The COVID-19 pandemic brought much uncertainty the past year, and the church was not immune to the many questions and doubts on where the pandemic would lead. Would people come back into the church? Would attendance, mostly virtual, continue to grow, or would the church look at a decrease of churchgoers, whether online or in-person? One of the biggest questions that we heard from pastors and leaders was, “What will tithing look like during the pandemic?” Will people continue to give during the pandemic?
While none of us could project what exactly would happen, we saw churches of all sizes and denominations embrace technology in order to offer their congregations ways to give tithes and offerings from wherever they were worshipping – at home, in quarantine, or anywhere else.
Let’s take a closer look at a few trends we saw during the pandemic, such as:
- How many churches are now offering eGiving?
- Do people give just as much online as in-person?
- Does online giving work for all ages, or just the “younger crowd”?
How many churches are now offering eGiving?
If you are one of those who added online giving options during the pandemic, you are part of the 78% of churches who now offer eGiving options, and part of the 42% that added those options after the pandemic began.*
Part of being a church leader means recognizing the needs of your congregants and enabling them to be faithful no matter where they may be. For many of you, that meant acknowledging the need for online, mobile, and text giving options. You answered the call to lead your congregation in being faithful with their offerings, and in turn, your congregation supported the needs of your ministry.
Do people give just as much online as in-person?
During the pandemic, 65% of virtual churchgoers say their giving remained the same, while 12% say they are tithing even more than before. Diving deeper into those who increased their giving, 64% increased their gifts by 10% or more, and a staggering 18% increased their tithes by 20% or more.*
Your congregation IS your church – the ministries, the outreach, the worship. Your church building is their home for carrying out their spiritual calling, and they are eager to support your church so they can continue their calling even during a pandemic. Continue sharing the needs of your church and watch your offerings grow to meet those needs.
Does online giving work for all ages, or just the “younger crowd”?
One myth we hear often is, “Only younger people prefer to give online…we must think of our older members as well.”
It is true that those between the ages of 24-44 do prefer to give using their smartphone, computer, or tablet – 54% to be exact. However, 13% of 55-65-year-olds are using their smartphones to tithe, and 15% of those aged 66-72 use their computer or tablet to give.* Which means even those who you may think are challenged with technology are anything but. They are learning and growing to embrace technology as a way to be faithful with their tithes.
Congregations across the country are embracing technology not only for giving, but also for streaming worship services, connecting to small groups, and much more, and preferences to use online options will continue to grow.
*Statistics from the 2021 Virtual Churchgoer Giving Study by Vanco
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.
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