Four Reasons Why You Must Analyze Giving

Four Reasons Why You Must Analyze Giving

Yesterday, January 29th, marked the 5th Sunday of the New Year, and my question for you is, do you know how giving is going? I have found that pastors who know the answer to that question are more likely to make their budget than those who can’t answer the question. Which are you? To be fair, analyzing giving can be difficult. I’m here to help you with this edition of the Coach entitled Four Reasons Why You Must Analyze Giving. In the Bonus Section, I’ll show you what to track.

Few pastors know the trends in their giving. More importantly, even fewer know what to do about giving declines or have a plan of action to reverse any giving decline.

Let me give you four good reasons you must analyze your giving. Giving to the Church is on a continual downward spiral. Is your giving going down, staying steady, or increasing? Are your trends positive for the future, or are you heading for future trouble? How would you know unless you analyze your giving? Here are four reasons why giving analysis is essential.

First, you can’t adequately plan without knowing your giving trends. I am amazed at how many churches set their budgets without factoring in their giving trends. I once interviewed a church that was increasing their operating budget by over 10%. The year before, their giving had declined by 7%, and attendance continued to decline. I asked them what the rationale was for increasing their budget. They said, “We have greater needs this year, and we hope our members rise to support the increase.” Hope? When your giving declines, you need to have a better justification for increasing your budget than your perceived need for more funding. People vote with their attendance and their money, and this church was not listening to the vote tally. Hope is not a plan for success!

Second, fiscal responsibility generates giving. The fiscal responsibility of an institution is one of the key reasons people give. When you set a budget that is unrealistic, your donors will be skeptical about how responsible you are with money. They will think twice about every gift. Coming close to your budget and, better yet, making budget builds confidence in your donors. This, in turn, causes them to give you more.

Third, you can’t be fully funded and remain blind to your data. Churches that are fully funded are those that have a giving plan. How can you develop an effective giving plan if you don’t know what groups need to hear the message? Any plan you create is like throwing spaghetti on the wall, hoping something will stick. Knowing your trends allows you to plan strategically and have a better chance of actually making budget.

We do financial analysis on churches yearly. We do an extensive analysis of giving at the end of the year. Our clients know where they stand and what the future holds for them when it comes to giving. We then teach them how to look at giving from a weekly, monthly, and quarterly standpoint so they always know what is in the bank.

The fourth reason? Pastors who know their giving data always raise more than those that don’t. How is your giving?

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *