Church Giving – The 55/45 Rule

Leadership Network recently published an insightful article by Chris Willard and Warren Bird focused on giving metrics in the context of congregational ministry.  This piece mentions something I think should be called the 55/45 rule. This rule comes from research conducted by David Thoroughman, CEO of the donor analytics firm MortarStone.  Thoroughman found that, on average, 99% of a congregation's funding comes from giving units that give $200 or more a year but only 55% of all attendees Read More …

Year-End Giving Appeals

Many nonprofit organizations, including churches, receive a great deal of their annual budgets in the form of end of year giving.  Matt Steen, creator of Church Simple, considered the wisdom circulating via multiple recent articles of note regarding how best to time end of year giving appeals.  According to the latest Google study, 3/4 of potential end of year donors begin researching how they will spend their year end dollars in September. So What? For many congregations, the annual Read More …

Tithers

The fifth annual State of the Plate survey revealed interesting data about tithers.  Among the over 4,000 tithers participanting in the survey: 73% of those who "tithe" give over 10%, including 9% who give over 20%; 70% "tithe" based on their gross income rather than net income; and 63% started tithing before turning 30. Interestingly tithers have lower debt levels and are financially better off than non-tithers: 80%  have no unpaid credit card bills, 74% have no car Read More …

Pastors & Member Giving

The May 2013 edition of Christianity Today includes a conversation about whether or not pastors should know how much church members give (p.16).  The piece features six perspectives placed on a continuum from yes to no. So What? Over the years, I have been involved in many conversations about this topic.  It is one about which many people have very strong feelings. Which of the following best describes what you believe is appropriate? Which best describes your local congregation's Read More …

Church Giving in the Future

The Spring 2013 edition of Leadership Journal focuses on money, emphasizing how congregations can fund ministries in ways that are consistent with their DNA.  While many articles within this edition's pages offer considerable practical insight two that consider the longer term are of particular note. In "Why I Won't Give to Your Church," Robert Jewe explains why as a 23-year-old he may hesitate to fund congregational ministry and mission (p.37).  His honest appeal requests that churches honor Read More …

Less Generous Than We Think

According to the Science of Generosity Survey, self-reported data about how much people give to religious causes is significantly inflated.  While roughly 25% stated they tithed (gave 10% of their income) to charity, actual giving records revealed that just 3% gave 5% or more to charity.  And, not only do people have exceedingly favorable self-impressions, many are anything but generous: only 57% of respondents claim they gave more than $25 in the past year to charity. So What? It has long Read More …

Is Tithing Required?

Cnn.com religion editor Dan Gilgoff shared the findings of a recent informal survey of the National Association of Evangelicals in a blog post.  He writes: The survey, conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) among its 100-member board of directors, found that 42% of evangelical leaders believe the Bible requires tithing, while 58% do not . . . The National Association of Evangelicals, the nation’s biggest evangelical umbrella organization, would not say how many of its 100 Read More …

Has Church Giving Rebounded?

Last week the findings of the third annual "STATE of the PLATE" shows that  after two years of steep decline, giving to churches increased slightly in 2010.  Writing for USA Today, Cathy Lynn Grossmann summarized the research with four bullet points: Giving is up: 43% of churches saw increased giving in 2010, up from 36% in 2009. The decline has stabilized: 39% of churches said giving was down in 2010, 38% last year. December offered a boost: Christmas-time generosity often puts church Read More …

Giving is Both/And not Either/Or

Adelle Banks recently wrote a piece for Religion News Service about research conducted by Grey Matter Research & Consulting on behalf of the nonprofit fundraising firm the Russ Reid Co.  The research suggests: Houses of worship and other charities often aren't in competition for dollars but instead tend to reap donations from similar donors . . . the more Americans give to a house of worship, the more they donate to other groups. So What? In the article, Banks quoted Ron Sellers, Read More …

Time Before Money

Wendy Liu, Assistant Professor of Marketing at UCLA Anderson School of Management,  and Jennifer Lynn Aaker,  General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, co-authored "The Happiness of Giving: The Time-Ask Effect," which was published in the Journal of Consumer Research; October 2008, Vol. 35 Issue 3, pp.543-557.  Those interested in the full text can read it here.  The abstract summarizes the paper: This research examines how a focus on time Read More …