By Gina Calvert

What the Numbers Say About Recurring Giving

Recurring giving, one of online giving’s most valuable features, allows givers to automate their gifts. That is to say, they can set up a gift in the church’s online giving platform to occur automatically. Their gift will be triggered on the date and at the amount, frequency, and fund designation they have chosen until they choose to stop or update it.

What NonProfit Data Says About Recurring Giving

Nonprofits are like cousins to the church. Both are charitable organizations serving the community, working alongside each other to serve those in need.

Not every comparison of giving between nonprofits and the church correlates, but there are many areas that do. Recurring giving, also called scheduled giving is just one area that is true.

Double the Donation, an organization that facilitates automated donation matching by employers, shared these statistics about recurring giving. We can assume the information is relevant to churches, even if the numbers might differ somewhat.

Only 14% of nonprofits prompt givers to make the one-time gift a recurring gift during the donation process

This low rate of automating the request to set up recurring gifts is really more the fault of giving platform creators than on the nonprofit or church. Not every giving software embeds this request in the giving form, “Would you like to make this a recurring gift?”

Even fewer solutions use the giver’s own data to personalize the appeal, “We’ve noticed this is your third gift of this amount. Would you like to make this a recurring gift?” (hint: Vision2 does!)

Asking is a key component of fundraising and growing generosity and this is an easy question to ask. If your giving platform has this feature, please don’t turn it off! A pop-up message that asks a donor to make their one-time gift a recurring gift results in a 64% increase in monthly donations!

Recurring donors give 42% more per year than one-time givers

Like the miracle of compound interest, this increase is primarily caused by the sheer consistency of the gifts! Givers want to give, but they get busy and forget. One way we know this is because our data shows that text-to-give gifts spike during church service announcements that include an online giving messaging.

Recurring giving helps givers follow through more reliably on their earnest commitment. Being a regular giver provides a valuable sense of engagement and ownership in the church. So when you make it easy for people to step up in this way, it sows into their sense of “investment” in the community and Body.

91% of organizations stop acknowledging recurring gifts by the third month

This is a travesty! No gift of any kind should ever be made to the church without acknowledgment and profuse appreciation! Make sure your online giving platform not only continues to show your gratitude, but also lets you know when recurring gifts have stopped. This could be a sign that something is going on in the giver’s life that requires assistance or ministry.

Your system should also alert you to upcoming credit card expirations so you can gently notify givers and potentially prevent a gap in their giving schedule

1 in 4 nonprofit organizations don’t try to re-secure a recurring donation after a credit card number changes.

It’s a simple touch that can reap untold levels of generosity. As with the previous point, contacting givers about changes in their giving schedules has a ministry benefit. It gives you an opportunity to ensure the giver is ok and, if they decide to let their recurring gift schedule lapse, to understand why.

94% of donors enrolled in a recurring giving program prefer to give on a monthly basis.

Many age groups enjoy taking advantage of the simplest, set-it-and-forget it methods of taking care of their financial matters, and a monthly frequency is their favorite for charitable gifts. Additionally:

  • 52% of Millennials surveyed are interested in monthly giving.
  • 3% of donors enrolled in a recurring giving program prefer to give annually
  • 2% give quarterly
  • 1% give weekly

This is a prime example of why multiple frequency options are important in a recurring giving feature.

If you’re not promoting recurring giving to your congregation, here’s why you should.

Most online giving platforms include recurring gift scheduling, but Vision2’s version includes enhanced features to help you stay engaged with your givers. We invite you to schedule a demo today.