How To Talk About Making The Switch To Online Giving

These days, only about 16% of people regularly carry cash. Most of us can’t remember that last time we wrote a check, unless it was to pay rent the old school way or make a major purchase. The fact is, most of your supporters would be far more comfortable donating if they were able to pull out their credit card like they do every other time they spend money.

Given that the world has gone digital, it’s about time your organization was able to experience all the perks that come along with it. These perks include increased security, more insightful financial reporting, and increased donor confidence. With that said, let’s explore how you can convince people both inside and outside of your organization that online giving is the way to go.

Meeting Hesitation With Encouragement

For most of us today, managing and spending money is almost an exclusively digital activity. So, why haven’t nonprofits (particularly churches) caught on? In most cases, it’s due to hesitation from both congregants and leaders within the organization.

Most of your supporters will find the opportunity to support your church online a refreshing change. After all, it’s a simple, streamlined method that’s familiar and convenient to them. However, there is almost guaranteed to be some hesitation. What matters is that you proactively address hesitation. Once detected, help eliminate concerns with proper communication.

By explaining why you want to introduce online giving and presenting its benefits, you will quickly dispel doubt. Once you do, many people will jump on board right away.

To follow are some important steps you should take to help everyone make an easy switch to online giving.

Explain That Online Giving Isn’t The Only Option

When your church first announces online giving, those who still give in cash or by other means may be uncomfortable with the notion. However, you can ease their discomfort by reinforcing to this segment of your supporters that online giving isn’t the only option. Let them know that you’re more than happy to continue accepting donations however they’re comfortable giving.

Even if you’re hoping to convert most of your donors to online giving, remember that some supports won’t be comfortable with it. Others may not be technically capable of pursuing it. There are still people out there, particularly in the older population, who don’t own a computer or smartphone. Others that do may not be able to use it without concerns of security or difficulty setting things up.

You might still encourage hesitant donors to explore online giving and help them get started, but don’t pressure them. Remember to tell them that online giving is simply another method by which your donors can give. While it allows for easier tracking on your end, it’s not something you want hesitant donors to pursue if it’s not comfortable or convenient for them. After all, forcing the latter could lead to them donating less frequently or stopping altogether.

Address The Benefits of Online Giving

When it comes to explaining the switch to your supporters at large, it’s important that you focus on the “why,” since that is what everyone cares about. They want to know why they should make the switch and why your organization is making the switch. If you do a good enough job explaining it to them, most people will be happy to jump on board.

You’ve surely already researched the benefits online giving will offer to your organization. For the sake of transparency, you should present that information. For instance, it makes good sense to tell your supporters that you chose to implement online giving to improve security and reporting. However, if you want your supporters to adopt online giving, you also have to talk about the benefits it will offer to them.

One important thing to remember when presenting the benefits to your supporters is balance. Let them know it’s a win/win situation. Focusing too much on all the benefits they’ll get can seem disingenuous and even come across like you want them to feel like you’re doing them a favor. You should ingrain appreciation and gratitude into any discussions you have about making the switch to online giving. Discuss benefits such as:

  • Convenience. Reinforce that making an online donation is quicker for the people who don’t carry cash or checks around often. Statements like, “It only takes 3 taps to donate using your phone,” will help solidify this claim.
  • Security. While you shouldn’t make people fearful about potential security issues for cash donations, you can find a way to mention security without getting into the details. The main thing you should emphasize is how secure online giving is to dispel fears that it isn’t, rather than saying it’s more secure than other forms of giving.
  • Control. You have the opportunity to mention the potential of setting up an automatic donation, but don’t make it sound like the expectation. Let them know that they have complete control, whether they make a one-time donation or setup a donation on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. Remind them that they can adjust a recurring donation (or cancel it) at any time, should their giving abilities change.

Depending on your specific organization and your supporters, you might come up with other benefits to mention. For instance, if people are currently giving at your in-person kiosk, you can talk about how online giving enables them to give from anywhere.

Designing Customer Journeys for the Post-Pandemic World

Show People How to Give Digitally

Donors expect a streamlined, frictionless experience when giving online. However, those new to the process are more likely to give if they know exactly what to expect. Therefore, you should devote some time and resources to showing your donors how to give digitally.

Ideally, you’ll show this process across multiple platforms. For instance, you might create a video for Facebook, a blog post for your website, and even a quick in-person presentation if you have an upcoming event or meeting where you want to introduce the option of online giving to your supporters.

Regardless, make sure that when you show the process, you know it well yourself. You shouldn’t be going through it for the first-time with a supporter standing next to you, because you want to be able to answer their questions and show them how simple it is. So, get familiar with the platform yourself before you try introducing anyone else to it.

If you have donors who are open to the idea of digital giving, but aren’t sure how to use it, you should take time out of your schedule to show them on their own device. In-person training helps a lot when donors need to download your church’s app. This personalized attention lets them donate right there or set up a recurring gift.

How to Appeal to the Motivated Donor

Build Your Digital Giving on The Right Software

If your organization is thinking about pursuing digital giving, make sure that you build it upon the right foundation. Ideally, your donation software will do more than process payments. The right donation software will link to your donor management system, giving you more insight and control so you can maximize every gift.

Here at Donorwerx, that’s exactly what we do. With a full-fledged donor management system built around a donor-centric framework, our users are able to collect donations online, on mobile, by text, and at a kiosk. Interested in learning more? Schedule a discovery call today. 

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