· The average donation size across the religious sector more than doubled from £5.71 pre-lockdown to £13.75 after the first lockdown
· Overall donations showed the same trend, quickly recovering before spiking 75% above pre-lockdown numbers by August 2020
Easter has always been a busy weekend for churches across the UK with Good Friday and Easter Sunday services attracting larger congregations than in any other holiday period. Due to the pandemic places of worship that are open must follow strict social distancing rules meaning they can only accommodate a fraction of churchgoers compared to normal which is set to have a huge impact on donations during this critical period.
Data from GoodBox, a charity-focused digital giving provider showed a staggering 98% drop in income via contactless giving across the religious sector as a direct result of the first lockdown. However, as restrictions lifted, and limited numbers of the public were allowed back into services the average donation size across the religious sector more than doubled from £5.71 pre-lockdown to £13.75 as small congregations rallied to support their local churches as much as possible under tight restrictions.
The Church of England recently released figures showing a drop of £40m in donations in 2020* due to church closures, reduced congregations and loss of fees for services such as weddings. Historically many churches across the UK have relied on cash in the collection plate as a primary source for donations, but many have adapted due to COVID and now offer contactless solutions such as the GoodPlate, a religious offering plate which accepts both cash and contactless donations.
GoodBox Co-Founder & Managing Director Francesca Hodgson says, “The huge increase in donations after the first lockdown really illustrates the incredible resilience of the UK public and I am sure this will be reflected again during the Easter weekend. It is clear that congregations have a renewed desire to support their communities and offer a hand when needed. While these may be just numbers, they tell the underlying story of the generous British public and a willingness to help out those who need it.
As an increasing number of donors don’t carry cash, a contactless donation point is fast becoming an essential part of religious donations which is why we have tailored our solutions and developed the GoodPlate, a religious offering plate which accepts both cash and contactless donations.”