Every church relies on the generosity of its congregation through tithes and offerings. You simply can’t host effective ministries without the financial support of your members.
And yet, most of those called to lead in the Church aren’t financial experts. Most pastors don’t have a background in accounting or access to an excellent bookkeeper in their community. We all understand the importance of the money that lands in the collection plates or your online accounts—but what’s the most efficient way to keep track of the funds?
It might not be the most exciting aspect of church leadership, but keeping track of giving is vital to your ministry. Here are a few strategies for managing your tithes and offerings:
Where does the tithe money go in the church?
Offerings and tithes are, of course, intended to support His work on Earth through your church and ministry. You’ve been entrusted to manage these resources and allocate them efficiently, and while it would be simple—and more satisfying—to throw funds at every worthy cause in your purview, that level of generosity isn’t not the reality for church leaders.
Every church has its own demands, administrative needs, and ministry projects that must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Only you and your staff can choose what to prioritize, but one universal best practice every leadership team can adopt is financial transparency with your congregation.
First and foremost, transparency will increase trust and faith among your givers. Show them the great work their sacrificial gifts are contributing toward, both inside your four walls and in the community, and their faith in you will grow as well.
Additionally, when you set a standard of financial transparency, your givers will be more willing to contribute during times of need in the future. Whether you have a large project on the horizon or simply hit a slow stretch in giving that’s straining your accounts, your congregation will trust that your special request for contributions is necessary and will be allocated in good faith.
Where the money goes, however, is only half the equation. You must also track where the donations are coming from.
What are giving units?
Giving units are a standardized measure for tracking tithes and offerings in your church.
Essentially, a ‘unit’ can be defined as an individual, couple, or an entire family—the important part is choosing one definition that makes sense for your church and sticking with it! Giving units will be invaluable as you track your finances moving forward.
By dividing the amount of donations you receive (or the total dollars given) against the amount of giving units in your church, you’ll discover insights into giving trends, recognize patterns in your church’s generosity, and be able to plan and strategize more effectively for your future ministry.
Why do you need to keep track of tithes and offerings?
Understanding giving trends within your church is critical for planning your church’s financial roadmap. Are you seeing more or fewer contributions than a year ago? Is generosity spread evenly amongst your congregation, or have you become reliant on just a handful of giving units? Can you identify slower seasons for generosity and plan accordingly in the future?
Every goal you envision for the future of your ministry depends on the answers to questions like these. You simply must keep track of tithes.
What do you use to track money going into the local church?
Fortunately, you no longer need to manually enter contributions and recurring donations from congregants into a spreadsheet. Manual entry can expose you to all sorts of human error and makes monitoring church accounting and church finances so much harder. Church management software has expanded by leaps and bounds over the past several years and tracking tithes and offerings has never been easier with online giving for churches.
Pushpay’s fully integrated church donation software can simplify and streamline all your financial needs. Digital giving is made intuitive and simple—a first-time giver can contribute in less than five seconds without even needing to log in. Your regular donors can set up recurring giving in just a few clicks, taking one more task off their plate, while also adding more predictability to your finances.
Every digital contribution to your local church is instantly recorded, eliminating the need for repetitive data entry by your staff. What’s more, through our Donor Development dashboard, you’ll stay up-to-date with your donors’ habits and receive actionable advice to nurture them on their giving journey.
The importance of tracking tithes and contributions cannot be overstated. Besides providing your church with the data you need to perform your good work, being able to clearly show how your congregation’s gifts are being appropriated will only build the trust and faith your community relies on to service His Kingdom.
If you’d like to learn more about how Pushpay’s church management software can simplify your administrative workload and aid your ministry moving forward, sign up for a free demo with one of our experts now.
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