New Research Shows Strong Emotions Behind U.S. Churchgoers’ Giving

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Vanco Payment Solutions releases its final report from a comprehensive survey of more than 1,000 U.S. churchgoers. As a follow-up to its early findings report released in November 2015, the company reports that donors with strong preferences for electronic giving options are motivated by strong desires to help their church achieve spiritual and community goals and by feelings of satisfaction they receive from the act of giving.

e-payment provider
There are major takeaways in this report that provide churches a window into why churchgoers give and what e-Giving methods they prefer to use.

Vanco Payment Solutions has released its final findings report from a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. Christian churchgoers. Vanco CEO Kevin Lee says while early findings showed strong preferences for electronic giving options across all age groups, further analysis has uncovered that churchgoers have a variety of emotions that drive their reasons to give. They want to give using methods that best benefit their church, and even e-Givers gain satisfaction from taking part in traditional giving methods.

"Churchgoers told us they favor e-Giving because it’s convenient, especially when they want to direct contributions to specific funds, and because it helps their churches benefit from a steady revenue stream. But they don’t want to miss out on the satisfaction that comes from taking part in traditional giving,” Lee said. “We combine the convenience of the technology with the tangible satisfaction of giving. What we’ve developed with our church clients is ‘I Give Electronically’ cards for e-Givers, so that they can still feel part of community giving at services.”

In one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of its kind, the survey conducted in August 2015 collected data on the giving habits and preferences of churchgoers. Takeaways for churches in the final findings include:

Strong emotions drive Giving

It’s not just what the church stands for that drives churchgoers to give; it’s what the church does.
Respondents in the survey overwhelmingly believe that their churches do important work and that
giving is rooted in the Bible. Providing financial support brings them satisfaction that they’re helping their churches accomplish vital spiritual and community missions. Additionally, tangible signs of giving are important across all age groups and giving preferences.

Strong preferences for e-Giving

60 percent of all respondents already give electronically or would use e-Giving if it was an option offered by their church. The figure climbs to 80 percent for those who engage more often in church activities such as Sunday school, committees, youth sports, and preschool or after school activities.

A substantial Giving Gap

Only about a quarter of churchgoers in the survey say their churches currently offer e-Giving options, while more than twice as many say they are giving electronically or would if e-Giving options were available. Asked for the top three ways they would like to give, regardless of the options their churches offer, all age groups demonstrated preferences to increase their usage of specific online, digital and web-based giving approaches. The desire to give electronically was as much as 10 to 12 times greater than the current availability of e-Giving approaches in some cases, and was especially high among older respondents.

“There are major takeaways in this report that provide churches a window into why churchgoers give and what e-Giving methods they prefer to use. This data is critical to helping churches grow stewardship. Churchgoers don’t list family tradition or peer pressure as the top drivers for giving. They give to support the mission of the church, so church leaders might want to focus on communicating the value they provide spiritually and to the community.They can also make it easier to donate by providing the e-Giving options churchgoers prefer," said Lee.

For more survey results, including how respondents ranked specific e-Giving options, request the final findings report here.

About this Study:
Vanco Payment Solutions conducted an online survey of 1,002 U.S. Christian churchgoers. As one of the largest, most comprehensive studies of its kind, the survey focused on the attitudes, preferences and behaviors of churchgoers toward giving. Our survey was in the field August 10 – August 25, 2015. Survey participants were selected from a national survey panel of adults over 18 years of age. The participant pool was controlled for age, gender, household income and religious denomination to be representative of the U.S. population. Qualifying participants reported that they had attended church at least once in the past 12 months, and had contributed money to their church at least once in the past 12 months.

About Vanco Payment Solutions:
Vanco Payment Solutions focuses on meeting the unique needs of clients who count on predictable, recurring revenue. Faith-based, nonprofits and other relationship-oriented organizations—and the software providers and professional associations that serve them—rely on Vanco’s specialized approach to adding electronic payment options and enhancing current capabilities. The company's experienced leadership team helps more than 20,000 churches, schools and other faith-based organizations nationwide conveniently, securely and efficiently accept a broad range of payments, including credit and debit cards, and more effectively manage their operations.

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Carol Casey
Vanco Payment Solutions
+1 (678) 369-0019 Ext: 3
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