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The psychology of giving: Change the way you ask to get more

The psychology of giving: Change the way you ask to get more

Money is necessary for churches to carry out their ministries, but continually asking for money can create fatigue in the leaders and among the congregation. Perhaps your church is going through something similar.

Or maybe you are wondering, why some people are born to voluntarily give others not? Why do people give one day and not the other? 

This article gives you an idea of ​​why people give and psychology of giving how you can encourage others to give as well. 


Obviously, it’s important to use biblical teachings to prepare members to give, but there is another type of preparation you can do to increase tithes and offerings.

Believe it or not, members may need help not to think about finances. Although this sounds counterproductive, studies have shown that when people are prepared to be asked for money, they are actually less likely to give it. This means that there is a benefit to asking them for something else first. There are a couple of reasons why this is a good idea. First, when people are asked to give an offering, they are more likely to start weighing the pros and cons of giving. However, when you ask them to do something (like volunteer), they’ll start thinking about something else (like their time). This type of thinking leads to more emotional decision making, which tends to lead people to give and give more.Another reason this angle of asking people works is because people like consistency. When people say “yes” to a commitment, they are more likely to help with a related commitment in the future.

Key Point: When approaching members about donating, consider asking them to donate their time first. If they decide to volunteer, they may be more willing to give later.


Studies show that donors are more generous with individuals than with groups. Although this may seem like bad news for your church, it is not.

When asking for an offering, the key is to focus on what your church is doing for individuals. An individual’s story has more emotional appeal and motivates people to give. If you are designing an advertising or fundraising campaign, try to emphasize how your ministry has specifically helped an individual. This ties into what’s known as the Identifiable Victim Effect, which, simply put, means that people like to have an image, a name, and a story that they can relate to. For example, if you are designing a church website and you are talking about monetary giving, you might want to put a picture of a man who has been helped by your homeless ministry. Below the photo, a brief description could be written, such as, ” José lost his job due to company cutbacks. Then he lost his house. José was left homeless, but thanks to donations like yours, XYZ Church is helping José get back on his feet.” Remember that while your church helps many people, people who give money connect and sympathize more with just one person. person.

Key Point: When asking for monetary donations, promote how your church helps individual people and specifically how a donation can help.


This may seem obvious, but it is something that many people overlook. Potential donors respond better when they see that you have a personal connection to the cause.

This involves more than just expressing your position or opinion on the issue at church. Consider that if someone is seeking donations for cancer research, which person would you be more willing to listen to: a woman whose husband died of cancer, or the man who cites statistics on how many people are diagnosed with the disease each year? Although information is important to encourage people to donate, the way a cause is presented and the way it is requested should appeal to the potential donor. So the next time you start a stewardship campaign, consider having someone testify how the church has been a blessing to him or her from her. Then follow up with the specific needs and numbers and how a donation can help meet the need.

Key Point: Ask for volunteers who have a personal connection to your ministry.


It sounds crazy, but it’s true. People tend to be more willing to give money when there is a bit of work involved. Consider some of the most popular types of donation drives: the Ice Bucket Challenge, mud runs, carnivals, bake sales, marathons, etc. These types of events involve an element of fun and can create an experience that brings more joy, but the psychology of their success runs much deeper. People like to work for what they give. Additionally, these campaigns are often successful due to the publicity they receive on social media. People enjoy sharing their experiences, which, in turn, furthers the cause. When you need more money for a specific ministry within your church, you may want to consider one of these types of fundraisers. But remember, they also come with certain expenses. Be sure to count the cost as well as the potential profit to determine if it’s worth it.

Key Point: Consider organizing a donation drive that requires effort on the part of the donor.

Understanding the psychology of giving is not about manipulating your congregation; it’s about helping you present your ministry needs in the most effective way. Keep these tips in mind, and you just might increase the chances that today is the day donors say “yes.”