People love to give, especially when their gift or donation impacts their community and the world around them. This hasn't always been the case: Giving USA publishes an annual insight into the world of charitable donations and giving within the church has declined rapidly since the '90s. This past year, however, there has been an uptick in religious giving.
This is great news for your congregation, but the question remains: How do you improve on this uptrend in giving? The answer is largely found in transparency.
Transparency breeds trust and trust is essential when you are asking for money–be it tithes, offerings, or a one-time gift. In fact, the Millennial Impact Report indicates that the generation now stepping into adulthood is less likely to give to organizations that lack transparency and accountability.
How do you become transparent with your congregation? Think of it this way: When you share your story–or testimony–with someone else, your vulnerability invites trust and connection. The same is true when you share the story or mission of the church.
Opening up about money–how it is being used and where it is most needed–builds trust between you, your staff, and your church members. It gives congregations an opportunity to be part of the story of growth, financial blessing, and increase in the church and community.
Here are three simple ways to encourage giving through transparency within your congregation.
Rather than letting your church members assume their tithes all land in one big pot, give them an opportunity to see the budget categories every time they give. NewFire's church donation management software allows for an unlimited number of giving categories. Showing different categories for online giving lets you encourage giving to a specific area. It also means your church members can see how money is dispersed every time they open your church giving app.
Create a Monthly Focus
Whether your congregation meets once a week or once a month, you can help create an expectation of giving by taking one gathering a month (or quarter) to focus on a specific need within the church or community. Take a week to focus on missions or another to emphasize community outreach. If your goal is to get new seating for the sanctuary, share that with your congregation and add it as a category in your donation software. Let your church join in the fun of accomplishing that goal together.
Talk Openly About Money
While talking about money may be one of the more difficult topics, it is also the area in which transparency is most essential. People love to know that they are having an impact. Talking about how their monetary gifts impact the church is a great place to start. Your openness about building, salary, and property needs can change the way your church members view their tithes and offerings–for the better.
Transparency may look different for each church or congregation, but the goal is still the same: to let people know that the money they give is making a difference. Bring your church along for the ride. Let them be part of the journey of giving and share in the joy of impacting their church, their community, and other communities around the globe.
Learn more about NewFire Giving's digital giving software or how to increase financial giving in your church when you apply IGNITE, the Church Giving Framework. Check out our complimentary course here.