Some churches struggle with budget problems. The cause can be expenditures are too high; contributions are too low; or both. There are churches reaching their budget goals, but would like to
expand their ministries and outreach if they had more income.
Here are some effective strategies to improve revenues without increasing costs:
- Communication features in the RDS system include easy ways to send e-mail. More frequent contribution statements stimulate giving. If you have been sending contribution statements annually, move to quarterly. If sending quarterly, send monthly for a trial. Information sent by e-mail saves about $1.00 per household per
mailing over USPS mailings.
- Send non-contributor, non-pledger statements (FR305R1) to those who are making no gifts to the church. These can be sent by e-mail, and look like other contributor statements but selectively go to those without contributions.
- Give members the convenience of paying electronically (credit/debit card and ACH). Less than 5% of all money spent in the U.S. is by check. Writing checks is no longer a common practice. According to CNN Money, 43% of American adults go a week at a time without using cash at all. Instead, they depend on debit and credit cards. Churches report increased contributions when offering the convenience of credit/debit and ACH payments. An average credit card donation is generally 8 to 10% higher than that of a cash or check donation. Vanco Solutions credit/debit and ACH contributions are automatically integrated with your RDS accounting system.
- Give members the use of the RDS Unite App. The applications included in the app include electronic giving and other features that strengthen membership ties with the church and with each other. Members can see their history of giving and make new gifts and pledges (recurring giving) using cell phones and tablets. The Barna Group says that 78% of Millennials choose Community as their most important vision for the church. Unite (your church) strengthens community.
- Base appeals for contributing and tithing on the basis of the person’s need to give and not on the needs of the church. Emphasis on proportionate giving can be more effective than talking about the church budget. Be open to show members how the church receives and spends its revenues.
- Give members options so they can contribute to funds, missions, events and ministries of their choice. People give more when they have choices.
- Use discipline to live within a budget. A working budget established for each fiscal year should function as a discipline for all departments and individuals. When budgets are ignored, deficits usually follow.
Budget creation and analysis applications are included in your system that are simple and straight forward. Built into the accounting system are revenue tracking, reporting, and gift response applications designed to help build revenue.
Contact your RDS support team if you would like help.