How Churches Can Inspire Giving Heading Into A Recession
Updated: Nov 3
With headlines like “The Worst is Yet to Come,” when talking about a global economic recession, we should all wonder about the personal effects. Pastors, however, must consider both how a recession will impact their congregants as well as their church. And, if the last decade’s recession is similar, they know that churches are especially vulnerable during uncertain economic times. How then, can churches inspire giving while headed into a recession?
The truth of the matter is complex. Overall giving is down for churches across the board. Tithers make up just 10-25 percent of most congregations and many churches only receive $17 per week from adult church-goers, according to Nonprofits Source. Inspiring healthier and sustainable giving heading into a recession requires both strategic and behavioral change.
Let’s first look at the giving strategy. People are more likely to give when they see the impact of their donations. As much as you are able, tell the story of the impact you intend to make every time you ask your congregation to give.
For example, perhaps your worship team needs to upgrade its instruments. The guitars have seen better days and spot fixes are taking their toll on the overall service. Invite your guitarist to show the church the instrument they’re struggling with and explain how a new Fender Stratocaster would improve weekly services.
Or maybe the best days are behind for the passenger van that’s crucial for the missionary work you do in the community. Show your congregation the bills from the mechanic, the worn interior, or have a driver speak about how they brace themselves every time they go over a bump in the road. Tell them about the van you’d like to upgrade to and explain how it will further your work in the community.
But giving isn’t always tied to a direct need, and that’s okay, too. As a church leader, you have infinite access to the experience of helping others and bringing them into faith. Bring those stories to the church by inviting the teen who came out of their shell and started their own Bible study to share their perspective on Sunday. Produce a video of the grateful mother who didn’t have to cook for a week when her child broke their leg because the congregation came together to put a meal on her family’s table during that trying time. Have a new member of the church explain how it was the work of your missionaries that inspired them to faith and to be present with the congregation today.
The most strategic way to inspire giving is to constantly remind your church of the impact their dollars make as often as possible.
Explaining the impact of giving goes a long way to increase overall giving, however, it doesn’t change the fact that some may not have the money in their bank account to actually begin a habit of consistent giving or increased giving. Especially in difficult economic times, people need flexibility in how they give to overcome financial barriers and make a gift.
One fast-growing trend to solve this problem is to offer flexible giving options to your congratulation. For example, Givzey’s Give Now Pay Later solution empowers donors to make their intended philanthropic impact today, but then pay the gift over time – for free, without any fees, interest, or credit checks.
The amazing part about Givzey’s Give Now Pay Later solution is that your church receives the full donation amount upfront, immediately after a donor makes a gift, while the donor does not take the full hit to their wallet right away. For example, if the donor gives $100, they pay just $25 at the time of their gift, and $25 for the next three months. Meanwhile, the church receives $100 the moment the gift is processed.
Flexible giving empowers the faith community to meet the needs of their donors, especially in uncertain times. In turn, your congregation can feel secure by making gifts that reflect their values.