Sanford Levings

"Hi, I’m Sanford Levings, President of MinistryCFO and author of this blog. The purpose of our blog is to share with you information and insights that we gather from working with and listening to our clients and partners, located throughout the country." read more

What Gauges Are You Watching? (Part 2 of 2)

What Gets Measured is What Gets Done

(Part 2 of 2 Part Series)

man-with-multiple-directionsDeciding on what you measure will determine the direction of your church. As  we mentioned yesterday: what gets  measured is what gets done.

Yesterday, we recommended 7 gauges for church leaders to follow and today we’ll talk about each one of them.

1. First Time Givers

As a church leader, don’t miss out on your donors taking their first-step.  This a big step for them. All churches need a thank you system in place.  If you don’t have a system in place, then many of your first-time givers will  fall through the cracks, i.e., you will fail to thank all of them.

2. Per Capita Giving (Monthly Giving / Average Attendance)

Be sure to watch the trend on your per capita giving. If the per capita giving trend is moving downward, then that likely means that you need to do more work on creating a culture of financial generosity in your church.  If the trend is moving upward, then that likely indicates that you are not reaching enough unchurched people.

3. Current Month Giving Compared to 12 Months Ago

This gauge tells you whether you are growing or dying. Sure, there may  be a few years where revenues drop or stay flat, particularly during  periods of economic downturn. But the long-term trend needs to be moving upward. Interestingly enough, we often find church leaders overly burdened during a given year and when we remind them their church’s  revenue is 30% higher than it was the previous year, they suddenly exhale!

4. Current Month Attendance Compared to 12 Months Ago

Again, if you’re not growing then you are dying. Steady growth is everybody’s hope and prayer. Nevertheless, being honest and accountable with the year-to-year trends is healthy. It’s important to look back and question the why, what and how regarding the attendance fluctuations from year to year.

5. Online Giving as % of Total Giving

Growing churches are seeing 35-50% of their revenue coming from online giving. This trend will only increase. Generation X and Y don’t write checks and they never will. By the way, online giving provides an excellent opportunity for church leaders to discuss financial stewardship and generosity.

6. Attendance at Every Program

Attendance = Impact. We recommend you provide each program director with a ready-made google spreadsheet with these three columns: 1) Date, 2) Attendance, 3) Comments. It should be that simple. In two years you will be amazed at your findings!

7. Review Donor Reports Quarterly

So what do we mean by “Donor Report”? Your church management  software system should produce a report that sorts all your donors from highest to lowest in total giving amount. Pull the report for the last 12 months with a column for each month followed by a total column. Your committed monthly donors will immediately pop out on the report. Plus, you will be able to quickly see any new committed donors and those who have fallen off.

Contact MinistryCFO and we’ll coach you on how to analyze the report and we’ll provide you with strategies and tactics on how to respond to the various donor profiles.

Your church needs a CFO on part-time basis. Let the MinistryCFO team help you set up a monthly measurement report, which will allow you to ke