Every church, regardless of size, relies heavily on donations. But the offering is more than just a donation to support various projects or meet certain fundraising goals. And it is certainly more than just a tax-deductible contribution. A sense of gratitude for God's gracious gifts is usually where most churches start, but keeping donors engaged depends significantly on your specific situation. You’re working hard to make God’s amazing grace clear to your church, so what’s holding people back from giving?
We have identified the 8 biggest barriers to giving. To encourage generosity among your members, consider addressing the following reasons people may not give to your church in the way you expect.
1. Members Aren’t Familiar with the Christian Meaning of Their Offerings
Many members of your congregation think the only offering is their money. Provide ways for them to give of themselves by offering their time and talent to core missions as well. By doing this, your congregation members will become more engaged in your ministries and feel connected as a community.
Look for an online platform that combines communication tools with eGiving options and can integrate them with your church-management software, like Church360○ and Shepherd’s Staff. Bringing these pieces together into your tech strategy streamlines mission work.
2. You Aren’t Offering Different Payment Methods
With the technology now available, and the rise of mobile phones and credit/debit cards, many members don’t write checks or carry around cash. They appreciate the option to offer their gifts to the Lord anytime and anywhere. Instead of making coming to church the only way people can share their treasures, go to them by offering online payment methods.
Offering a variety of payment methods will ensure that your congregation members see that offering their donations is as easy and convenient as possible.
3. They Don’t See or Hear About Results after They Give
Show how your congregation puts to beneficial use the donations they give. Storytelling is a powerful way to connect with your congregants. Instead of telling your congregation about the amount of money you raised, tell a story about how those gifts helped a local student attend college or ensured local children had backpacks for school. Share these stories during services, in your church app, and in weekly bulletins.
When congregation members see how their gifts are sharing the love of Christ and making a positive impact on their local community, they want to continue to help.
4. You Aren’t Giving Your Donors Enough Credit
It’s easy to think your members are uninterested in parting with their treasures. But sometimes all they need is to see how they can help achieve your mission and ministries needs. Help them see that their donations make a difference by using the church app to create conversations between members and church leaders.
5. They Believe They Can’t Give If They’re Not Attending in-Person Services
The shift to virtual ministry brought about by COVID has changed how members interact with their church—and the offering. Remind your members how they can continue to honor the Lord and support your mission, even when they’re not attending in person. Offer options for giving online, via text, or on a mobile app. Demonstrate the work your church does with their electronic gifts by sharing stories during virtual services, through email, or via your church app.
6. They Don’t Have the Choice of Where Their Donations Go
One barrier to giving is when members aren’t passionate about funding general operations. They want to direct donations to specific causes, which is something many organizations today allow donors to do. Your church can do this too. Allow your congregation members to donate to specific funds as well as to the general offering. This empowers members to financially support the causes they care about.
7. They Don’t Believe Their Donations Should Go to Funding Staff
Confronting this reason can be uncomfortable. But God’s Word is clear: “If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?” (1 Corinthians 9:11). Your congregation’s donations fund everything from mission trips to building maintenance, but some members might feel that their gifts should not go to funding church staff’s paychecks. Communicate the importance of funding general operations so the pastor(s) and staff can give their full-time attention to ministering to the congregation, rather than working other jobs to support their families. Make finances a regular part of the conversation. When members understand the church’s vision, and how their donations fund it, they are more likely to support it.
8. You Never Asked
Conversations about giving can be uncomfortable. Yet avoiding such conversations could signal to your congregation that giving is not an important part of being a Christian or something they need to do. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask.
Your church’s ability to support Gospel ministry depends on the generosity Jesus stirs in the hearts of your members through His Gospel. Your ability to understand and adapt to your members’ giving habits will help channel that generosity. The more you know about their motivations, the more likely you will succeed.
Introducing eGiving to your church offers more flexibility for your congregation. With the right eGiving provider, like Vanco, churches can offer multiple tools so members can donate however is most convenient, whether via mobile methods or in person.
Vanco was made for churches and is trusted by more than 25,000 churches to provide an experience, not just a payment platform. Vanco’s solutions help churches meet financial goals that support their mission.
See how Vanco will help your church thrive. Watch Vanco’s video to see how your church can provide an online giving experience your members will love.