Do you know how your members prefer to give? In 2021, Vanco conducted the fourth biennial study of 1,000 churchgoers around the country and across Christian denominations to find out. Now, we’re ready to share what we discovered.
Here’s an overview of what Vanco found.
Giving and eGiving Preferences Are Changing
Vanco’s data shows a growing preference for eGiving since conducting our first study in 2015. The latest survey revealed that, for the first time, churchgoers prefer eGiving over traditional giving methods. These findings make sense since many churchgoers opted to attend virtual services in 2020.
- 51 percent of churchgoers prefer eGiving.
- 78 percent of churches now offer eGiving options.
- Churchgoers believe eGiving helps their church receive consistent income and allows them to give when they’re unable to attend in person.
The Most Active, Generous Churchgoers Use eGiving
Vanco’s findings revealed a few trends about churchgoers who prefer eGiving. Over the years, Vanco’s studies have found eGivers to be among the most generous and active members at their churches.These members tend to give more income and donate more frequently to their churches. The flexibility of eGiving tools allows members to give whether they're attending in person or online, and they can send their gifts from any place at any time.
- 55 percent of eGivers attend church weekly, compared to 51 percent of traditional givers.
- eGivers donate more frequently than traditional givers.
- 51percent of eGivers donate 10 percent or more of their income, while only 43 percent of traditional givers do this.
Processing Fees Are Not a Barrier to eGiving
Those who have donated to a charitable cause or paid a bill online are familiar with processing fees. The convenience of making a quick-and-easy payment often outweighs the inconvenience of paying a little extra. Sixty-seven percent of all churchgoers are willing to pay this processing fee. Vanco found eGivers are also willing to pay this additional fee.
- 83 percent of eGivers are willing to pay an additional 2–4 percent processing fee.
- Vanco and a few other eGiving providers give churches the ability to ask members to pay all or some of the processing fee.
Churchgoers See Online Worship as a Convenient Alternative
There are many reasons why churchgoers choose to attend services online rather than in person. During Vanco’s survey, participants continued to list safety as their main concern for returning to in-person services. However, as pandemic restrictions are lifted, it’s important to keep in mind the other reason people prefer attending church virtually: it’s easy.
As churches adopted a hybrid approach, churchgoers chose to attend virtually at high rates. This trend has continued. Churchgoers are not attending online just because it’s the only option; they’re attending virtually because they want to.
- 93 percent of churchgoers agree virtual church services make it easier to attend.
- 65 percent of virtual worshipers say their giving remained the same in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
- 24 percent of churchgoers say they’re extremely likely to attend virtual services and ministries in the future.
The data is clear: virtual ministry is here to stay. For this reason, churches need to make sure they’re offering an online worship experience their members love. Using a tool such as Vanco Live can help bring the church experience into your live stream to meet each member’s needs.
Vanco’s fourth edition of the Churchgoer Giving Study also found that the demand for a more convenient giving method is growing. More churchgoers than ever prefer to contribute using eGiving methods—text, smartphone apps, recurring credit and debit card gifts, and online donation pages.
Church leaders can use this data to understand the needs of their congregations and develop effective giving and engagement strategies.
Want to learn more? Download the full report to read more about churchgoer giving habits and virtual attendance.