Survey your congregation to energize your outreach!


How does surveying help?

Knowing what your members’ interests are when they aren’t at church may not seem important or connected to their stewardship. But in Vanco’s survey of 1,000 churchgoers, asking them about their interests and activities provided great insights that can help churches build and promote successful member and stewardship programs.

Knowing how your congregation prefers to give is just one part of the generosity equation. You want them to volunteer, contribute financially or participate as group members, so it’s helpful to know what programs and messages interest them the most.

If you want to start a new event or group, survey your members to find out what they’re interested in. Their answers about the activities they participate in can help you build ministries they’ll want to be a part of and support.

Survey results

In Vanco’s survey, churchgoers were given a list of activities and were asked which ones they participate in most often. The top responses were:

  • Walking, jogging, running 61%
  • Reading for pleasure 53%
  • Gardening 40%
  • Swimming 37%
  • Fishing 27%

If 40 percent of your congregation enjoys gardening, for example, they might be interested in teaching gardening skills or providing a place for individuals in need to grow their own vegetables.

Deciding how you’ll promote your programs is also important. Vanco asked churchgoers about their use of online media, and the most popular activities were:

  • Check personal email 85%
  • Browse internet on a computer or tablet 72%
  • Use Facebook 60%
  • Send text messages 58%
  • Browse internet on a phone 42%

Different groups prefer different types of media, but Vanco’s survey results show that most churchgoers are online and on their phones. For ease of access, make sure your church website displays as well on mobile devices as it does on desktops or tablets.

A Survey Tool For You

To help you find out where your congregation’s interests lie, Vanco has designed a short survey you can use to find out more about their technology habits, communication preferences, activities, interests and attitudes toward giving. Download Vanco’s free Church Member Survey and a special companion piece, A Window Into Stronger Stewardship, which provides instructions on how to conduct the survey and analyze its results against national responses.

Download now

At Vanco, we’re committed to making a difference for our clients, and those they serve. We strive to listen, be helpful, earn trust and deliver what’s needed in accordance with the values that define us. If you have questions about electronic giving for your ministry, call us 800-675-7430.


By Jan Jasmin, SVP, Charitable Giving Evangelist, Vanco Payment Solutions
Jan Jasmin serves as the Senior Vice President of Vanco Payment Solutions, a strategic corporate sponsor for the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA).  The Vanco Payment Solutions products bring convenient electronic giving to the UMC and its members. Jan’s guest blog provides helpful information to United Methodist churches as each one considers ways to encourage giving to local church ministries.

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