Generosity

9 Proven Strategies to Increase Online Giving In Your Church

Generosity

9 Proven Strategies to Increase Online Giving In Your Church

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?

Simple.

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.

#1. Promote online giving

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:

  • Announcements during your worship service
  • Mention online giving during the offering
  • Inclusion in your bulletin
  • Promotions in your newsletter, emails, or social media
  • Posters in your foyer
  • Flyers on your informational table

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.

#2. Take a one-time offering during your worship service

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.

#3. Include an giving button on your church’s website

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.

#4. Make giving mobile-friendly

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?!

#5. Use consistent branding

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.

#6. Offer recurring giving

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.

Related: 6 Reasons Your Church Should Regularly Promote Automated Recurring Giving

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.  

#7. Increase traffic to your church website

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:

  • Mention it during your worship services
  • Include it in your bulletin
  • Promote it on social media
  • Optimize your church SEO

Your church’s website serves several purposes, one of which is helping your congregation to become generous givers in Christ.

#8 Optimize your giving page

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.

  1. First, think about the title you use. Be sure it clearly communicates what you want people to "fee" and think about when visiting.
  2. Second, list the ways people can give in a simple to follow and understand way.
  3. Third, make sure it's visually tidy and plesant to look at.

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.

#9. Say, “Thanks!”

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:

  • ​Include a “thank you” confirmation page
  • Send a “thank you” email
  • Send a “thank you” text to people who give by text

To this list, there are other ways you can express your appreciation:

  • Mention online givers during your offering
  • Celebrate recent online donations
  • Share stories on how donations are being used in your church
  • Write a personal note to people who give online

There are more ways you can say thanks, but this list will get you started.

Your turn

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!

Expert Tips on How to Effectively Launch a New Online Giving Tool

01
Make it accessible so people can give in the way that is most comfortable to them. Don't make it hard for people to give money.
Some people like to give online, some like mobile, some like text. Whatever they like, let them give in that way if you can.
02
Brady Shearer
www.storytape.com
Talk about it every single week. Consistently promote it on every platform. 
Be patient. We all resist change.
03
Michael Lukaszewski
www.churchfuel.com
Launch it to your staff, your leaders, and your volunteers (in that order) and help those groups use it before you launch it publicly.
04
Teach it in your new member class.
Allow for people to sign-up right on the spot via their mobile phone (or through a laptop or iPad for those that don't have a mobile device handy).
05
Justin Dean
www.thatcc.com
On launch weekend, have volunteers and staff accessible with iPads to walk people through how to set up an account and get recurring giving configured.
06
Daniel Irmler
www.churchhero.com
On a regular basis, tell stories from members who are using and loving it. 
You don't don’t need a big production value shoot. Keep it simple by using an iPhone (horizontal) and a decent mic.
07
Invite your congregation to take out their phones and download the mobile giving app right in the service.
08
Nik Goodner
www.crtvchurch.com
Explain the why behind the change and highlight the benefits of the new system. 
People like to be "on the team".
09
Kevin Ekmark
www.church.org
I always tell people, "you need to clean your house before you invite friends over". It's crucial that your giving platform is easily found, whether it's on the web or in the church. 
On the web, making sure that your website is mobile friendly (Google and Bing both recommend mobile responsive design) can be a huge help. You can also incorporate bots from Facebook or a service like Intercom to help walk people through online giving on your website. When necessary, a human can jump in and help too. This helps complete the process from being found online to completing the online giving.
10
Logan Fields
www.theappguys.org
Tell them the real reasons. Giving members are concerned with what's best for the church and not just what they individually prefer. Transparency.
"This platform will allow us to better manage finances and spend less staff time on the books and more on people." etc. The temptation is to treat members like consumers who we need to impress instead of team members. Treat them like equals who you assume are interested in what's best for the church/ mission and people will likely rise to it.
11
Kenny Jahng
www.kennyjahng.com
Launch a $3.16 campaign. Ask people to all give just $3.16 to a weekly or bi-weekly blessing fund. Then, pick one person or cause to bless IN TOWN and go give that person all the money collected.
  • It could be the all volunteer firefighter squad in town. "We'll take all the $3.16's collected and go buy a meal or treat and drop off for the firefighters who volunteer."
  • It could be a widow the church knows about - bless her with something new for her home or hobby or pets.
  • Single mothers - supply them with a night out. Or pay for a house cleaner or a handyman for a couple of hours.
  • Special needs families - pay for evening out for the parents and child care for the special needs kids so the parents get a break.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
This works incredibly well because you are teaching generosity / outward posture to your people on a consistent basis and getting people to give on mobile- while making it about PARTICIPATION vs AMOUNT. You'll have people regularly trying out the mobile option as well as pre-register them in the system.

There you have it! Some amazing tips, right?

Which tip stood out the most to you … or looked to be the craziest?! Share with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

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9 Proven Strategies to Increase Online Giving In Your Church

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly powers mobile, text, and web giving for
churches and ministries.

LEARN MORE
Sign Up