8 Online Giving Mistakes Made by Pastors
While some pastors are satisfied and content with their calling, many find their jobs and lives stressful. According to research from Church Leadership, more than half of all pastors feel overworked, and more than 40 percent say they’re overstressed. That type of environment can make pastor mistakes more likely.
One of the best protections against common mistakes is knowing what some of them are so you can avoid them. Check out these eight common Mistakes Made by Pastors related to online giving to help you better develop donors and steward fundraising efforts.
Ready to implement a new online giving program and want to avoid common mistakes? Find out about some common challenges and how to solve them.
1. Not Being Transparent Enough About the Purpose
Modern donors are cynical. They have heard about scams, know that not every church that fundraises is on the up-and-up, and they want to know their donation is going to a cause they can stand behind.
Pastors can support stronger online giving campaigns by being super transparent about what the money is to be used for. If you can provide details about exactly who the effort will help, such as a specific community or family, that’s great. But remember to balance transparency with confidentiality as appropriate.
2. Not Updating Donors
Follow up on transparency by updating donors on how efforts are going. Use email, social media, and announcement times at church to let people know how much you’ve raised towards a goal or how the ministry effort went, and what positive outcomes were achieved.
3. Making Online Giving Impersonal
Some people donate because it’s how they feel they can best be involved in a ministry. For some, online giving may feel impersonal, as if they aren’t truly involved. Pastors can personalize online giving by sending written thank you notes to donors when possible to let them know their donation was received and appreciated.
With large campaigns, this may not be possible. Set up automated email responses to ensure donors receive a note of appreciation and are updated on how their funds are helping.
4. Avoiding the Topic in the Pulpit
Giving should be spiritual, and a common pastor’s mistake is to avoid that side of donor development. As a church, nothing your congregation does should be purely practical. Take time to determine whom donors and donations fit into your work for Christ and talk about it specifically from the pulpit.
Want a refresher on what the Bible has to say about tithing and giving? Check out our post with 11 Scriptures on tithing.
5. Talking Too Much About Online Giving
However, pastors obviously shouldn’t make every sermon about tithing or money. Harping too much on your fundraising campaigns or tithing can lead to donor fatigue. People may become annoyed or tired of hearing the message, and it can lose its impact. On top of that, your congregation doesn’t have unlimited resources, and people may feel negatively pressured if they constantly hear about giving when they have already given.
6. Not Leading by Example
Another common pastor mistake is not leading by example when it comes to various programs, including online giving. If you’re encouraging people to use new technologies, such as apps, giving kiosks, or websites, to make donations, you should be willing to do so yourself. Then, talk about your experience with the tools or even record a video of you using them and show it in church when you announce a new campaign.
7. Not Praying Over Online Giving
Pastors should pray regularly about all church efforts, including practical matters such as budgeting or fundraising. Consider praying that online giving will be successful for your church and that your membership and leadership will receive God’s guidance in managing those campaigns and funds.
Whether you’re praying from the pulpit or in private, consider praying God’s Word over your online giving efforts.
8. Treating Online Giving Separately
Finally, ensure that online giving is treated the same in all respects as any other giving. Incorporate it into budget and committee reports, remind people about the app during the call for offering and make it possible for people to pay online for fundraising activities or meals that are on a donation basis. The goal is to ensure no one comes away with any ideas that online giving seems “less” than traditional giving.
DonorWerx partners with you to provide pastor resources, leadership consulting, and donor software solutions to reduce the work involved in online giving.
If you want to avoid common pastor mistakes when implementing or encouraging online giving in your church, we can help. Get started now.