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What motivates givers and why it matters for your church

Most of the churches we work with struggle to identify what motivates their members to give, either for the first time or to give more than before.

A few weeks ago, Katya Anderssen, COO at Network for Good, shared some general statistics for nonprofits about overall donor motivation. Here are a few statistics from Katya’s post about what motivates givers and why it matters for your church:

1.      Nonprofits that establish themselves as a donor’s top charity are more likely to receive greater support from them in terms of cash contributions, volunteering, event participation, and issue advocacy.

While this may seem obvious, it’s also a helpful reminder that the people who give to your church have more options for how to steward their charitable donations than ever before.

2.      A majority of donors (65%) reported supporting their top charity because they believe in the organization’s cause.

How can you get people on board with your cause? The easiest way is to ensure that people are experiencing life change from your ministry. This is an advantage the church has over other nonprofits. While donors can feel good about giving to other charities, it’s at your church that they experience overall life change. From there, it’s all about communicating your vision and mission to reach your community.

3.      The top three motivating factors for donors to give more were: 1) having an improvement in their personal financial situation, 2) having a passion for an organization’s mission, and 3) having access to information that proved the impact of their contributions.

There are a couple things we can glean from this. The first is that helping your members become better stewards of their money and get out of debt is a great way to cultivate generosity. The second is that you must be able to communicate the impact your church is making because of the donations of your members.

What about my specific church?

While these statistics might provide a good foundation to understand what motivates your church’s givers, the truth is that every church is different. One resource that we provide to help churches identify the answers to their stewardship questions is a Stewardship Discovery Assessment.

You can learn more about the benefits of a Stewardship Discovery Assessment by reading through this resource and case study.

In the end, identifying the motivations of your givers is the first step in cultivating a culture of generosity and helping your church leverage that generosity to make a greater impact in your community and world.

What are some motivations you’ve identified? How has that information influenced the overall giving results in your church?

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