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Moving beyond the

weekly five minute giving window


Current research indicates changing reasons for “why” people give through the church.  They give because of connections, a clear plan of action, and evidence that the mission of God is being advanced.  People want to know that their money and energy is truly changing lives, and effecting people well beyond what they could do on their own.  “How” people give is also transforming.


You are already “collecting” offerings. Expand your options.  Continue (do not stop!) your current practice of gathering financial gifts through the regular use of the offering plate.  Explore whatever methods are available and most helpful to empower people to be generous stewards.  With electronic giving, you are adding to what you are currently doing to provide people with workable options to faithfully support the Lord’s work. 


People in our pews are increasingly comfortable with and expecting electronic giving options to be available.  Most members are already on line and:

  • Have likely registered for events, made purchases, and give to other organizations on line.

  • Want to sign-up and give in ways that are convenient to them and part of their normal practice of using electronic and online means to manage the transfer of money.

  • Expect electronic reminders so they don’t forget any details or miss any opportunities.

  • Prefer to confirm details and gather information online without having to call the church office.


Offer multiple giving options.  

  • Offering envelopes  Add a line to your envelopes that allow members to indicate an offering was shared by eGiving.  Do not stop using envelopes.

  • Include a link and a reminder to give in your electronic communication pieces.

  • Use a “give online” button on your church website.  

  • Offer a QR (quick response) code in print materials to link Smartphone and tablet users to your website and people can give during the offering time if cellular or wifi service is available in the sanctuary.

  • Electronic funds transfer allow people sign up to have their offerings automatically withdraw from one of their financial accounts. (i.e. Simply Giving)

  • eChecks providing the opportunity to transfer funds electronically directly to church accounts.

  • Debit, credit card, PayPal giving options.

  • Apps for Smart phones and tablets.  (Take a look at the Starbucks app)

  • Mobile text giving

  • Facebook fan page donations


Increasingly people do not use checks and will not have a check with them at worship time. When you limit giving options to checks or cash, those without checks will give you nothing or will only share a small amount of cash since they don’t carry much cash and primarily use cards, phones, electronic and online transactions to handle their finances.  Few people are without their phone during worship.


70-75% of your baptized members do not attend worship on a typical weekend.  25-30% of the people who do regularly attend worship are gone each weekend. Illness, family commitments, sports, leisure activities, out of town trips, etc. will keep many people away from church each Sunday. Most people that miss a worship service will also miss giving because the church has limited the opportunity to give to a few minutes during a worship service. While some people will give more the next time they participate in worship, most people will not.  “Check and cash only” giving supports a restricting linkage between worship and giving.  The “summer slump” in both attendance and giving that is experienced by most congregations is result of a “check and cash only” culture.


15-20% of the households will be in the building on Sunday but will not make it to the worship service. Many people that serve in the nursery, fellowship teams, or as Sunday school teachers often miss going to a worship service when they serve.  Add in the significant households who will only be with you for one hour, and will choose to participate in Sunday Church School rather than the worship service. When you limit giving to a few minutes in a worship service, many of these people will not give at all.


Electronic giving helps you easily connect with your church members for year-end giving and special offerings during the year. In every church, there are monies collected for a variety of things beyond the general offerings -- building projects, Mission Support, special projects and causes, and more. When you have electronic giving available, a simple email with a CLICK HERE TO DONATE link can encourage generosity and stimulate extra gifts. Without electronic giving, you’re confined to collecting an offering in the church service and sending out mailings.


Electronic giving is a growing trend (that will not go away) that church leaders must respond to positively and appropriately. .  As a growing number of people depend on electronic giving to manage their finances, churches must help them be faithful and generous givers. Electronic giving is here to stay.   Investigate how technology donation companies might address your questions and the costs of their services.  Note: While there are fees associated with processing electronic giving, the amount you gain may be greater than any costs incurred.  Investigate the costs and benefits of these options.


To download a PDF copy of this document, click here.

Online Giving Resources (power point)

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