Nationwide survey shows many churches saw declining or flat giving in 2015, while at the same time seeing the need for modern digital giving solutions.
In the 6th installment of the ground-breaking research on church giving authored by Brian Kluth of Maximum Generosity, we asked nearly 1,600 survey participants from mainline, evangelical, non-denominational, and other Christian groups to report on their giving patterns and practices.
The findings from the 2016 survey reveal a dramatic shift in giving over the past three years, compared to the last time the survey was conducted in 2013.
Giving has flat-lined or decreased for the majority of those surveyed, which has many churches scrambling to implement more modern giving solutions.
Key findings from the 2016 State of the Plate survey:
- 59% of churches surveyed reported flat-lined or decreased giving over the period 2015 to 2016. (A previous survey from 2013 revealed 53% of churches had an increase in giving that year.)
- Only 41% of churches surveyed saw giving increase by 5% or more.
- 79% of churches surveyed offer website giving (up from 29% in 2010), 46% offer cell phone/text/app giving (up from 4% in 2010), and 32% have a kiosk/iPad in the lobby for in-person digital giving.
- Generous church giving is not limited to the older generations. 63% of those in their 20s-30s give 10% or more to their church.
- Only 41% of those surveyed said they give weekly, while 46% give once or twice a month.
- The top five reasons for missing church services are: out of town (74%), sickness (42%), serving during the worship service (16%), social commitments (13%), and had to work (14%).