March 3 - 9, 2008


A 'Floor' of Personal Giving

Well into the second year when my tithe has been on autopilot – through automatic electronic monthly deductions – it’s easier and more painless than it’s ever been

I’ve long since adjusted to the new cash flow, and I rarely give my donations a thought anymore. Moreover, now when I choose to give to special appeals or to other charities, I have the satisfaction knowing it’s all second-mile giving. This is just to emphasize, from a personal viewpoint, just how well automatic deductions can work for giving to the church.

Back in the days when I – gasp! – wrote weekly checks, I was always getting behind. So then by the end of the year “making up” for six or seven week’s worth of contributions exacted a very heavy toll. It was hard to write that check – especially at Christmas, when I needed my cash.

For the last two years I’ve emphasized to my church electronic giving through a free, no-obligation program offered by Thrivent Financial. We’ve included enrollment forms in our monthly newsletters, but surprisingly few people have joined. I think it’s because they feel obligated to sign up for the maximum amount they would ever want to give.

But I tell the families that electronic giving makes a lot of sense for folks who want to build up their giving painlessly. For instance, if a family decides it can give only $5 a week to the church, putting it on electronic giving makes it a regular, never-fail offering that they might give without a lot of pain. Then the next year, if they added another $5 a week, and another $5 the following year, and so on, they’d be approaching a tithe in good time.

The point is, automatic deductions provide an excellent way to establishing a giving base – a floor below which a donor would not fall.

-Rob Blezard, editor and webmaster

Reprint rights gladly given to churches for local, nonprofit use. Just include this notice: “Copyright © 2008, The Rev. Robert Blezard, Used by permission.”


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