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How Householding Helps Churches Understand Real Giving Patterns

How Householding Helps Churches Understand Real Giving Patterns

Have you ever received multiple pieces of identical mail—addressed to different family members? That’s just one effect when householding, (a.k.a. family grouping) is missing from your church giving solution’s data structure.

Is it important? Only if you care about unreliable reports and poor engagement with your members. 

But let’s paint a broader picture of the role this feature plays.

What is Householding? 

Householding is the grouping and ungrouping of church members in your database into and out of "households," based on their relationships with one another.

Financial institutions were the first to recognize the need for a household category in their data. They simply could not get a clear picture of trends—or engage appropriately - without understanding how individuals were connected.  

Why Do Churches Need Householding? 

This community-centered approach to data helps members feel known and valued. And it helps churches efficiently engage, provide ministry support and understand giving trends.  

Banks learned other benefits of householding that also apply to churches: 

  • Personalized Communication: They could tailor messages and service offerings to different households, thereby enhancing member engagement.  (Example: If a couple divorces, they need separate communication that isn’t geared toward married couples. ) 
  • Saving Money: By recognizing households, churches can send a single communication to a home instead of multiples, saving on printing and postage costs. 
  • Better Support and Engagement: Understanding household relationships helps the church in providing targeted support to families, whether it's through family-oriented programs, pastoral care, or other community-building activities. 
  • Streamlined Administrative Processes: Householding simplifies processes like membership tracking, donation management, and event registration by automatically associating related member records. 
  • Enhanced Community Building: Recognizing the interconnectedness of families helps in fostering a sense of community, encouraging participation, and building stronger relationships within the congregation. 
  • Accurate Giving Reports: Household data is the most important metric for understanding overall giving trends. Without household data, every wife looks like someone who doesn’t give, skewing total participation numbers. 

DO All Giving Solutions Include Householding? 


Why not, if it’s so important? 

Simply put, it’s not easy. Matching family members into households and automatically de-duping gift records requires an extensive set of next-level procedures in the software.  

In addition to that, identifying family members is difficult and families are constantly changing. 

Without an understanding of the importance of family grouping, especially when it comes to reporting, most solution vendors just don’t see the need. So churches get: 

  • Incomplete data: Duplications and omissions (typically half of every couple that gives as a household is missing from giving records, skewing overall giving percentages.) 
  • Inaccurate Reporting: Why even bother having data if it’s not going to be reliable? 

You’ll just do it manually, you say? Trying to manually manage householding is a recipe for even more inefficient and inaccurate data management. 

Householding: It’s Ultimately About Community 

Householding isn't merely a data management strategy. For churches, it's a reflection of the community-centered approach that's essential to the faith community.  

By recognizing and understanding the relationships within the congregation, churches can: 

  • Automate Data Integrity: Reducing human error and improving efficiency. 
  • Enhance Member Experience: Providing personalized communication and support based on the household's needs and preferences. 
  • Improve Outreach and Stewardship Efforts: Using insights from household data to create more targeted and relevant outreach and giving campaigns. 
  • Ensure Compliance and Data Integrity: Ensuring data accuracy and complying with privacy and security standards. 

Investing in the right software to handle householding is a vital step towards building a more engaged and connected church community. 


Does Your Giving Solution Offer Householding? 

Vision2 does! We prioritize householding as just one part of our mission to help keep your data clean and reliable. We offer:

  • Household Groups: Profiles are efficiently grouped into households.
  • Joint Giving Statements: Synced household data in Vision2 produces joint giving statements for heads of household. 
  • Survivor Support: Deceased donor management enables thoughtful communication practices. 

Find out how it works and why it matters. 

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