Characteristics of the Religious Generous in America (Part Two)

Another interesting find from the recent State of the Plate survey is no surprise. People who tithe are also generous outside of their own church.  This study found that 15% gave to more than 11 organizations, 37% gave to 5-10 other places and 45% gave to 1-4 organizations. 

There is an important point to be made here for church leaders.  You need to realize that your generous givers are being solicited by many other organizations.  In fact, they are being regularly cultivated by organizations--their alma mater, their children’s K-12, their favorite para-church ministry. 

These organizations are competing with the church for needed support.  Their ‘cultivation’ techniques include expressing appreciation for donations, periodic visits or phone calls and sometimes assisting in planned giving or estate planning.  Successful organizations emphasize their ‘mission’ and attract people who want to see that specific mission accomplished.

Church leaders are often surprised when they learn that one of their strongest members have made a substantial gift to some other organization or ministry.  Be aware that many of your members may support several other Kingdom activities.  They love that ministry and may show their support financially as well as with personal involvement.  Churches heavily rely on a spirit of ‘volunteerism’.  Successful not-for-profits also seek to organize and expand their level of volunteer activity.

This is not a cause for alarm for church leaders but let it be a wake-up call. Other organizations are seeking your generous donors. So how often do you tell them thank you? How often do you let them know the church needs them? How often do you engage them?

People love to give to their local church. But to take this fact for granted is to make a crucial mistake