#7 Untapped Reservoir of Giving

Online giving isn’t new. Some large churches have offered digital-giving options
for more than a decade. Today’s church givers expect more than just the ability
to give from their desktops and laptops. They expect to be able to give anywhere,
and anytime through their mobile devices, too.

Why is this critical? According to another Dunham+Company study on generational

giving, 95 percent of Millennials have smartphones, with 86 percent of Gen Xers,
66 percent of Boomers, and even 46 percent of Matures using them. Increasingly,
Americans are living their lives on their phones!

The results speak for themselves. Churches that have provided effective mobile
giving options have seen it become a catalyst for growth in generosity. Among
churches using Pushpay, mobile givers gave $17 for every $10 given by non-mobile
givers. An increase of 70 percent!

Also, for the churches that offer it, mobile giving accounted for a much higher
percentage of the overall growth that those churches experienced with their
giving this past year. From 2016 to 2017, mobile giving to Pushpay churches
increased by 35 percent, while non-mobile giving increased by only 15 percent.

While it’s encouraging to see, this trend makes it even more surprising that so many
churches still don’t have a strategy for mobile generosity.

Even among the growing percentage of churches that have embraced online giving,
a mere seven percent of their total giving comes in via mobile. Considering how
common mobile giving and mobile payments have become in other sectors, mobile
giving could clearly provide churches more opportunities to engage givers.

A few years ago, Mike Holmes suggested in Relevant magazine that if Christians
would faithfully give 10 percent of their incomes to their local churches (the standard
tithe in many Christian traditions), we could eradicate many of the long-standing
problems plaguing the world, such as poverty, spiritual lostness, illiteracy, etc. It’s a
compelling argument. It reminds us that God has given the church all the resource it
needs to fulfill the mission He has given us.

But Christians must be generous with the resources God has given them. And to
help Christians be more generous, churches must provide tools that unlock that
generosity, not dampen it.

While we can expect the percentage of churches offering digital-giving options will
likely creep up over the next few years, it doesn’t have far to go. Nearly three quarters
of American churches already have online giving.

But churches don’t just need digital and mobile giving tools. Churches need the
right tool.

Today, only 15 percent of church giving comes through online avenues. That means
85 percent still comes in through cash or checks. If only 15 percent of all Americans’
financial transactions were online, we could chalk up the church’s slow adoption of
digital giving to a broader societal trend. Churches either aren’t providing the best
giving tools or they’re not communicating those options well. Too many churches
have chosen digital and mobile-giving solutions based upon price, not the quality
of service.

If your church doesn’t have an effective digital giving option, you’re likely foregoing
resources that you could use for much-needed ministry efforts in your community.

What kind of option should your church be adopting?
1. A digital-giving solution that leads with mobile. Mobile is the future of
church giving. As stated above, people are giving $17 on mobile solutions
for every $10 they give elsewhere. Your giving solution should strategically
drive people to a platform where they can give wherever they are. People
spend close to four hours a day on their mobile devices. Encourage people
to give through their mobile devices and you prepare them to give whenever
God leads them to do so. Make sure you ask any potential digital giving
vendor how their platform drives users to mobile giving.
2. You need a secure solution. Your community members entrust you
with hard-earned resources every week. They expect their money will
make its way to the ministries that matter to them. One security failure
could devastate your relationship with your community. You can’t afford
weak security.
Do some research on the digital options you’re considering. Ask other
churches about what they’re using and what their experience has been
like. Do Google and social media searches to see what people are saying
about the company’s security features.
3. Your giving solution has to be easy to use. Most people have little
patience for a complicated online financial transaction. Your givers should
be able to donate to your church in less than a minute with a few simple
taps on your custom app experience.
4. You should expect great customer service. You shouldn’t have to be a
digital expert to make technology work in your church. You need a digital
giving solution that walks with you as you implement it throughout your
church. Ask any prospective digital giving solutions how much support
you’ll get during implementation. Don’t just take their word for it, though.
Ask around.

To learn more about Pushpay’s digital-giving solution, talk to one of our many
experts today!

About Dunham+Company: Dunham+Company is a full-service Christian marketing
and fundraising company that helps churches and faith-based nonprofits develop
and execute a fully integrated fundraising strategy that results in year-over-year
growth in donated revenue. They exist to help mission-driven organizations close
“The Impact Gap.” (i.e., The gap that exists between the impact an organization
would like to make and the resources they have to execute that impact.) Each
client organization is provided the highest level of marketing, branding, media, and
fundraising expertise available.

Visit to learn more about what they can

do for your ministry.

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