Church Giving Statistics 2023 Report

Brady Shearer
Brady Shearer
Feb 3, 2023
·
10
min read

We analyzed $335,234,724 in church donations to identify the most important church giving statistics.

Here’s what we compiled and what you’re about to learn:

  • Average donation size
  • Typical donation frequency
  • The most and least popular times to give
  • Recurring giving enrollment percentage
  • Preferred giving methods
  • The average amount of a donation lost to fees

Want all of this information in a downloadable report?

We’ve got you there. Below you’ll find The Church Giving Statistics 2023 Report assembled for download so you can keep a copy for yourself.

Ready to dive into the numbers?

Let’s get started.

{{banner-1}}

How we uncovered these numbers

The data in this annual report is not speculative. It’s also not a compilation of stats from around the web.

So what is it?

We mined more than a 1/3 of a billion dollars in real donations to churches that we processed ourselves through Nucleus Giving – our giving platform for churches.

These are our actual numbers! We’re pulling back the curtain.

To that end, here are a few important considerations as you look through our numbers:

  • These donations were made to churches of all sizes in both the United States and Canada
  • All gifts were processed online via bank account or credit card
  • The final day of giving tallied in this report was December 31st, 2022

Here’s what we found…

Church Giving Statistic #1 – Average Donation Size = $205

The average donation to a church is $205.

Average donation size to a church.
Average Donation Size To A Church

Here’s the breakdown by gift amount:

  • 44.06% of all gifts are under $100
  • 33.07% of gifts are between $100-$249
  • 13.24% of gifts are between $250-$499
  • 5.94% of gifts are between $500-$999
  • 2.79% of gifts are greater than $1,000

Here’s where things get interesting…

Because while 44.06% of gifts are under $100, that translates to just 8.67% of overall giving volume.

And while only 2.79% of all gifts are over $1,000, that accounts for 27.02% of overall giving volume.

Percentage of transactions by amount compared to total giving volume.
Percentage Of Transactions By Amount Compared To Total Giving Volume

And perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising.

But for me, at least, I did not expect to see such extreme disparity between the two ends of the spectrum.

Church Giving Statistic #2 – Typical Donation Frequency

Of all givers:

  • 5% give weekly
  • 14% give monthly
  • 81% give yearly or intermittently
Donation frequency to churches.
Donation Frequency To Churches

But how does giving frequency translate to giving volume?

Surely the 81.12% of yearly/intermittent givers are contributing the largest amounts – right?

Evidently not.

Giving frequency compared to total giving v.olume
Giving Frequency Compared To Total Giving Volume

On the contrary, it’s the weekly and monthly givers that are doing the heavy lifting. Even though they make up just ~20% of givers.

To make a point:

  • Only 5.25% of givers donate weekly – but those givers contribute 30.63% of total giving
  • Just 14% of givers donate monthly – but those givers contribute 48.80% of total giving
  • And despite 81.12% of givers donating yearly or intermittently – that translates to just 20.58% of total giving

This foreshadows what we’ll see with recurring givers shortly, but here’s the bottom line:

It’s the folks that show up month after month that are contributing the most.

And this tracks with other areas of ministry and Christian service beyond giving, right?

It’s the people that serve regularly, that attend regularly, that participate regularly – the fully-integrated parishioners in our churches are doing the heavy lifting.

{{banner-2}}

Church Giving Statistic #3 – The Most & Least Popular Times To Give

Here are the most and least popular months of the year to give – with February seeing the lowest amount of giving volume and December (unsurprisingly) seeing the highest:

  • January = 8.27% of all giving giving to churches
  • February = 5.61% (the lowest giving month)
  • March = 7.55%
  • April = 8.26%
  • May = 8.29%
  • June = 7.39%
  • July = 7.90%
  • August = 7.94%
  • September = 7.95%
  • October = 8.63%
  • November = 8.41%
  • December = 13.80% (the highest giving month)
Most & least popular months to give.
Most & Least Popular Months To Give

Let’s turn our attention now to the most and least popular days of the week to donate to churches. And here’s what’s interesting:

Yes, Sunday is the most popular day of the week to give to churches – but in the aggregate, more than 80% of all giving happens outside of Sunday.

Here are the specifics:

  • Sunday = 27.63% (the most popular day of the week to give to churches)
  • Monday = 12.68%
  • Tuesday = 10.40%
  • Wednesday = 10.97%
  • Thursday = 11.70%
  • Friday = 16.90%
  • Saturday = 9.72% (the least popular day of the week to give)
Most & least popular days to give.
Most & Least Popular Days To Give

And finally, below you’ll find a diagram plotting out the most and least popular hours of the day to give. Notice the bump right around when most churches are having their weekend services on Sundays.

Most & least poplar hours to give.

Church Giving Statistic #4 – Recurring Giving Enrollment Percentage

We ran the numbers and 14.91% of all givers in our system are recurring givers. But that group packs a punch because they account for 35.94% of all giving.

Recurring giving enrollment percentage.
Recurring Giving Enrollment Percentage

And this dovetails off of Church Giving Statistic #2 and how it’s those weekly and monthly givers that are contributing the most to overall giving.

This is also why it’s so important to emphasize recurring giving options in your church. Just like you want people regularly involved in service, volunteering, small groups, and attendance – the same goes for giving. Consistency is what truly makes the biggest difference.

Church Giving Statistic #5 – Preferred Giving Methods

Here’s where things start to get even more interesting…

Let’s contrast some key figures by pitting bank account (ACH) giving against credit card giving.

First, we’ll look at average gift size:

  • Average Credit Card Gift To A Church = $147
  • Average Bank Account (ACH) Gift To A Church = $247
Average gift amount by method.
Average Gift Amount By Method

And now total giving volume by method of giving:

  • Total Giving = $335,234,724
  • Total Giving By Credit Card = 29% ($97,484,283)
  • Total Giving By Bank Account = 71% ($237,750,441)
Total giving volume by donation m.ethod
Total Giving Volume By Donation Method

Now, why is this interesting?

If you’re familiar with other church giving providers these numbers may come as a bit of a shock to you. Consider this from Tithely’s COO – where he notes that only 7% of donors on Tithely give via their bank account:

Digital giving by method.

Let’s interrogate a few of the claims from above

  • Security: Today, modern giving providers don’t require you to enter your bank account and routing number to give via bank account. Instead, you simply login to your online banking without ever leaving the giving page and choose from which account to give from (see example below). This provides even more security than directly entering your credit card details.
  • Ease Of Use: Giving via credit card requires entering your card number, expiration date, and CVV. Giving via bank account requires entering your online banking username and password.
  • Financial Responsibility: Tithely claims it’s financially responsible to give via credit card because one can earn points and rewards – neglecting to mention the ethical considerations of giving borrowed money vs. one’s own money. I’m not here to decry one or the other, that’s for you to decide. But at the very least, if we’re to posit that credit card giving is financially responsible because it allows one to earn rewards, we must also discuss credit card debt. Consider that American credit card debt recently hit an all-time high1 and that credit card debt has jumped by 15% since the third quarter of 2021 – the largest year-over-year jump in 20 years2.

But there’s actually a lot more to this story…

Church Giving Statistic #6 – Average Amount Of Donations Lost To Fees

If all we did was look at the Nucleus numbers we might conclude that 71% of donors prefer to give to their church via bank account.

Whereas if we just looked at Tithely’s numbers we might be tempted to claim just 7% prefer to give with their bank account.

How do we reconcile a 10X difference in data like this?

It’s actually quite simple: fees.

You see, while Nucleus and Tithely are both church giving platforms, their profit models couldn’t be more different (and we’re using Tithely as an example here, but the same could be said for Subsplash, Pushpay, Kindrid, etc.).

And it’s in the details of these profit models that we can begin to discern the differences in giving behavior.

Because at its core, donors are behaving precisely how each platform wants them to behave!

So it’s less about a donor intention and more about how they’re incentivized to give.

Let me explain…

Tithely doesn’t charge a monthly fee to use their platform. Their platform is “free” to use. Tithely earns their money by keeping a percentage of every gift donated through their platform.

Nucleus does charge a monthly fee. But we don’t keep a percentage of every gift donated through our platform.

This distinct difference has big implications – namely, at Nucleus we encourage donors to give with their bank account (ACH). Why? Because bank account giving does not come with a percentage processing fee; credit card giving does.

Here’s how this plays out in practice:

  • Imagine you gave $100 to your church with your bank account – that would cost you $0.25.
  • If you gave that same $100 with your credit card – that would cost you $0.25 + 3% of the entire gift
Tithely pricing model.

That’s just a few dollars on a $100 gift, but in the aggregate, for the typical church it tends to average about $1,000 a month. $1,000 a month lost needlessly to fees!

So why the difference with a platform like Tithely?

Simply put, Tithely is a rev-share provider. And a rev-share provider earns their revenue from fees. From taking a part of every gift they process for themselves. This means they can’t realistically encourage bank account giving because it would dramatically affect their bottom line.

Or it means they would need to slap a percentage fee on bank account giving for the sake of not compromising their profit model (which is why it’s common to see church giving providers charge 1% for bank account giving needlessly).

Now why should your church care about this?

Because the average church routinely spends more than $10,000 a year just to accept donations online. All because of rev-share fees.

Let’s run some quick numbers:

We’ll take the $335,234,724 in donations to churches that Nucleus has processed as our figure for both examples. And we’ll compare our fees to a rev-share provider like Tithely to illustrate the difference in cost.

The Nucleus model.
The Nucleus Model

Now, let’s use that same total giving figure and run the numbers using Tithely’s splits between bank account and credit card giving and by charging Tithely’s fees:

The rev-share m.odel
The Rev-Share Model

And here’s an illustration showing both side-by-side – in the aggregate Tithely’s fees are 5X higher than Nucleus:

The Nucleus model vs. the rev-share model.
The Nucleus Model vs. The Rev-Share Model

NOTE: There are other fees to consider in any calculation like this – though they will always pale in comparison to percentage fees. Nucleus charges a monthly flat-fee based on church size that you can find here. Tithely does not charge a monthly fee. Nucleus and Tithely also charge per-transaction fees. Tithely charges $0.30 per transaction for both credit card and ACH gifts. Nucleus charges $0.25 per transaction for ACH only. To see all of this in greater detail, we built a comparison calculator to make it simple. Click here to use the comparison calculator.

The Most Important Statistic You Need

If you leave this report with anything it should be this:

The values of your giving provider will dramatically influence the behavior of your church’s donors.

This isn’t a single statistic because it informs every statistic at once.

Consider this:

Donors on Nucleus Giving are 10X more likely to give with their bank account than donors on Tithely. This translates to churches and donors on Tithely paying 5X more in fees.

Why such a stark difference in donor behavior?

Is it because the congregations that use Nucleus are more predisposed to give with their bank account? No!

It’s because the platforms are designed differently. And giver behavior reflects that.

This is why it’s crucial when reading a report like this (or when parsing any data) to understand it contextually.

Donor behavior is not uniform.

On the contrary, my belief is that more than anything, donor behavior (and thus, data like what you’re seeing in this report) is shaped by your church’s values – and your giving partner is an extension of that.

{{banner-3}}

Free bonus

Download The Church Giving Statistics Report 2023 – where we analyzed $335,234,724 in church donations

Download Report
Free bonus

Download The Church Giving Statistics Report 2023 – where we analyzed $335,234,724 in church donations

Download Report
Free bonus

Download The Church Giving Statistics Report 2023 – where we analyzed $335,234,724 in church donations

Download Report

Keep Reading

A man taking a selfie on a road.
Instagram Reels for Churches – Why It’s So Important
Oct 23, 2020
·
8
min read
Instagram Reels for Churches – Why It’s So Important
A man pointing at a laptop.
7 Reasons Why Every Church Needs a Website
Jun 17, 2020
·
8
min read
7 Reasons Why Every Church Needs a Website
A man pointing at a piece of paper.
7 Rules Of Church Communications Strategy [Policy Template]
Apr 6, 2022
·
16
min read
7 Rules Of Church Communications Strategy [Policy Template]