With over 80% of your congregation having and using smartphones, you need a text-giving strategy. Here is a simple step-by-step approach that any church can utilize.
Set it up. If you don’t have text giving, we can help at https://www.onlinegiving.org/. Then, you need to use it. You can’t promote what you don’t know.
Shout it out. Most churches make the biggest mistake when setting up an online tool. They set it up and leave it. You must drive people to your sites before they can use them.
So here are some ideas on how to do that…
- Make sure your text to give number is prominently displayed on your website.
- Post the number and a short description of how to use text giving on all social media channels, newsletters, bulletins, and other forms of communications. During the kickoff month, I like to do this for four weeks. After the kickoff, I try and post at least once a week on one of my major platforms. For other platforms, I might advertise text giving once a quarter.
- Consider sending out an announcement email blast about text giving when you first provide the service. Then, periodically send out blasts a couple of times a year. I like to schedule email blasts like this on three-day holiday weekends.
- Utilize your announcement time to focus upon text giving. If you use sliding screenshots before and after your services, consider a slide encouraging text giving.
- Text for donations! Use SMS to make strategic appeals for crisis giving to support crisis relief.
- Put the text to give number under your signature on every email and snail-mail letter you send.
Simplify it. Remember, our goal is to make it easy. Consider using what is called a shortcode. A shortcode is a simple string of letters or numbers that allows the donation to be sent to the right fund. For instance, you might want to text “Missions2019” to 555-555-5555. Most providers will help you with this. If not, give us a call or visit our site https://www.onlinegiving.org/.
Say thank you and follow up. First, treat it like you treat every donation. Hopefully by now, you do recognize first-time donors, etc. So, let’s do the same with text givers by…
- Sending a quick tweet of thanks back to the donor.
- Confirm that the gift was received.
- Add that donor to your mailing and contact list designating that they gave via text.
- Reach out to them a few months later with a similar appeal like what brought their first gift in.
These simple steps can help you see not just an increase in text giving but, I believe, an increase in giving AND a better way to connect with the younger generations, your future givers.