DISCOVERING THE "ONLINE CHURCH"

Discovering the "Online Church" in Canada: ONLINE GIVING

Craig Kraft / Monday, May 11, 2020

THE QUESTION - GIVING

In the middle of March 2020, responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Canadian churches were required to stop holding public gatherings.  In the weeks to follow, Canadian churches have been exploring new ways of gathering as the body of Christ.  Some have tried “drive-in” solutions, some have temporarily shut down, and some have turned to the internet to provide online options for gathering and continuing their ministry as an “online church.”

On May 5, Outreach Canada circulated a second survey to learn about Canada’s new online worship experiences.  We want to learn:

  • What forms/methods of giving are being used
  • How has the importance of those methods changed
  • How giving has been affected
  • If giving is down, by what percent
  • Is giving being promoted

Future surveys over the next two weeks will look specifically at  online pastoral care, and online evangelism, discipleship and how church the experience of online church participants.

All of the online surveys for is series are still open to more participants at: www.outreach.ca/discover-survey

Reports on this survey and future Discovering The “Online Church” resources: www.outreach.ca/research/discoveringtheonlinechurch.

Updated report results as of May 12 2020


OUR SAMPLE

We circulated a short survey to approximately three thousand churches across Canada.  As of May 12, eighty-four had responded to the survey from across multiple denominations, provinces, and territories.

The map below shows the location of the churches in this sample based on their postal codes.

We asked, "what forms of giving does your church provide?" . The follow chart provides a graphic report of the responses. Some churches also indicated opportunities to donate shares, stocks, securities, etc.

Forms or Methods of Giving

 

IMPORTANCE OF GIVING METHOD/FORM

We asked churches to rank which giving method(s) by importance before COVID-19 and then since the COVID-19 restrictions were put in place. You can see a profound shift from Checks and Cash as the most important form or method giving way to e-Transfer, Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) and Credit Card.

Rank Importance of Giving Method / Form

The SanKey chart below shows the shift in the form ranked most important before and since COVID-19. The left side of the chart reflects giving prior to COVID-19 while the right side indicates the current giving trends. This demonstrates that Check/Cash giving has been largely replaced by non-physical giving options such as e-Transfer, Pre-Authorized Debit, Credit Card, Text to Give and others.

GIVING TRENDS

We asked churches how they would describe the giving levels at church compared to before the pandemic.  It was encouraging to see that the majority reported that giving was the same or even up, but some (39.29%) have experienced a drop in giving.

Of the churches that reported a decrease in giving, we asked them to estimate by how much as a percentage of normal. The average drop was 25.92% and the median drop was 20%. The most common response was a 20% drop in giving but some churches report 50% to 70% decrease.

 

PROMOTING GIVING

We then asked if they were doing anything to promote giving during this time and 63% said yes.

The majority of churches prmote financial giving on a weekly basis.

Curiously, in this sample of churches, there did not seem to be a significant correlation between the promotion of giving and the rise or decline in giving trend. The data shows the churches that experienced the most significant decline in giving had fewest giving options.

THANK YOU

We would like to thank the churches that took the time to complete this short survey.  This provides an interesting snapshot into the financial giving trends of churches across Canada during this time. 

If you need help developing an online expression of your church, we would like to help you.  Please feel free to contact us, and we will help connect you with the assistance and coaching you need.  info@outreach.ca

 


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