Recurring Giving for Churches – The Ultimate Guide

As per the latest tithing statistics, the average weekly donation per US churchgoer is $17 which equals a yearly donation of $884 per person. This can be a crucial source of funding for a church when built with the right approach toward recurring giving. Not only do recurring donations help churches maintain facilities, staff, and…

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Recurring Giving for Churches – The Ultimate Guide

recurring giving for churches

As per the latest tithing statistics, the average weekly donation per US churchgoer is $17 which equals a yearly donation of $884 per person. This can be a crucial source of funding for a church when built with the right approach toward recurring giving.

Not only do recurring donations help churches maintain facilities, staff, and other ongoing needs, but they also make it possible to support their community through various ministries. In fact, recurring donors are up to 440% more valuable than one-time donors!

But what exactly is recurring giving for churches? And how do you make it possible and easy for your congregation to set up their own recurring gifts? This article will help you with pro tips, examples, and steps to get started.

Here’s what we will cover –

  1. Why recurring giving matters for churches
  2. 5 tips to inspire a culture of recurring giving in your church
  3. BonusTurn your one-time givers into recurring supporters
  4. How to boost recurring giving with Donorbox [with steps]

Why Recurring Giving Matters for Churches

Recurring giving for churches includes repeated donations at regular intervals as well as scheduled tithing. On each pre-scheduled date, the donor’s credit card or bank account is automatically charged.

Because these gifts are typically set up online, it’s easy for the donor to manage their gift amount and frequency at any time, and for the church to view and collect data. On average, churches that accept tithing online increase donations by 32%.

This means that members of your congregation are less likely to skip their offering for the week, whether because they forgot to bring it, or because they didn’t attend service.

This leads to consistent and reliable giving year-round – even during typical seasonal dips! Your church can count on this while planning your budget, projects, and more.

It is advisable that you rely on an online tool that will make this process smooth for you and your congregation. For example – Donorbox Recurring Donations! Your church can easily set up recurring donation intervals on the Donorbox donation form to accept online donations daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, and even one-time.

Here’s an example from the Holy Myrrhbearers Orthodox Christian Church that includes 4 different recurring intervals in their Donorbox donation form and is well on its way to meeting the fundraising goal.

church recurring giving examples

Start Recurring Giving Campaign on Donorbox!

5 Tips to Inspire a Culture of Recurring Giving in Your Church

Introducing recurring giving in your church may take some time, and that’s ok! Here are a few tips to get your congregation excited about making scheduled gifts online.

1. Get your leaders on board

First things first, you must have buy-in from leaders in your church, including worship leaders, board members, and influential members of the congregation.

Talk to them about the benefits of recurring giving, showing them how it will boost fundraising. Once they are on board, train these leaders on how to talk about recurring giving with other congregation members.

Many congregants trust these leaders, and hearing them share all the good things about recurring donations may provide the social proof they need to make a recurring gift.

2. Include recurring giving in your messaging

With your leaders on board, you can start including recurring giving in your messaging.

Ask one of those influential congregants or a worship leader to make an announcement during service. A member of your board could share a welcome message about your new giving option and a faith leader could talk about online tithing during a sermon.

Special fundraising appeals are also ideal for sharing recurring gift options. Whether sent through the mail or email, posted on social media, or shared during service, let congregants know how a recurring gift could make more of an impact.

This messaging can also be re-iterated in follow-ups after a donation is made. While the initial thank-you should not include another ask to give, you could send a second note letting donors know how their generosity could go even further.

However you decide to spread the word about recurring giving, make sure to continuously remind your congregation about it. Don’t simply introduce it and never talk about it again!

3. Highlight the impact of recurring gifts

Speaking of messaging, it’s critical that you show the impact of recurring gifts.

Show exactly how recurring gifts make a difference. Supporters will be more likely to give – and give more – if they feel an emotional connection to what your church is doing with their donations.

You can showcase this impact by sharing various missions and projects that have either been made possible or could be made possible, by sustained, long-term giving. This may include additions or updates to your buildings, improvements to church programs like music groups or faith education, and further community outreach.

You may also choose to apply the idea of recurring gifts to love offerings should members wish to show their ongoing support for the worship team.

Look what Pioneers Church is doing with its donation form in this live example. For every suggested donation amount, they have added the impact the donation could bring about.

donation form impact

4. Make the process easy

Make sure you are making recurring giving easy by using an online fundraising tool like Donorbox that is simple to use for you and your donors. Introducing technology to your church is critical for future success, and this is a great place to start!

Be sure to walk your congregation through the process. Create a demo video showing how to make a recurring gift, and share it on social media, via email, or during a service.

You could also set up a giving kiosk in the church lobby and ask volunteers to assist congregants as they set up their own recurring gifts.

Pro tip #1: If you choose to print out recurring giving instructions, include a QR code that readers can scan to access your donation form.

Pro tip #2: For your younger visitors and members, try text giving to quickly redirect them to your recurring donation form! It’s simpler than you might think – Donorbox Text-to-Give gives you a unique campaign ID for each campaign you create and a texting number. Share it with your supporters and let them text the ID to the number. They will receive a mobile-friendly donation page link to complete the donation. Repeating it will be even easier – see how it looks!

donorbox text-to-give

Donorbox Text-to-Give - Learn More!

5. Start small

It’s important to start small when asking for repeat gifts, especially if recurring giving for churches is new to your congregation.

Smaller gifts, when made on a regular basis, add up! The average one-time gift to a nonprofit organization is $128, while the average monthly online donation is $52 – or $624 each year.

So, when you’re setting up your giving intervals, make sure to ask for smaller donations than you would for one-time gifts. For example, for weekly donations, you may suggest amounts of $10, $15, $25, and $50, while your one-time asks may start at $50.

This will require some research on your donor data that your donor database should enable you to easily achieve. Well-researched amounts ensure that you care about your congregation and their giving abilities. This will naturally get you more recurring donations!

The below example from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a great example where they have included a wide range of ask amounts starting from as less as $10 and moving up to $500.

suggested donation amounts for recurring giving

Bonus – Turn Your One-Time Givers into Recurring Supporters!

In addition to these 5 tips, we also have the below video that has to offer 7 pro tips to help turn your one-time donors into recurring donors. Take only a few minutes to create lasting success with your church’s recurring giving campaigns!

Get Started With Donorbox Recurring Donations

How to Boost Recurring Giving with Donorbox

Donorbox Recurring Donations makes recurring giving for churches quick and simple through UltraSwift™ Pay technology that includes digital wallet payment options. This makes the giving process 4x faster, thus improving the recurring giving experience for donors!

Our recurring donation forms are easy to set up. You may choose to have Donorbox host your form for free on a customizable fundraising page. Or you can also easily embed the form on your own website – no coding knowledge required!

Plus, Donor Moments enables you to track when supporters make their first donation, cancel, or change a recurring giving plan, and complete one year of their first donation.

You can dive deeper into donor details and giving history using donor profiles. Your recurring donors also get their own donor accounts that they can use to manage their recurring gifts. We have a demo video that you can share with donors to help them edit their recurring plans.

5 simple steps to set up recurring giving on Donorbox

  1. Set up a Donorbox account
  2. Create a donation form
  3. Set donation intervals
  4. Add suggested ask amounts
  5. Share your recurring giving form with supporters

Step 1 – Set up a Donorbox account

If you haven’t already, sign up for a Donorbox org account.

donorbox sign up

It’s free to get started with the Standard Plan – you just pay a 1.75% platform fee and standard processing fees (which you can ask donors to cover for you). You must also check out our complete set of plans designed to help grow and scale your fundraising with personal support and a lesser flat-rate platform fee.

This blog will help you get started. Or, you can watch our tutorial video for more help!

Already a Donorbox organization? Click here to log in!

Step 2 – Create a donation form

Visit the Campaigns page in your dashboard – find it under ‘Fundraise’ in the left-hand navigation.

create campaign on donorbox

To create a new campaign, click the orange ‘+ New Campaign’ button.

new campaign on donorbox

On this page, select ‘New Donation Form’. You’ll be able to embed it on your website. Donorbox will also automatically create a fundraising page alongside it, which you can customize to your liking and use for recurring giving.

new donation form on donorbox

Next, choose your campaign title and your form language. You may also set a goal to be displayed with a donation thermometer. When you’re ready, click ‘Create Donation Form.’

creating donation form

Step 3 – Set donation intervals

You will be taken to the Donation Form Editor.

Here, you can select the primary color of your form and enable a donor wall. You’ll also see that UltraSwift ™ Pay and QuickDonate are enabled by default. You may disable them or keep them as is.

This is also where you will select your donation intervals. To make recurring giving possible for your church, choose at least one interval in addition to – or other than – ‘one-time’. Weekly and monthly tend to be the most popular intervals with churches.

recurring donation intervals

Here, you will also choose the Default Interval, which will be pre-selected for your donors. You can select a Recommended Interval as well, which will be indicated with a heart. We also recommend adding a call to action that encourages your supporters to make a recurring gift.

Click ‘Create Campaign’ when you’re ready to proceed.

Now, you have officially added donation intervals to your church’s recurring giving form and it is ready to share!

We recommend, however, that you also add your own suggested ask amounts in the next step.

Step 4 – Add suggested ask amounts

Remember, donors are often more willing to donate a smaller amount for a repeat gift, but they will add up over time.

To add suggested donation amounts, click ‘Continue Editing’ on the page that loads.

editing donorbox campaign

Next, click ‘Amounts’ to add your custom ask amounts.

donation amounts on donorbox

To alter your donation amounts for recurring donations, toggle on the option for ‘Set different default amounts for one-time and recurring donations.’

Then, you edit and add amounts for each of your donation intervals.

custom ask amounts on donorbox

Here, you can also add details for each ask amount – this shows the concrete impact each gift amount will have, often encouraging more donations.

When you’re all set up, click ‘Update’ to update the donation form.

Step 5 – You’re done, share your recurring giving form with supporters!

You can now preview your form on the campaign dashboard by clicking ‘Preview Campaign’.

preview donorbox campaign

You are now ready to promote your recurring giving program for your church! This is how your form should look at this stage.

church recurring giving campaign on donorbox

Accept Recurring Donations - Sign Up Now!

You can customize the form further and also the fundraising page from the campaign dashboard to elevate the giving experience of your church supporters.

Final Thoughts

Setting up online recurring giving for churches should be a no-brainer. Offering recurring gift options to members of your congregation ensures they won’t ever forget their offering again, and that you have consistent, reliable revenue year-round.

To ensure the success of your new recurring giving options, bring your church leaders on board, and in your messaging, highlight the impact recurring gifts will have on your mission. Finally, ask for smaller gift amounts – recurring donations will add up over time.

Ready to launch your own recurring giving program? Sign up for Donorbox – or log in to your existing account – and follow the steps above! We make it simple for both you and your congregation to get started with recurring giving today.

Check out our complete range of powerful yet simple fundraising products and features on the website. We also offer hundreds of free resources, useful guides, and articles on church fundraising at the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive a handpicked collection of our best resources (blogs, podcasts, webinars, and more) directly in your inbox!

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Kara has several years of experience in communications and marketing for nonprofit organizations, with knowledge in social media, email, public relations, event promotion, appeal writing, and more. She specializes in writing and enjoys sharing her expertise and advice with others.

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