For four weeks we are reporting on the responses from our Covid-19 Survey. Thanks, again, for those of you who participated!
The Survey was designed to cover four key areas about what congregations have been experiencing during the Covid-19 pandemic and thoughts about beyond Covid-19. The areas surveyed included:
- Ministry Volunteerism
- Learnings from the Covid-19 Era
TODAY’S FOCUS IS ON GIVING
Question: Have you continued giving offerings throughout Covid-19?
100% of respondents said “Yes”.
- Of course!
- I have been impressed with the stability of giving.
Question: Have you increased, decreased, or continued your offerings at the pre-pandemic gift level?
65% of the respondents have continued giving at the same level.
31% of the respondents have increased their giving.
4% of the respondents have decreased their giving.
- We have seen a modest overall increase in giving due to an increase in online giving.
- I increased mission giving, while keeping regular weekly giving the same.
- I have occasionally used online giving to supplement our mailed offerings.
- I have given extra, including part of my stimulus check.
Question: By what method are you making your contributions?
21% give through electronic bank draft set up by the church.
19% give by mail.
19% give online through their church system.
12% give through their bank’s bill pay system.
6% drop their offerings off at church,
2% give through a mobile app on their phone or tablet.
0% give by texting.
21% Specified other.
- Mail, electronic bank draft and mobile app.
- Drop off at church and payment through bill pay.
- Through donor advised fund / charitable gift account.
- Pay from my credit card.
Question: Have you contributed to any special Covid-19 appeals?
67% of respondents said “Yes”
33% of respondents said “No”
- Gave money to the food pantry supported by the church and others in town.
- Gave to our church for food insecurity as well as technology.
- Gave to charities and not-for-profit resource center.
- Gave our stimulus check.
People remain generous toward their church!
In my recent interactions with pastors, I have been told that over the last few months their membership has sustained, and in some cases increased, their regular giving. The early fears of a sudden drop-off of giving due to the pandemic has not been realized. This is a testament to the importance of our churches in the lives of the members, and the priority that members give to funding their churches.
Making giving convenient is key.
Congregations have been successful in offering flexible ways for their members to continue their regular giving. For the older generations, using the mail remains a familiar way of giving. No doubt that electronic giving (e.g. bank draft setup by the church, online giving through the church website, a member’s bank bill pay system) are here to stay and will continue to emerge as important, permanent, means by which members give. No doubt, other forms of electronic giving will likely emerge and grow in popularity, including giving through a smartphone app, or text, or special kiosks at church once on-site worship kicks in.
People will support special Covid-19 fundraising efforts.
Congregations should not shy away from conducting a special Covid-19 related appeal, asking members to consider giving above and beyond their regular giving. The purpose for the funds can be: 1) to address pressing human needs made more pronounced by the pandemic, or 2) investments in church technology and infrastructure that helps the congregation stay connected virtually, and helps prepare the church for a safe return of its members to onsite worship.
Fred Stoltz, Sr. Program Director
The James Company