Giving is important. This year in the Diocese of Newcastle, parish share is budgeted to cover 63% of the costs of supporting parish ministry and mission. This includes 82 FTE paid clergy and 15.4 FTE paid curates working over 178 parishes. (A detailed breakdown of the 2021 budget, showing how parish share is spent can be viewed here).
With the growth in interest in the Christian faith during the pandemic, and the growing needs in the communities our churches serve, giving will be even more important in the future. So between July and September 2020, 2,000 Anglicans were surveyed* to understand current practices and attitudes around giving. Whilst some of the results from the survey were predictable, surprisingly there were very few statistical variations by church geography, tradition or setting. Therefore, whilst the results are not representative of all parishes, they are on average true.
Alongside the survey findings, a list of recommendations have been provided which PCCs are encourage to review and address where appropriate. For example, the survey showed that less than a third of Anglicans say they are regularly thanked for their giving. When asked, 30% of regular givers said they’d be motivated to give more and 24% of non-giving Anglicans said they’d be motivated to give in the first place if there was greater appreciation of their giving. Based on what our givers said, we encourage all churches to formally thank their givers at least once a year. Churches should also regularly communicate the need and impact of a person’s giving to build greater awareness and appreciation.
The Anglican Giving Survey offers real hope that our encouragement of giving can be significantly improved with some simple changes in practice. Most of the recommendations can be done quickly and easily to encourage giving, and so grow the ministry and mission of the church.
Top 10 findings
- A third of Anglicans do not give to their Church
- 40% of Anglicans have never been asked to give regularly
- Nearly half of Anglicans have never been asked to review their giving
- Only half of Anglicans have heard a sermon on giving in the past 12 months & 60% said it didn’t change their thinking on giving if they had
- Less than a third of Anglicans say they are regularly thanked for their giving
- The most popular reason to give to their Church was to help keep the building maintained.
- Twice as many Anglicans have been asked to give by collection envelope (60%) compared to direct debit (31%)
- Anglicans are three times as likely to leave a legacy to charity than they are to church
- Only 27% of Anglicans view their church’s need as ‘very important’
- 49% feel they would be motivated to give more if they understood the impact of their giving
Top 10 recommendations
- Regularly communicate the needs of the church and the impact of people’s giving
- Promote and encourage regular giving by Direct Debit / Standing Order such as the Parish Giving Scheme, and explain why it is important
- Ask all members to review their giving as part of an annual giving campaign
- Enable people to learn about living a generous life as part of their discipleship
- Encourage giving in a variety of different ways and using different methods.
- Ensure givers are formally thanked at least once a year for their giving
- Encourage giving to the church as a way of maintaining the church building for current and future generations.
- Ensure your church has the means for people to give digitally and promote them
- Provide information about why legacies are needed and communicate this to your members
- Give examples of giving that resemble a shopping list e.g. £5 a week helps support our Messy Church, £15 a week helps to fund our youth worker. Your support enables young children and families learn about Jesus and the Christian faith.
Following the survey, the National Giving Team have created five Giving Personas to help better understand different giving motivations and habits. These personas show the different types of giver within a typical church, and how churches can use these personal profiles to better understand the range of attitudes and behaviours around giving. They can also help churches tailor communications to different Anglican audiences
Click here to download a poster of the Top 10 findings and recommendations
Click here to download the giving profiles
Contact the Generous Giving Team to request a copy of the full report
*survey conducted by NFP Synergy, commissioned by The Church of England