It’s that time of year again – the end! With 2018 coming to a close, it’s important to pause and evaluate the metrics necessary to help you forecast and plan for next year. At MortarStone, we use the month of December to benchmark several metrics that are essential to understanding your church growth, ministry efficiency, and overall generosity effectiveness. We narrow down these metrics to three areas of measurement to provide you with an accurate picture of your church health. If you’re not using MortarStone, these metrics can be measured by combing giving from your Church Management Software or designated giving platform, and then running a comparison analysis on both systems. For those of you that are MortarStone users, these metrics are quickly found with a few simple clicks.
Total Giving by All Donors vs. Total Giving by Core Donors (those giving $200+ per year)
Combine all giving for the past 12-months, or if you’re using MortarStone login to your dashboard and select the ‘Explore All Church Giving’ link. When you explore your ‘All Church Giving’ dashboard, you will see a 12-month visual comparison of giving. This allows you to analyze what these numbers indicate about your church’s generosity.
Begin your evaluation by separating new givers from Core Givers (those who give at least $200 a year to your church). In MortarStone, scroll down to the bottom of the page and look at your band distribution. Band 1 represents your new givers, and Bands 2-5 represent your Core Givers.
How well is your giving amongst Core givers and new givers? What do the numbers tell you? Are your Core Givers increasing or decreasing? Core Givers typically account for 80% of church giving and are often the group that gets the least acknowledgment or discipleship. Most churches reach out to first-time givers and top givers, but the large portion of givers in the middle fails to receive any attention. If you are noticing a downward trend in your CORE giving amounts, it might be time to focus more of your efforts on teaching generosity stewardship to these individuals
Donor Churn – how many people are walking in the front door versus leaving out the back?
Donor Churn analysis is an excellent way to begin a discipleship ministry to your givers. Using your giving platform or MortarStone dashboard, look at who given for the past 12 months and tag those that have stopped giving in the last 3-6 months. If you’re using MortarStone, click on the ‘Churn’ tab and a 12-month graph will appear with your yearly percentages. Then, click on the ‘retention’ tab, and you can see individual households that have lapsed in giving. Acquiring and retaining the masses (~65% of total givers or more) produces a more consistent and reliable financial growth. If your Donor Churn is higher than 2.5%, this is a good indicator that something is not working in your generosity ministry and a leadership meeting is needed to discuss how to change these numbers.
MortarStone offers a 1-day, onsite generosity training program that analyzes your church’s giving and trains your team on the necessary steps for stewarding, supporting, and reaching your congregation. Schedule a time to talk with us about this program.
How many new givers, core givers and top givers have you retained in the last 12 months? Are you retaining more givers than the previous year or do you see a decrease? By looking at your retention analysis, you can determine how effective you are in obtaining and keeping givers. Using MortarStone, click on the ‘Retention’ tab to see charted percentages of retained, lapsed, strong, and short givers and scroll down to the bottom of the page to view each household individually.
Once you’ve determined what your retention analysis has been for the last 12 months, you can start to plan generosity programs for the coming year. At MortarStone we offer a VisionCampaign™ strategy that creates a discipleship pathway for all givers. A VisionCampaign™ is a holistic stewardship and generosity initiative that supports both growth in attendance and giving. Schedule a time to talk with us about this program.
As 2018 comes to a close, it’s important to analyze these three metrics and understand who your givers are and how you can better disciple them in the coming year. Our greatest job as ministry leaders is to steward the people God has entrusted to us. “Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.” – 1 Peter 4:10