Ministries worldwide are increasingly seeking innovative approaches to raise essential funds. The traditional reliance on collection plates for covering maintenance and staffing costs is giving way to a surge in online giving for churches.
In the face of challenges, many congregations are striving to survive by embracing new and innovative fundraising methods, with a significant focus on online avenues. Promoting online giving unlocks a fresh and untapped revenue stream for your church.
To help you get started, here are ten valuable tips to navigate this digital landscape effectively.
1. Create a Website That Stands Out
If your church doesn’t yet have a website, consider launching one to serve as an online hub for all your charitable programs. Keep the website design simple and user-friendly, featuring images of your ministry and congregation.
To encourage return visits, offer regular updates, maintain an engaging blog, and provide transcripts of your services. For effective online giving, prominently place a noticeable and visually appealing giving button on your website.
The more straightforward and quick the online giving process, the more likely people will be to contribute to your church’s cause.
2. Constantly Promote Online Giving for Churches
Informing members about the different online donation options is crucial. The process can be simple, and there are various effective ways to achieve it. During worship services, consider making one or two announcements about online giving and also mention it during the offering time.
Additionally, create a bulletin or newsletter, providing both digital and paper copies for regular distribution among your worshippers. Include clear instructions on how to donate online in these materials.
Utilize your church’s social media accounts to keep people informed and engaged, sharing updates and reminders about online giving regularly. Lastly, print and distribute informational flyers at the end of each service to give members tangible references for online donation methods.
3. Hold a Digital Offering During Service
For worshippers who may be unfamiliar with online giving for churches, conducting a digital offering during a service can be an effective teaching method. Encourage your worshippers to access your donation page on their phones, and guide them through the process step by step.
To keep things simple, consider requesting the same donation amount from everyone. Starting with a modest sum — such as $5 — can be a good approach. Once individuals have experienced the process of giving online, they are more likely to continue doing so in the future.
This hands-on approach can help foster a greater understanding and adoption of online giving within your congregation.
4. Ensure Your Online Giving Tools Are Mobile-Friendly
Over half of the world’s internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. It’s essential for your church’s online giving process to be mobile-friendly, as failing to do so could result in missing out on significant contributions.
While responsive website themes and platforms are available and capable, adopting a “mobile-first” approach is the most effective strategy. With more than half of your website visitors likely accessing it from mobile devices, designing your website specifically for smaller screens and then adapting it upwards ensures a seamless user experience.
Moreover, the use of mobile devices for online giving is currently at an all-time high. The Millennial Impact Report reveals that a staggering 84 percent of young adults prefer to give online. Embracing mobile-friendly giving options caters to this growing trend and can substantially boost your church’s fundraising efforts.
5. Drive Traffic to Your Online Pages
Having a fantastic church website is essential, but its impact is limited if people aren’t visiting it. To increase website traffic, consistently remind people about the site’s offerings. Incorporate mentions of it during every service and prominently display the website address in all bulletins and newsletters. Utilize social media platforms to reach out and encourage people to visit the site regularly.
Additionally, ensure your website is SEO optimized to attract search engine attention. Implementing strategies like using relevant keywords, providing high-quality content, and incorporating authoritative links can significantly enhance its visibility. For the most cost-effective approach, consider hiring a professional to conduct a church website SEO audit, ensuring your website is fully optimized for increased visibility and engagement.
6. Build Your Church’s Brand
Your ministry already possesses its unique brand, even if you’re not aware of it. However, taking control of the branding process can significantly impact donations. There are several effective ways to brand your church, such as designing a logo, implementing a consistent color scheme, and using a specific type of font.
As StoryBrand-certified guides, we leverage the powerful StoryBrand framework to inspire giving. By crafting a clear and compelling message that resonates with worshippers, we can help you maximize your church’s fundraising potential. Branded giving pages outperform unbranded pages by approximately 67 percent.
While the concept of establishing a church brand identity might seem unfamiliar initially, it has the potential to encourage a higher number of regular donations from your congregation. Embracing branding efforts can elevate your ministry’s image and inspire greater engagement and support.
7. Offer Automated Online Giving for Churches
Many individuals prefer to contribute regularly to their ministry, and in the past, this often involved cash or check payments made in person. However, simplifying the process of recurring giving for your worshippers is now possible.
By utilizing a payment provider that offers the option of recurring payments through debit or credit cards, you empower your congregation to choose how frequently they give and when to discontinue their contributions.
This added functionality provides worshippers with greater control and flexibility over their giving, making the process much more convenient and accessible for them.
8. Always Thank Your Donors
Showing gratitude when someone gives to your church is crucial. It not only reflects the right thing to do but also leaves givers with a sense of accomplishment. An appreciated donor is more likely to become a regular contributor.
You can express thanks in various ways, such as directing donors to a “thank you” page after their payment, sending warm-hearted personalized emails, or even thanking them via text using the payment provider’s software.
9. Place Printable “I Gave Online” Cards on Your Website
Ensuring online givers don’t feel awkward when the collection plate is passed during a service is essential. One effective way to handle this situation is by providing online donors with an “I gave online” card. Not only does this put people at ease, but it also informs others in the congregation that online giving is a viable option.
10. Utilizing Technology to Meet Your Ministry Goals
Amidst the array of new and exciting technologies that can drive giving, it’s essential to consider which ones align best with your goals. Rather than solely focusing on the features of apps and other technologies, concentrate on your desired outcomes.
Reflect on the reasons why your worshippers choose to give. It could be the result of human connections, the desire to foster community spirit, or the intention to assist the less fortunate. Understanding the emotions that prompt giving is crucial. If your technology can effectively appeal to these emotions, you have a higher likelihood of achieving the desired results.
Managing online giving for churches may seem overwhelming, as it requires significant time and effort. However, you can create more time to focus on your worshippers by using a giving software solution like DonorWerx to streamline the entire process. This allows you to effectively harness technology while staying connected to your congregation’s needs.
Schedule a Discovery Call with our giving experts today to learn more.