5 Ways Churches Can Maintain Funding During Coronavirus
Religious leaders are scrambling to deal with the effects of coronavirus on church operations. Fearful congregants and public gathering bans have wreaked havoc on in-service attendance. Since almost all church funding comes directly from congregants, bleak financial times are ahead for sanctuaries of God. Fortunately, there are ways for churches to maintain funding during the coronavirus outbreak.
1. Immediately Switch to Virtual Services
Offering virtual church services has become an affordable way to offset the costs of physical meetings. You’ll be saving money on electricity and other utilities along with communion and event costs. This is important even if your area hasn’t received a mandatory ban on gatherings. Switching over now will cut costs and ensure you’re ready if an outright ban does occur.
While large churches may have been the only ones that could afford virtual services in the past, technological advancements have changed this. By combining a basic camera (even your smartphone will work) with Facebook Live, YouTube Live or other streaming services, you’ll be ready to join the online church world.
2. Host an Online Fundraiser for Funding During Coronavirus
Tithing goes a long way in keeping the church doors open, but a periodic fundraiser can do wonders for covering your expenses. To make things simple, host it online. This campaign will provide an opportunity to be direct with your parishioners. It will also give them a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run a church.
Be honest about the financial difficulties that coronavirus is presenting. In addition to letting donors know how they can help, you want them to understand why the help is so imperative at this particular moment. Consider a Facebook fundraiser to avoid the high costs of platforms like GoFundMe.
3. Offer Online Giving Options
As more communities experience bans on public gatherings, the possibility of your church temporarily shutting down becomes more likely. In these situations, you won’t be able to bring in most of your revenue since parishioners will not have access to the offering plate. Fortunately, there are several other options available.
Even if you’re still hosting in-person services, it’s essential that you utilize an online giving platform immediately. This will give you the opportunity to collect donations and tithes via your website, app and through other digital methods. Since 60 percent of congregants would willingly give online, this is a revenue measure you should already be using.
4. Offer Text to Donate Options
Another great way churches can increase revenue during the coronavirus outbreak – or any time, for that matter – is through text to donate tools. Over 97 percent of Americans text at least weekly, and it’s one of the few mobile resources that people of all ages use.
Even churchgoers 65 and older – who just so happen to be your most committed parishioners – send around five texts per day. As it turns out, these are also the members who you should ask to stay home even if you haven’t canceled services. The risks of coronavirus are much higher for older individuals.
Check out our guide on Text to Donate to learn how to implement the strategy at your church.
5. Reschedule Your Annual Appeal
Church attendance is down already, and the arrival of coronavirus in America isn’t going to help those numbers. Unfortunately, the outbreak also started getting particularly serious just a month before the April religious holidays. This removes a huge source of income. If ever there were a reason to reschedule your annual appeal, this is it.
While annual appeals typically take place near the end of the year, congregants will understand the necessity if you explain the difficulties your church is facing. Annual appeal best practices may vary dependent on several factors, but this handy guide provides tips that have proven successful over time.
Church Funding During Coronavirus Is Possible
American places of worship each face their own difficulties, and it’s likely that yours has encountered its own hardships in the past. While churches facing the coronavirus pandemic are against a new enemy, God will undoubtedly help them endure. He does his best work through our actions, though. This means it’s important to utilize these funding measures to ensure your congregation preservers.