This is Part 2 of a series of blog posts about the State of Church Giving 2024. To read Part 1 click here.
How can you, as a church leader, inspire and encourage generosity in your church?
Over the past few years, a tumultuous financial landscape amid an ever-changing culture has made giving in the church both challenging and crucial. For the most part, people have a heart to give, but balancing this desire and calling with the financial and cultural realities isn’t always easy.
As part of the 2024 State of Church Giving report, we took a look at congregational generosity so you can be better equipped to create a strong foundation of generosity for both now and the years to come.
Here are 2 challenges to generosity your church may be facing in 2024 and what you can do to help.
Whether you take a trip to the grocery store, sit down to pay a few bills, or simply shop online, chances are you’ll notice the impact of inflation. And unfortunately, the church is not exempt.
2023 saw an inflation rate of 3.2% while the average increase in church giving was 2.92% based on ChMS data. This means the church is shy of even keeping pace with these inflation rates.
Not only that, but inflation influenced congregational giving (55% of churches reported a decrease) and also impacted operational costs (65% reported a moderate or severe increase).
To say inflation presents a challenge to giving may be an understatement, but unfortunately, it’s not the only challenge churches face.
The next challenge churches are experiencing when it comes to fostering generosity is a convoluted and confusing online giving system.
Did you know according to M+R Benchmarks for 2023 for nonprofits only 19% of people who visit a donation page actually donate?
Yes, people want to be generous, but they also want a smooth and easy giving experience. In many cases, they are likely to give elsewhere (or not at all) if the process is complicated, confusing, or unclear.
Security is also a huge factor when it comes to helping people be generous. Donors want to feel secure and know their money is not only safe but being used for Kingdom purposes.
If you want to see how your church measures up and discover ways to improve online donations, you can download the free guide, “7 Steps to Improve Online Donations” here.
What can be done to combat these challenges to generosity this year? Here are just a few financial strategies churches are seeking to utilize:
Not all of these may be the right direction for your church, but it’s wise to seek the Lord and meet with leaders to discuss options.
When asked about how to handle these financial challenges, 71% of churches considered highlighting financial needs or directly asking their congregation to increase giving and 57% of churches plan to scale back programs/ministries or defer maintenance/capital projects.
Another option 20% of churches are exploring is finding additional income sources. These sources include:
Here’s what it boils down to; yes, there are challenges to generosity, but there are also wise financial strategies your church can consider and employ.
The same God who asks us to be generous also promises to provide for our needs (Philippians 4:19).
As you enter 2024, don’t let the challenges to generosity create fear or uncertainty. Instead, walk forward unified as a church and certain of the mission God has laid before you.
If you want to learn more about challenges, solutions, and what other churches are doing, download the full 2024 State of Church Giving report here.
This is part 2 of a 4 part series on the State of Church Giving Report (You can read Part 1 here.)