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Church Giving Statistics: What Does The Research Say?

by Bryan Halverson
Header graphic for article detailing the statistics about church giving

We all know churches are a part of the community and have been for centuries. Churches provide many services to their congregations, communities, and people in need. However, average church giving seems to be trending down, and fewer people are choosing to give to churches.

In this article, we will go over some hard facts and numbers on average giving trends to help shed light on the importance of supporting your local church.

Charitable Giving To Churches And Religious Groups

According to Nonprofits Source, Americans donate over $50 billion a year to charities and churches in the United States. It is a way of giving back that allows people to witness how their contribution makes an impact in their community and to those in need. Non-religious people donate their time and money to various nonprofit organizations as well, with 75% of individuals who don’t participate in any sort of worship community still giving to nonprofit organizations at least once per year.

A lot of non-believers want to do something productive with themselves—whether that be through volunteering or making donations. They may not have any religious ties, but they still care about connecting deeply with those around them. These individuals may be more willing to give to churches if ministries partner and engage with secular organizations in the community.

Payment Methods

While cash is still king at the checkout counter, it’s not as popular when church members and attendees give. They generally prefer to use their cards, which often involves an online giving option. Card transactions are quickly becoming the number one way to give at church. More than 49% of all charitable giving at churches happens with a card.

So what does this mean? It means giving preferences may have changed over the years, with many turning to online giving solutions, but religious giving is still going strong. Churches across America continue to do great work in their communities and serve a huge number of people every year with these donations.

Income And Debt

According to a recent study by Northwestern Mutual, an average American has $38,000 in non-mortgage debt. However, most regular church attendees have no credit card debt at all. In fact, only 20% report having any kind of revolving credit balance. Churchgoers are often very generous, but they also spend less of their income on average than those who don’t attend church. 

Christians in the United States offer an average church giving of 2.5% of their net income, according to Christianity Today. In comparison, during the Great Depression, Christians gave 3.3%.

Tithing

Tithing in religious organizations is where donations are given to the church on a regular basis. It’s hard to make generalizations about what percentage of people give, but in one 2022 study, 77% who regularly tithe gave 11%-20% more than baseline tithers at 10%.

Only about a quarter of members in a normal church congregation tithe. In addition to contributing financially, tithers are often involved in other spiritual activities as well, such as small groups and volunteering. They are found in abundance among the members of many churches and synagoguesm, and may make up nearly half of that congregation!

However, more than seven percent of churchgoers have dropped regular charitable giving by 20% or more. Churchgoers may be less likely to give because they feel like what they do isn’t enough, which means churches need new strategies for engaging members and getting them excited about generosity.

Online Tithing And Crowdfunding Campaigns

Many churches have online church giving solutions that allow people to give money to their local church with credit cards. In one study, churches that accept credit cards saw donations increase by 32%. This is a very important idea for those who are looking to encourage their church attendees to be more generous.

If your church is conducting a capital campaign, such as for a building, it can help to focus on what makes this campaign unique from others that have been launched before yours. Campaigns are proven to be more successful when supporters are given regular updates about the campaign’s progress. For example, in a recent study, it was shown that 126% of donations came from those who received updates on their crowdfunding project compared to only 63% who did not receive updates.

Including personal stories and videos in your services, in your emails, and on your website can go a long way. The statistics of crowdfunding campaigns show that people are more willing to donate when they see a personal video. For example, according to Nonprofits Source, over half the viewers who watched an emailed campaign made a donation, as opposed to those receiving no media, such as email or YouTube links.

What makes these videos so powerful? Personalizing your content with real stories and emotions is key in reaching people’s hearts so they understand the purpose of the gifts and give money more often and in larger amounts.

Ways To Streamline And Increase Church Giving

As the numbers show, there are plenty of people out there willing to support their local church through tithes and offerings. The key is to make it as easy as possible to do so.

One of the many ways that you can make the giving process easier and more successful is by using software that is specifically created for the giving and accounting needs of churches. Aplos was designed to address the unique needs of churches, and it includes tools that make giving simple and efficient. The ease of use makes giving effortless, which will help move many members into becoming consistent tithers.

Learn why thousands of churches use Aplos to save time and increase giving.

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