How Amazon Changed Church Giving Forever
Amazon (and eCommerce) has changed church giving forever. Here's what you need to know and how your church can respond before you get left behind.
January 22, 2020
Here are eight tips to help you increase online giving in your church.
April 9, 2018
Donating online is becoming the new normal.
Many churches are attempting to provide their congregation with the ability to give online, and some churches, in particular, larger churches, experience success. However, according to a recent church online giving study by Dunham+Company, most smaller churches observed a decrease in online donations.
What’s the takeaway?
Increasing your online giving requires more than just making it available on your church website. Adding a donation form or a give now button isn't enough. You have to promote online giving and help the people in your church give online.
Here are nine tips to help you increase online giving in your church.
Merely providing ways for people to give online or with their mobile device is not enough. You have to promote the options people can use to give consistently.
To promote online giving, you don’t have to coordinate a big campaign to get people's attention. The only thing you have to do is to let people know that online giving is available regularly.
There are many ways you can promote online giving, but it all depends on how your church goes about creating awareness for something:
Again, your promotions don’t have to be flashy, but informative. Just letting people know the different ways they can give works well for many churches.
To help promote online giving in your church, you can take a one-time offering during your service and encourage people to use their mobile phone to donate.
This tactic will not be relevant for everyone in your church, but it will help people who own a smartphone to take one step toward giving online if they’re not already.
For this tactic, you can consider asking people to give a small amount, say $5, and then give the money you collect toward a specific cause in your community.
Your church website has hundreds or thousands of visitors every month. Many of these visitors are probably members of your church or people who are interested in supporting your ministry.
Be sure to include a button on your church’s website that promotes your giving page. Many churches find it helpful to add a clickable “Give Now” button in the primary navigation bar of their church’s website.
Here’s an eye-catching example of an online giving button from Third Coast Church:
Here’s another example from The Rock Church to consider for inspiration:
Regardless of where you put a button leading to your giving form, make sure you highlight it in some way to draw people’s attention to it.
When it comes to online giving, you may be missing out on one-half of your opportunities.
As of 2017, more than half (51%) of global Internet traffic originated from a mobile device. Depending on the demographics of your church, the number of people visiting your website from a mobile device may be higher or lower.
Not only are people visiting your church’s website from their mobile phone, but they’re also inclined to donate with their phone.
Mobile giving continues to increase year-over-year, and, according to The Millennial Impact Report, the number of millennials who want to give online is 84%.
With Tithe.ly, you’ll get a simple, clean, and mobile-friendly giving form. Check out this example from Freedom Church:
As more and more people in the United States become owners of smartphones, and the trend of online shopping, banking, and giving continues to climb, it won’t be long until most of the people in your church will want to donate with their mobile phone ... so why not give them a free mobile giving app to use when giving to your church?!
Branding can be somewhat of a taboo topic to discuss in the church. When it comes to talking about giving, branding actually plays an integral part in increasing online giving.
Including your church’s branding on your donation form will instill a sense of trust and confidence in your online visitors, which will compel them to give more. For example, check out how Central church in Canada keeps people on their website while giving and uses their branding!
Don’t believe me?
Check this out.
According to a study by Network for Good, they discovered that generic giving pages performed 66.7% lower than branded giving pages. What is more, Network for Good also observed a 38% increase in the average gifts made through branded giving pages.
If you’re reticent to include your church’s branding on your giving page, it’s time to get over this internal struggle. You can inspire more people to give online by simply adding your church’s branding.
Monthly giving is an essential part of your church’s budget.
Whether people in your congregation use cash or checks to donate monthly, or if they’re set up on automatic payments with their debit or credit card, regular monthly contributions lay a solid foundation for your budget.
On average, people who make recurring donations online give more frequently and more per year. Leading the members of your church to automate their giving online will help you to create a steady and predictable source of donations for your church.
To increase online giving, encourage the people in your church who regularly give with cash or check to set up recurring giving online.
At Tithe.ly, we understand the importance of recurring givers, so we made it super simple for people to set up recurring giving with a few clicks.
In general, if more people visit your website—especially your giving page—you will experience an increase in your online giving.
To promote your church’s website, you can:
Your church’s website serves several purposes, one of which is helping your congregation to become generous givers in Christ.
Now that you've got traffic and a great giving button on your church website, it's time to optimze the actual donation page people visit when giving. Check out how Refuge Church does it (see image below)!
There are a few key elements of an effective online giving page.
Be sure to take all these things into consideration when creating your church online giving page. Or just copy what Refuge Church did :) ... I don't think they'll mind.
It’s easy to forget to say “thank you” after someone gives online. Expressing your appreciation, even if it’s an automated message, goes a long way to encourage your donors.
Here are several ways you can say thanks online:
To this list, there are other ways you can express your appreciation:
There are more ways you can say thanks, but this list will get you started.
These tips just scratch the surface when it comes to increasing online giving in your church. There are many other ways you can build a generous church culture and boost your online giving.
How has your church increased online giving? What did you find helpful? Share your experience in the comments below!