Over 112 million people watched the Super Bowl this year. Many of those millions didn’t care who won or lost or even much, if anything, about the game. They watched the Super Bowl for the commercials. In fact, according to a study, 37% of Super Bowl viewers last year admitted they were watching only for the commercials.1. That is why companies paid $7 million for a thirty-second shot at millions of people’s attention.2. Produce a winning ad, and your brand is talked about for days.
One thing that continues to be talked about days after the game is the number of crypto ads that aired. Fortune, before the game proclaimed it Crypto Bowl.3. In fact, nbcnews.com put up a post titled, “Why were there so many crypto ads during the Super Bowl?”4. Do a DuckDuckGo search, and you’ll see the Super Bowl crypto ads buzz continues.
Would a church benefit from accepting cryptocurrency? We believe the answer is yes but historically churches have been slow in accepting new things, especially technology. As with any new technology, you have early adopters, but churches tend to lag behind for the most part. They have questions or hesitations that become obstacles to embracing whatever new technology comes at them. Some of us are old enough to remember making pitches for accepting donations online to skeptical boards and finance teams.
So, how can you begin to convince your board or team to consider accepting cryptocurrency gifts? Here are three things you can do immediately to overcome objections about accepting cryptocurrency gifts.
First, educate first yourself and then your team. The first obstacle is dealing with a lack of understanding of what cryptocurrency is to begin with. Be prepared for when you go to your Finance Team talking about cryptocurrency; someone doesn’t stand up and say, “Crypto what?” New stuff can often seem complicated.
“It acts essentially like stock.” That was the answer Stephen Ballard, the founder of OnlineGiving.org, gave recently at a major Christian conference. For a great explanation of Crypto and why your church should consider setting it up, read this post:
So, if a church accepts stock donations, why would you not accept cryptocurrency? Don’t let the fear of something new keep you from future donations.
Next, avoid false assumptions based upon limited information. The next obstacle that keeps many churches from accepting cryptocurrency is assuming that their members would never use it. On December 31, 2014, I wanted to make a last-minute donation to my church. I went to the church website only to find out they did not have online giving. Since the mail had already come, I had to drive to the church and write a paper check. When I asked the Financial Secretary why they did not offer online giving, she responded that no one used it. As I wrote this article, I checked that church’s website, and they now not only offer online giving through their website but also through an app on your phone.
I’ll grant you that cryptocurrency is so new that few churches even know about it. Yet simply because you or no one you know uses cryptocurrencies doesn’t mean they do not exist within your church. You have probably been surprised by stock gifts before, never realizing that members invested in stocks. I believe the same is true for cryptocurrency. While it might appeal at present to only a fraction of your membership, cryptocurrency can add much-needed cash to fuel your vision.
Finally, set expectations with a plan of action. The final obstacle is helping church leaders see a practical use for this tool. There must be a better reason for setting up a platform for crypto donations than being the first church on the block to offer the newest fad. Dollars fuel mission and ministry, not buzz. A tool left in your toolkit is worthless unless you use it. We must show church leaders that accepting cryptocurrency can work to increase giving.
Here is how I am advising my clients. Let’s go back to Stephen Ballard’s comment, “It acts essentially like stock.” As I consider stewardship strategies for client churches, I use a similar train of thought. For instance, at certain times of the year, and to certain segments, members past 70 ½, etc., we stress various options for giving like stock. Now we will also be mentioning cryptocurrency as an option for giving. Often, simply mentioning giving options increases gifts, especially non-cash gifts.
To gain gifts in stock, it helps if you set up an account and regularly remind your members they can give that way. You need to do the same for cryptocurrency. The OnlineGiving.org platform handles all technical aspects of accepting crypto transactions to make accepting cryptocurrency easy for the church. Setting up your account could be the start of a whole new stream of giving.
In my experience, the more options we give donors, the more gifts we receive. With the recent buzz of the Super Bowl crypto ads, now would be a great time to add accepting cryptocurrency to your online platform.