Most churches were impacted by the economic downturn and are finally breathing a sigh of relief as lower unemployment rates indicate an improving economy. This is good news for churches that have had to rein in spending on ministry programs the last several years.
There are few church leaders who enjoy talking about giving, but contributions increase when members understand what the need is, where their donations are going and what part their giving plays in helping to fulfill the mission of the church.
There are best practices when it comes to increasing giving and the following ten points could have a positive impact on giving in your church.
10 Compelling Tips to Boost Tithing in Your Church – 10 Ways to Increase Giving in Your Church
1. Share a Compelling Vision
It is the responsibility of church leadership to help members understand the mission (why we exist) and vision (where we are going) of the ministry. This means creating a church culture that is so attuned to the mission that members rally around its cause and support it with their labor (volunteers) and their dollars (financial support).
2. Teach on Giving
Not every church member will understand the biblical principles of giving and it is the responsibility of the church to teach them. It is a sensitive subject, no doubt, but there are some proven models that help to educate and increase understanding of the basic giving principles. Members who understand these principles tend to give more.
3. Teach on Personal Finance
It doesn’t matter how committed a member is to giving if his/her personal finances are a mess. Most of us understand the challenge and limitations that come with carrying personal debt. Host a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course and help members experience the freedom that comes with living a debt free lifestyle.
4. Communicate the Need
Members can only help with those things that they are aware of. Help your congregation support the ministry by communicating what financial needs the church has. For example, if the HVAC unit is on its last leg, put the word out so church members can help fund the replacement.
5. Share Budget Information
Church members fund church operations and have an interest in how those dollars are spent. Determine the best way to share monthly budget information updates. Use the weekly bulletin, lobby posters or website to make information available. Designate someone to answer budget questions that might come up.
6. Make Giving Easy
Gone are the days of people carrying around a check book. Use technology to make giving easy by providing a donate button on the church website, establishing a mobile giving option, or offering automatic Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT).
7. Manage Church Conflict
When conflict arises in a church it is either resolved or members slowly disappear. Manage conflict as soon as festering issues appear. The sooner you can squelch a rumor, disagreement or miscommunication, the easier it is to resolve. Take the time to address issues as they come up to ensure a cohesive church culture.
8. Pursue Accreditation
Churches have been slow to recognize the value in seeking accreditation but having a seal of approval from organizations like ECFA, gives members confidence that the church is being managed with the highest of ethical standards. The accreditation process can be time consuming but worth the time investment because of the credibility that comes with displaying the ECFA seal of approval.
9. Demonstrate Good Stewardship
When people give to an organization they want to know that the money they donate is used for its intended purpose. Demonstrate good stewardship by diligently seeking out the most cost effective ways of managing church resources. For example, make a practice of soliciting at least three bids when hiring a contractor to do church building projects.
10. Ask for a Financial Commitment
There is something about making a commitment that keeps members focused on their financial responsibility to the church. Do a giving campaign once a year and ask members to commit to weekly or monthly giving to support the church budget requirements.
Churches rely on the financial support of members and successful churches have learned how to keep giving members motivated. They do this by helping them understand what the mission is they are giving to, how those dollars are used and giving them the confidence that the church is managing its resources with the highest of ethical standards.