Fall is a busy season for ministry. Your church is seeing mid-week programs come back to life after the summer break. You are planning fall events to enjoy the wonderful weather before the winter cold comes. Your congregation is refreshed and ready to dive back in. But for your church’s budget, the fall season may be bittersweet. So how can you increase church tithing this Fall?
Ministry takes money, and that money comes from the faithful tithing of your congregation. There are a few things you can do to increase your giving this fall, such as:
- Giving your congregation more ways to give
- Encouraging recurring gifts for faithful tithing
- Give “Tithes” its own custom giving form
- Encouraging pledging as a way to better plan for what’s coming
We know what you’re thinking ⎯ “That sounds great, but how can I actually do those things today?” We have your answer: Realm Church Giving. Realm Giving provides you all the giving tools you need to enable your congregants to support your ministry. Let’s look at 4 steps you can implement today to increase your church tithing using Realm Giving.
Give your congregation more ways to give
I remember sitting down in high school while my mom taught me how to balance my checkbook while looking at receipts and my monthly paper statement that the bank mailed to me. Now, I sit down each week and use online banking to do that same process. I use mobile apps to pay most of my bills, mobile banking to check my accounts on the fly, and online websites and mobile apps to place shopping orders on the go, plus receiving coupon codes through text to encourage that shopping, of course.
If banks and bills and shopping can be that accessible – online and mobile to view and use anywhere at any time – why should church be any different? Your members are involved in your ministries and want to support them, but not giving them the tools to do so even when they are outside your church walls places limits on their ability to give faithfully.
With Realm Giving, you can provide giving online, through the Realm Connect mobile app, and even through texting. Your members can choose the most convenient way to give, whether that’s online while they are paying their bills each week, using the mobile app when they are on vacation but still want to tithe, or even texting a gift while they are sitting in your church pews without cash or check on hand. Giving them all the possible ways to give removes barriers and increases the opportunity for more tithes to your ministry.
“In the first three months of doing online giving through Realm, we’ve seen a 15% increase in our giving, and roughly half of our giving now is done through online giving in Realm. Having Realm Accounting on the backend, having one place for everything, is just crucial.” – Eric, Lead Pastor
Encourage recurring gifts for faithful tithing
Think about your routines, things you do daily or weekly or even monthly. For me, that routine includes the gym 5 times a week, paying bills every other week, and mopping my floors every Sunday afternoon. I like routine because it holds me accountable to do the things I want to do or need to do to maintain and keep my life in order.
As believers, we are called to be faithful with our tithes, and one way to be faithful is to be consistent. Making tithing part of a routine keeps you accountable and reminds you of the spiritual blessings you receive by doing so. But let’s be honest…routine sounds easy until you add children, social activities, work responsibilities, and so much more on top of it.
One way you can encourage your congregation to be consistent in their tithing is by encouraging recurring gifts. Realm Giving allows your members and guests to set up recurring gifts at the time increment that best fits them. By setting up a recurring gift, they can ensure they are being faithful with their tithes while removing the worry of forgetting or accidentally skipping and getting behind in their tithes. Not only does this benefit the giver, but it benefits your church as you can then count on receiving those faithful gifts consistently.
“I switched to recurring giving. Now I know it’s happening every week. It’s regular; it’s consistent. It helps me plan, and now I know I’m tithing.” – Doug, Walnut Hill Community Church
Give “Tithes” its own custom giving form
I recently placed an online order for curbside pickup at my local Target. I know, what does Target have to do with giving? Just hang in there. I didn’t simply skip ahead to the checkout page and put my information in and give Target my $50 without knowing what I was getting in return. Instead, I shop and choose what my money is spent on specifically, which means I know it is being used to fill things I need. I don’t shop without a purpose.
The same goes for your congregation. They want to know exactly where they are giving their money. If they are giving their tithes, they want to know exactly where to do so. If they are giving offerings above their tithes, they want to see those options as well.
The best way to do this is through custom giving forms in Realm. Create a custom giving form in Realm for “Tithes” and link it to your General fund or your Tithes fund if you have one. Brand it for your church, post it on your website, share it in your weekly or monthly newsletter, and let your congregation know they can continue being faithful with their tithes using that giving form.
Custom giving forms can also help for special offerings in addition to tithes. Say your youth group is going on a mission trip next spring, and you are starting to raise funds this fall in preparation. Make that need known to your congregation, and then create a custom giving form specifically for the youth mission trip. Brand the form to match your youth ministry, include an image that depicts the trip or your youth group, and link the form directly to the fund your accountant has designated for that ministry. You can include that giving form on the youth page of your website or share it across social media and in your weekly or monthly newsletter so your church knows exactly how their offerings are being used. When they see the specific ministries doing God’s work through their offerings, they will be more apt to give additionally to those offerings.
Encourage pledging to better plan for upcoming ministries
If you’ve ever seen the really disheartening commercials about animals in need of care and food 𑁋 you know the one with the sad music in the background 𑁋then you’ve heard them ask for you to pledge $30 a month, just a $1 per day to help those animals in need. This goal means you call in and agree, and they can count on that pledge to better plan for their budgeting needs moving forward. Plus, as a donor, you can be held accountable to meet that pledge.
Pledging to your church works the same way through Realm. Your congregation can create a pledge and let your church know how much they plan to give within a certain pledge campaign. For tithes, you can create a pledge campaign for “Tithes” or “General Fund” and encourage your congregation to pledge their tithes to that campaign. In doing so, they are letting you know your potential budget in that space, and in turn, holding themselves accountable to meet that pledge before the campaign ends. Realm tracks their pledge, and they can view their progress, add a gift, or edit their pledge at any time in Realm online or through the Realm Connect app.
While tithing is part of each believer’s personal walk with God, you as church leaders should enable and encourage faithful tithes and offerings. Realm Giving gives you the tools to do so, and with these 4 steps, you can increase your giving and meet the needs of your ministry.
Leigh Ann Shelley joined the ACST team in 2019 as a Product Marketing Manager, overseeing the launch and overall communication of key solutions to support the church’s needs. Prior to joining ACST, she spent several years in communications and graphic design roles, most notably as a Communications Director for a large church in Florence, SC, where she leveraged Realm to help solve key ministry challenges.