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General InterestGenerous ChurchesMegachurches

How Can Big Data Increase Generosity in Your Church?

By August 2, 2016 No Comments

By Warren Bird

To Get $1 Million, You Need 396 Giving Units

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Church leaders teach their congregations to put God first in their finances, but they often don’t know how to assess their progress. The finance team may calculate a benchmark, only to wonder, “Are our numbers normal? high? low?”

We sat down with the number crunchers at MortarStone, which has analyzed more than $1.5 billion in personal church giving, and asked them to calculate various benchmarks.

For example, they found:

  • To get $1 million, you need 396 giving units.
  • 55% of new givers to your church will give a second time within a 12-month period.
  • 43% of the identified giving units in your church give between $200 and $999 a year.

How does your church compare? Granted, these are averages, and there may be important circumstances why your church doesn’t fit the norm, but for most churches, it’s still important to start by having a sense of what the ballpark looks like.

The following report, “How Can Big Data Increase Generosity in Your Church? 13 Vital Benchmarks to Assess Giving Potential” highlights 13 vital benchmarks that can help you assess your congregation’s giving potential. Then two tables give even more insights.

At the end of the free report, you have opportunity to have MortarStone run a bunch of similar calculations and comparisons for your own congregation.

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Warren Bird

Author Warren Bird

Warren Bird, Ph.D. has been named a Leadership Network Senior Fellow in light of his exemplary service 2006-2018 as Director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at Leadership Network. He serves as full-time VP of Research for ECFA.org (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). An ordained minister with background as both a pastor and seminary professor, Warren is an award-winning author or co-author of 31 books for ministry leaders including Hero Maker with Dave Ferguson, How to Break Church Growth Barriers with Carl George, and Next: Pastoral Succession that Works with William Vanderbloemen. Other recent titles are Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work with Jim Tomberlin, and Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller. Some of Warren’s recent online reports include "Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard," and "The Heartbeat of Rising Influence Churches." See also research reports at leadnet.org/megachurchleadnet.org/salary and leadnet.org/portable. He is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading researchers of megachurches, multisite churches, large church compensation and high-visibility pastoral succession. He also oversees the world's only active, sortable list of global megachurches. Follow him on Twitter @warrenbird.  Click here to subscribe to Leadership Network Advance to get updates from Leadership Network.

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