The Secret to Increasing Participation at Your Church

Every church leader wants more people in small groups, more people volunteering, and more people giving. When church members participate in these activities, they develop stronger connections to your church, become more invested in your mission and vision, and more importantly, they grow spiritually.

The most effective way to increase participation is through personal relationships. Staff members can get to know individuals, learn where they are on their journey, and guide them toward their next best step. As visitors and church members build relationships with each other and with your staff, they’re more likely to encounter appropriate opportunities to get involved. 

As your church grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to build these kinds of relationships at scale. Your staff members can’t get to know everyone. People start falling through the cracks. And the percentage of people participating and investing in your church declines.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right tools, you can collect actionable insights into every church member’s journey, so you can craft messaging that meets them where they are and invites them to take the most appropriate next step.

Help grow your ministry

The secret to increasing participation at your church is data. When you’re a small church, you can collect that data manually as you get to know the people who walk through your doors. But to collect and use that data at scale, you need smarter tools. That’s why we created the Donor Development Dashboard—a new feature that lets you explore slices of your congregation based on where they are on their journey toward generosity. 

Giving isn’t the only indicator of where someone is on their journey with your church and with Christ, but it’s a strong signal of both their spiritual maturity and their investment in your church. Paired with your church management software, the Donor Development Dashboard gives your church some of the most advanced data available to help you increase participation.

Here’s how.

Gain better insights into your member journey

You wouldn’t talk to a new donor the same way you’d talk to someone who’s been giving for years. These people are in completely different stages on their journey toward generosity and their relationship with your church. 

Most churches don’t get much visibility into those stages, but with the Donor Development Dashboard you can easily see which church members are new donors, meaning they’ve just given for the first time, as well as which ones are second-time donors, occasional givers, regular givers, or recurring givers.

You can even explore that breakdown within specific date ranges, so you can see which events, sermons, and other activities may have led to an increase in any of these stages. You might discover that your backpack drive was the most effective campaign for inspiring people to give for the first time. Or you might find that around the time you sent a particular email, more occasional givers became recurring givers.

Guide them to the appropriate next step

When you don’t have to lump everyone into a big “givers” category, you can take a more strategic, personal approach to communicating with church members who give. For every cross-section of church members you see in the Donor Development Dashboard, we provide tips and resources to help you guide them to the next stage of their journey.

Maybe there’s another limited-time campaign coming up that would be perfect for all the new givers you have right now. Or maybe you could encourage occasional givers to start donating regularly by helping them see the difference they’ve already made. Or making a pledge. Regular givers might want to know about recurring giving, so they can schedule their donation to occur automatically.

Once you can speak to people where they are, it creates a wealth of new opportunities to encourage greater participation.

Reconnect with people who stopped participating

When people used to give regularly to your church but stopped, it’s a strong indicator that something significant has changed in their lives. Maybe they moved to another church. Or they just don’t feel as connected to you anymore. Or perhaps they’ve experienced a significant setback, such as a medical issue or loss of income. It could also be something simple, like a change in credit cards or a recurring donation that was set to expire on a particular date. Whatever the case, these are people you need to reconnect with and minister to.

In the Donor Development Dashboard, we show you lapsed donors, as well as donors who are on the verge of lapsing. Lapsed donors were regular or recurring givers at one point but haven’t given in 120 days.

Combine giving insights with your management software

The Donor Development Dashboard is a phenomenal tool on its own. But since Pushpay integrates with your church management software, you can explore these insights alongside your other data, giving you a holistic picture of each member’s level of participation in your church.

Drive participation with the Donor Development Dashboard

Want to see for yourself how Pushpay helps you increase participation? 

Talk to an expert today.

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