If there were any doubts about the impact of online giving on offerings, those doubts vanished with the rise of COVID-19. I hear continually from pastors, “We will never pass an offering plate ever again.” Commerce had already moved to become digital. The pandemic forced churches to finally adapt. Now with online giving, your offering plate is “open” 24/7/365. Here are some thoughts on how you can make your offerings 24/7/365.
#1 – Keep online giving in front of your members. Your members won’t magically find your giving site. You have to continually keep online giving in the mind of your donors. Consider running a campaign announcing online giving features, how easy it is, and encouraging members to sign up. Then throughout the year, at various times and across all platforms, encourage people to give online.
#2 – Make your giving site easily accessible and clearly visible. Studies show you have less than 10 seconds once a person has landed on your website before they bail out. So, make your giving site easy to find and easy to use. It doesn’t have to be a flashing light, but people should not have to search for your giving site.
#3 – Think mobile! People use their smart devices to do just about everything, including commerce. Your site and your emails must reflect this. Be short and to the point as most are reading your text from a small screen.
#4 – Utilize clickable links to your giving site. Every print and digital communication should always contain a clickable link for ease of use that sends people directly to the giving page. A clickable link in a Social Media post is a great way to show people what their gift accomplishes while allowing them to give. Here is a sample of a link that is clickable, https://www.onlinegiving.org/.
#5 – Provide multiple options by how people can give online. You have to have all the major platforms people use today. From text giving to recurring giving, you want to provide multiple options, thus allowing people to use what they like best. Multiple paths toward giving lead to a multiplication of giving!
At OnlineGiving.org, https://www.onlinegiving.org/, we give you 12 different methods of giving!
The overall goal for online giving is to make it easy for people to give so that they WILL give! The easier you make it for people to give, the more likely they will GIVE!
#6 – Show people the impact of a gift. On your giving page, tell the story of what your church is accomplishing for the Kingdom. Tell your story through social media, stating, “Your faithful generosity helps us see lives changed. Give at…” If you want to see how to do this, go to any non-profit’s webpage.
#7 – Have a 24/7/365 plan for the offering. The previous points deal with concepts and platforms. Yet you must have a plan for establishing a 24/7/365 offering. It starts by realizing that your giving is already coming in at multiple days and times. COVID forced us to think of how to engage with people digitally 24/7/365. We need to also think of the offering as a 24/7/365 and plan accordingly. For instance, a social media post late at night might result in gifts from those sitting in bed checking their social media accounts. You will never know unless you try.
Like it or not, digital giving is here to stay. With these ideas, you can make sure your offering plate never closes.