Keeping your finger on the pulse of your church’s giving and expenses doesn’t appeal to many pastors. But as a treasurer, keeping track of the flow of your church’s giving and expenses is important to the well-being of your church.
Below are five giving metrics your church must measure. These metrics will help you to maintain a financially healthy church and continue to move toward building a generous church.
1: Giving units
A giving unit is an individual, couple, or family who gives to your church. There are several ways churches define giving units. The main thing is for you to pick your definition and stick with it. This way you can maintain consistency with your measurements.
2: Giving per giving unit
To keep track of this measurement, divide your total number of donations (weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually) and divide it by the total number of
giving units in your church.
Donations / Giving Units = Average Giving Per Giving Unit
The average giving per giving unit may be one of the most important financial metrics you measure. In general, this will help you see if you are building a
generous church. You can also use this measurement to accurately forecast your church’s budget needs.
3: Giving trends
Keeping track of giving trends in your church will help you to see the trajectory of your church’s giving. Depending upon the size and complexity of your church, you can keep track of
weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual giving trends. These statistics will not only let you know if the giving in your church is increasing or decreasing, but you’ll be able to prepare for seasons in the life of your church when giving is down.
4: Giving distribution
How is giving distributed throughout your church? You might know the average giving per giving unit, but do you know how well your church’s giving is distributed among its members? For instance, is a large percentage of your church’s budget dependent upon a few giving units in your church?
A Generosity Assessment is a tool that helps congregations talk about money by looking at congregational giving and culture. The Generosity Assessment will look at the previous year’s giving data (anonymous) as well as a short congregational survey and produces a report showing giving by age group as well as key reasons people connect and give to your church in order to help your church talk about money and giving – using your own data. If you are interested in a Generosity Assessment, please contact [email protected]
Having an eye on how giving is distributed throughout your church will help you to clearly see the stability of your annual budget. In other words, if your annual budget is primarily dependent upon a small percentage of the people in your church, then in many ways, your church is dependent upon their financial well being and contributions. Maintaining a healthy distribution of giving is best when it comes to creating a stable annual budget. The key to doing this is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, teaching biblical stewardship, and providing financial coaching.
5: Giving and expenses
How much money needs to be donated for your church’s ministry to exist? How much money will you need as your church attendance grows? Regularly tracking donations and expenses is important. Again, for some churches, you may need to do this weekly. For other churches, you may be able to get away with monthly, quarterly, and annual reports.
The more detailed your annual budget, the better. This way you can keep track of your church’s expenses in specific line items.
Do you want to increase your giving to missionaries? Do you want to hire additional staff? Do you need to repair something in your facilities? The only way you can accurately keep track of your expenses is by measuring your giving versus your expenses.