Church members with long giving histories are increasingly retiring to fixed incomes, and younger givers aren't yet picking up the slack. This socioeconomic dynamic and many others related to living in a modern and mobile society are affecting every church's financial bottom line. In order to cultivate future donors and better understand their current donor base, more and more church leaders are collecting donor data and poring over the numbers. But it takes skill and ingenuity to analyze the data correctly and to properly weigh important indicators of long-term financial health and of looming obstacles.
"I think there's a lot of room for improvement," said Vonna Laue, managing partner at the accounting firm CapinCrouse and an editorial advisor for Church Finance Today. "You can have a lot of data, but if you don't know how to use it, it doesn't help much."