Debunking the Top Six Reasons Against Electronic Giving-Pt 1

by | November 3, 2016

It’s 2016, but I still receive push back from church leaders about offering electronic giving to their members. There are always reasons for the pushback and often there is internal struggle in the church between groups who want to utilize it and those who don’t. And yes, often those groups are at opposite ends of the age spectrum. Here is a list of common reasons I hear for not wanting to offer electronic giving, and my responses.

1. We don’t want to pay the fees.

Yes, allowing electronic giving means bank fees. But is having 98% of $100 dollars better than having 0% of $100? You will bring in “new money” by offering electronic giving, money that wouldn’t come in otherwise. Not to mention if people are able to set up recurring gifts they will not be as likely to miss their regular giving, which would bring in more money for the church.

That’s the practical part, now for the spiritual part. If you pay some money each month for fees, but because of electronic giving someone in your church has grown in their faith, is it money wasted? Of course not! Churches pay for things to help members grow spiritually all the time, and this is another opportunity.

Here’s the big question, what is giving all about in a church? If your answer is to maintain the budget or even to grow ministries I believe you’re mistaken. God doesn’t need our money to grow ministry. The purpose of giving is for us to show that God is in control, to thank Him for how He’s blessed us, and in return we have the cool opportunity to play a role in spreading the Gospel.

Finally, there are different ways to structure electronic giving. You can pay more per month and less per transaction or more per transaction and less per month. You can communicate which ways of electronic giving have lower fees so your members can choose how they give.

Ask churches in your area that offer online giving. Do they regret it? I can assure you the answer is no. A recent church staff member I met with told me about their church seeing a 15% growth in giving when electronic giving was instituted and the growth was due to new givers. A staff member at another church said their electronic giving constituted 30% of total giving and gave them a more regular cash flow because it was consistent.

2. If people really wanted to give they would bring a check to the service.

Yes, for your mature Christians they will always make the effort to give. But what about those who aren’t as mature or those who simply don’t have a checkbook like many in our younger generations.

What if on Sunday you announced that Sunday School would start the next week at 4:30 am? Sure some of your members would show up because they are that committed to doing whatever it takes. But I’m guessing your visitor count would be low, and most of your less engaged members wouldn’t be making the effort. You schedule your Sunday School right near the worship service so it will be easy for your people to make the transition to a small group. See the correlation?

What’s wrong with making it convenient for people to give to God?

3. We don’t want people to go into debt.

I’ve heard this before and I have to laugh. Can someone show me a person they know who has gone broke through giving to a Gospel centered church? Not to some tv evangelist or get rich quick scheme of course because those stories are out there, but to a real God honoring Biblical church?

Those who are giving for the right reasons will never go broke because God honors the heart that gives out of gratitude.

Now if this really is a worry, then you can restrict the use of credit cards if you are so inclined. Many electronic giving programs will allow you choose which cards to accept, although keep in mind by restricting certain cards you may miss out on some who would like to give in that manner.

Next week, I will conclude by debunking the last three reasons against electronic giving.

                                                  

Image: “Social media apps” by Jason Howie is licensed under CC BY 2.0

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Everything you need to inspire generosity.

RECENT Posts

Why Shifting Your Fiscal Year is a Next Level Generosity Best Practice

Shifting Your Fiscal Year

By shifting their fiscal year away from the traditional calendar, an estimated 40% of vital churches have become better equipped to manage ministry funding. In most churches, up to a third of yearly income is received in December.  In the next offering from Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series, Managing Partner, Joe Park describes why moving to a non-traditional fiscal calendar should be one of your church’s best practices.

 

 

To find out more about Joe Park, click here.

 

Horizons’ Next Level Generosity (NLG) is a framework that enables church leaders to align people and resources to do more ministry. We’re not talking about a capital campaign, but a shift in culture that multiplies a church’s capacity to change lives and make a lasting impact on its community.  Churches that use NLG are reporting double-digit increases in year-over-year giving. To arrange a free 20-minute consultation to explore if NLG is right for you church visit nextlevelgenerosity.com or contact us at info@horizons.net

 

Did you miss the first installments in Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series? Find them in our free Giving365 vault by clicking on the Giving365 logo below.

Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource

 

 

Three Prescriptions for Curing a Scarcity Mindset

Do you hear things like, “Money is tight! We need to tighten our belts?” Or “People are giving all they can. We can’t ask them to do more?”

 

If the answer is yes, then your church may be afflicted with a scarcity mindset.

 

In this video, Kristine Miller, CFRE, Partner and SVP at Horizons, will discuss ways to overcome a scarcity mindset and the fear and hesitancy created by a glass-is-half-empty attitude. Also, you will learn how to build a culture that celebrates God’s abounding blessings and grows generous hearts.

 

In this next video in Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series will help your church giving and move to the next level of generosity.

 

 

Horizons’ Next Level Generosity (NLG) framework can help you create and carry out your Generosity Battle Plan. Beginning with a comprehensive 360-degree analysis, your Horizons Ministry Strategist will create a clear and effective strategy for shifting your generosity culture. The result is more money for ministry and authentic life-change for your congregation. To arrange a free 20-minute consultation, contact info@horizons.net

 

Did you miss the first installments in Horizons’ Giving Intelligence Series? Find them in our free Giving365 vault by clicking on the Giving365 logo below.

Giving365 - Blog - Horizons - church stewardship resource

To find out more about Kristine Miller, click here.

 

What Church Leaders Need to Know About New Giving Trends

Ten years ago, in Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate, I voiced my concern that giving to religion, as a share of overall giving, had fallen significantly over the last several decades and was half of what it once was. At the time, the giving trends indicated that if we did not change the way we do overall stewardship in the church, the decline in giving would continue. Well, now it has happened!

 

For the first time ever, giving to religion as a percent of overall charitable donations has dropped below 30%.

 

For 2018, Giving USA reports gifts to religious organizations are down 1.5% to just 29% of total charitable giving. Total giving to charity rose to 427 billion dollars, but this came more from foundations and corporations and not from individuals–the church’s primary revenue source. On average, Americans gave away only 1.9% of their disposable income.

These giving trends are as alarming to me today as they were back in 2008 when I first rang the bell of concern. Financial resources are not our mission, but they are the fuel that propels the mission.

 

Without money, there can be no mission and no ministry in these days when the faith is struggling around the world.

 

What caused the latest decline? Some will blame the last tax law changes that significantly increased the standard deduction and thus reduced the number of people who itemize. Others will say that it just reflects that fewer people are in church and the world is more secular. I do not buy into the theory that the causes are all external and thus any solution must be external. I still hold to the conviction that the solution is within the church to save the church, but we have avoided the hard work necessary to make the cultural adjustment to get it done. In the strongest possible way, I am encouraging you to re-examine how you are teaching and preaching financial stewardship. How are you moving your church away from the stewardship methods of the 20th century and responding to a new 21st century culture?

 

How will you respond to the latest giving trends?

 

You do not need the new 2019 annual campaign in a box. You may not even need a capital campaign. What you do need is a systematic long-term culture shift that creates not just funds for the budget but generous hearts and minds. As I shared in my latest book God vs. Money, you need a Battle Plan.

Right now, many of you are thinking about what you are going to do for a fall stewardship emphasis. That is fine, but that is not going to fix the problem. Let me encourage you to form your fall campaign committee and put them to work if you must, but at the same time form another group that will go to work on a Battle Plan for generosity to change your whole church. If you are brave enough, go ahead and start to execute the plan ASAP and just skip the old approach. Why would you think just doing the same old thing will produce a different result? You may not be able to change America’s giving to religion, but you sure can do something to change your congregation to be generous followers of Christ.

 

Horizons’ Next Level Generosity (NLG) framework can help you create and carry out your Generosity Battle Plan. Beginning with a comprehensive 360-degree analysis, your Horizons Ministry Strategist will create a clear and effective strategy for shifting your generosity culture. The result is more money for ministry and authentic life-change for your congregation. To arrange a free 20-minute consultation, contact info@horizons.net

 

OUR NETWORK

Follow Us

PO Box 627
Cabot, Arkansas 72023

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This