How to Keep Congregants Giving at Church During Coronavirus
Do you need help maintaining or increasing giving at church during coronavirus?
If you’re a leader at one of America’s hundreds of thousands of churches, the coronavirus pandemic is a huge concern. The safety and health of your congregation is paramount, but when parishioners stay home, funding tends to dry up. With people not giving at church during coronavirus, it may be hard to remain operational. Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure your members’ continued generosity.
Change In-Church Giving Rituals
Passing the collection plate to your “pew neighbor” is a common practice that allows one more smile to be passed among congregants. Unfortunately, this also creates a risky situation involving coronavirus in church. One person could literally spread an infection to the entirety of your congregation via an offering plate. Luckily, there are ways around this.
Instead of your traditional offering ritual, place collection plates at entrances and throughout your sanctuary. If this doesn’t work logistically, consider investing in offering plates that feature long handles. Of course, this strategy could soon become void. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are discouraging large gatherings of people. For the health of your congregation, you should follow this guideline.
Consider Virtual Services for Church During Coronavirus
Attending church services is often the only method that people have for remembering to tithe and donate. When showing up for in-person worship is no longer an option, though, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still have services. In the technological age that we live in, it’s not just churches experiencing large growth that can offer virtual worship.
A basic and affordable camera that allows you to stream to a computer is all you need, but if don’t have or can’t afford this equipment, a smartphone connected to your Wi-Fi will do the trick. A full 98 percent of church income stems from donations and tithes from congregants, so if streaming live on Facebook is the only way to reach out to your flock, it’s time to go digital.
This list of live streaming platforms may be helpful.
Create a Donation Page on Your Website
Although yearly giving statistics rarely grow by much, online donations tend to outpace the overall average. Even if the bulk of your church’s income typically comes from in-person giving, failing to have an online donation page is hurting you financially. Unfortunately, this problem is going to worsen exponentially thanks to the effect of coronavirus on churches.
If you’re worried that parishioners many not want to donate digitally, you can put that concern to rest. A full 60 percent of churchgoers say they’d happily give online. Whether this is through a PayPal link or a page that utilizes digital giving software to process donations, your main objective should simply be to have an online destination where congregants can give to your church during coronavirus lockdowns.
Create Videos That Tell Stories for Church During Coronavirus
Once the coronavirus pandemic empties your pews, the digital world will be your most important means of communication. While holding virtual services are an appropriate use of this medium, you can get so much more out of it. Creating videos for your congregation can keep them engaged online. And with proper storytelling, such a video can even elicit additional donations.
There are countless subjects you can focus videos on during this time. Are members handing out bottles of hand sanitizer to needy families? Did the preacher become part of the community response team? Even a video where you explain proper CDC guidelines for minimizing your risk of exposure can be useful to your congregation.
Try your best to focus on storytelling in these videos since it increases donations and over 92 percent of people prefer this form of communication. Try out these storytelling tips from Forbes if you need guidance.
Mobile Giving Options for Giving at Church During Coronavirus
Providing your parishioners with the ability to donate online is important, but with the heavy toll coronavirus will have on church finances, you need to go the extra mile. It’s important to start offering mobile giving options now. Whether it’s via text, Facebook Messenger, app or other mobile platform, your main goal should be creating this option immediately. This will improve your ability to keep giving up at church during coronavirus.
About 80 percent of online donations are sent via mobile device. Since most of your congregants’ giving will now occur online – at least as long as coronavirus is an issue – failing to offer mobile giving tools could prove disastrous. You should also utilize as many of these options as possible. If you’re not sold on texting to give, for instance, you should realize that over 97 percent of Americans text at least weekly.
We’re in an unprecedented time when it comes to church giving, so you need to use every weapon at your disposal.
Maintain Giving at Church During Coronavirus
Tithing is already down historically, so the coronavirus is simply adding more fuel to the fire. While you may think this is only a short-term setback, you’ll lose substantial donations from religious holidays even if the pandemic only lasts through April (which is unlikely). Fortunately, implementing the right strategies now can ensure donations keep coming to the church during coronavirus.