Use Your Giving Data To Make Powerful Decisions
They say “knowledge is power,” right? While this is true, there is more to the equation here. Until knowledge is actually applied, then and only then, can you really make powerful decisions. And when it comes to your church finances, it’s important to make informed and wise decisions with every cent.
There are a lot of approaches by pastors in the area of finances. Some prefer to be hands-on, while others may run from knowing the nitty gritty details. For those who feel the desire to make a quick exit when the topic of finances is approached, it may be because they don’t feel they are equipped with the proper financial data to make the best decision for Godly stewardship.
Financial principles found in the Bible aren’t always easy to translate into practical application, the book of Excel or 2nd Quickbooks was never written. While the Divine direction provided in the Bible cannot be replaced in terms of conceptual value, it’s not the only resource available when practical application and day-to-day investing solutions are required for your finances.
Think about how humans process information when trying to make sense of any obstacle, not just related to money or financial resources. We collect data, right? Whether it’s first-hand data, or stories from friends describing an experience, we are always collecting some form of information and storing it for future use.
But, data is actually the lowest form of information, and by itself, is useless. Data is simply individual statements of truth. Where data finds it’s true spark is when it’s applied in the decision making process.
Once we apply the data, it’s transforms into information. With information in hand, we can start to see meaning in the individual facts. We are now developing knowledge. That is when we provide both meaning and context to points of data. Finally, at the pinnacle of knowing, we have gained the wisdom. Only in the wisdom phase, can we begin to apply the knowledge into future scenarios. If this process sounds familiar, it’s based on the DIKW pyramid.
While keeping a finger on the pulse of a church’s giving and expenses isn’t the most glamorous task, it’s one of the most essential. It is important to the future and overall well-being of your church. An easy way to track your giving data is in the giving dashboards provided by your aware3 app.
The aware3 Giving Dashboard is a powerful way to gain valuable insight into the giving trends of your church. It provides a quick and easy view into key areas including:
- Giving Totals: Total giving, by channel, for any date range.
- Date Range Filter: Dynamically apply a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly filter to understand your results for a specific point in time.
- Giving Type: Are your donors giving more via credit/debit or ACH?
Funds: What funds have been the most successful?
- Giving Channels: What giving channel do your donors prefer (e.g. web, mobile, text, etc.)?
- One-time And Recurring Gifts: What percent of your total giving is recurring? Is your recurring giving increasing?
Providing Transparency Leads To Trust
Now that you have a clear picture of your church’s financial health through the giving dashboard, you are equipped to be transparent with your congregation. There’s no need share the financial details people don’t care about (i.e. how much is spent on cleaning supplies), but there shouldn’t be any secrets when people ask. Keeping people in the know of the general financial welfare of the church is critical. Use the giving dashboard to provide digestible pieces of financial information, easily. There’s no guessing, because the data is right in front of you.
This financial transparency is what leads to trust. When others trust your church they start to buy into the vision and mission. When people believe in something, they give. This generosity provides the monetary resources needed to continue to make valuable decisions for your church’s growth and financial future.