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


Tithers, Sporadic Donors and Marginal Donors

(Part 1 of 7-Part Series)

The pie chart to your right is what your giving looked like last year.16 - Giving Trends - Part I Giving Breakdown- image16 - Giving Trends - Part I Giving Breakdown- imageSporadic-Donors-Chart

16 - Giving Trends - Part I Giving Breakdown- image

Yes, that’s correct:  We don’t know you and we’re already telling you who gave what in your church last year.

How can we be so bold in telling you this?

It’s because, at MinistryCFO, we have analyzed Donor Reports on countless churches and the data is consistent.

Before we delve into these three pie slices, let us first define the terms for you:


  • A tither is a donor who gives an average of $500 per month and gives consistently every month.

  • As such, tithers give in a meaningful and predictable basis to your church.

  • Tithers make only 21% of your total donor base!

  • Yet represent 75% or more of your total giving!

  • Tithers are the financial foundation of your church!

Marginal Donor

  • A marginal donor is a donor on the other end of the spectrum.

  • Marginal donors give a nominal amount, no more than $50 in any one month.

  • Marginal donors may give on a regular monthly basis: however, they never give a meaningful amount.

  • Marginal donors represent almost half of your total donor base!

Sporatic Donors

  • Sporadic donors fall between tithers and tippers.

  • Sporadic donors give more than marginal donors. So their giving in any given month can be a meaningful amount.

  • Sporadic donors never give on a consistent basis.  So their giving is not predictable.

  • Sporadic donors represent over 1/3 of your entire donor base!

Tomorrow, we’re going to tell you how we were able to derive these highly predictable giving trends.

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