This post was last updated on March 24th, 2021 at 11:13 am.
Having multiple ways people can donate online to the church is an absolute, not a nice to have church process — even for the smallest of churches.
According to Blackbaud 2014 Charitable Giving Report, many people are surprised to learn that fundraising activities is still less than 10% — currently at 8.8% for faith-based organizations in regards to online donations.
However, we need to have some context to this number. Blackbaud states — “As a point of comparison, it is helpful to look at online purchases as a percent of total retail sales. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales in the third quarter of 2014 accounted for 6.6% of total sales*.” So let’s break that down – online sales for products purchased online is 6.6% and online giving, specifically faith based charities, is at 8.8%. With online sales at 6.6% and faith based online donations are at 8.8% –> do you still believe online donations don’t play a part in your strategic organizational plans? This data alone shows the need for churches to have this as an added channel to the traditional methods of giving. It should not be an obstruction for your donors. 🙂
Let’s look at the size of the organization broken down into three sectors based on size – Small (less than 1M), Medium (1M – 10M) and Large (10M+). Keep in mind that this is any non-profit organization, not just churches, using a sample set of 4,798 organizations. Most churches will say they are too small to have an online donation system and probably would fall into the small category. However, the percentage of donation by each organizational size, is 7.4%, 5.6%, and 7.2%, respectively. So according to the data, the smallest organizations have the highest percentage of fundraising versus the other two, in regards to online donations. In other words it’s the smaller organizations that are gaining the most ground in regards to online donations year over year. Do you still believe your church is ‘too’ small for online donations?
Let’s look at another statistic. Online giving grew 8.9% from 2013 to 2014. Most would say 8.9% sounds small. It’s actually a 1.3 billion dollar increase across the sample set of organizations. Additionally, this increase came on the toes of an increase of 13.5% in 2013 from 2012. So in a span between 2012 to 2014, online giving went up 22.4%. People are shifting to online as they shop and donate.
Should your church be part of the online giving trend that only appears to get stronger each year?
The data clearly shows the need for churches to get online donations in their channel of giving solutions. It used to be an option in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. That’s not the case anymore. Most people can’t remember the last time they carried cash in their wallet, but I bet they know where their debit card is. 🙂 Increasing a church’s donations should happen where the donors are at, so to speak. They are in the electronic age and if the church doesn’t meet them there, I’m sure they will donate elsewhere.