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Sanford Levings

"Hi, I’m Sanford Levings, President of MinistryCFO and author of this blog. The purpose of our blog is to share with you information and insights that we gather from working with and listening to our clients and partners, located throughout the country." read more

10 Keys to Maximizing Online Giving

Most churches are seeing at least 35% of their revenue coming from online giving. That’s a significant percentage! …and the trend is only going to rise over time.

money-through-laptop-bKeep in mind that most Generation X’ers and all of the budding Millennial generations never knew what life was like before the computer and they use their computer for everything: including writing checks. Even the older Baby Boomers are recognizing the benefit and ease of online giving.

So, in order to stay relevant, here are 10 keys to help you foster and improve the online experience for your donors:

1. Make Your Online Giving Ridiculously Easy and Accessible to Use.

Do your website visitors need to go looking for the GIVE tab? Make sure that your online giving page is front and center! Your GIVE tab really needs to be on the top navigation bar on every page of your site, like this:

access-church

So, at no point is a website visitor more than one click away from being able to make a donation. And once your visitor hits the GIVE tab, do not make them scroll down to find the ONLINE GIVING tab. Rather, make the ONLINE GIVING tab big and fat and the first thing they see!

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2. Pay Attention to the Language You Use

Make sure that you are as clear and concise as possible in the language of your navigation. (GIVE is probably a better word to use than SUPPORT, DONATE, TITHE, etc.)

3. Carefully Balance the Giving Options

Offer the essential options for giving and be carefully about offering too many options. Too many options may actually run people off from giving altogether. Some essential options to offer are: one-time donations, recurring donations and ACH. The key option is a recurring donation, that’s the BIG WIN for your church.

4. Carefully Balance the Log-in Requirements

Be sure to require as few log-ins and special steps as possible without sacrificing the security of your system.

5. Provide a Point of Contact on Your Giving Page

Most church websites offer direct contacts to those people who run the various programs / environments. Fewer churches offer a direct contact for answering financial matters. And so there could be lost opportunities. Consider, offering a direct contact to the business manager and be sure to provide both his / her email address and phone number.

6. Include a Link to Online Giving in All of Your Print and Digital Communication Channels

Include an online giving link in all emails, newsletters, and other print and digital communications. You must drive people to your online giving page when they are ready to give. What may seem like overkill to you, as a leader, is often very helpful to the giver.

7. Be Careful not to Spam Your Members with Overt Online Giving Appeals

Find a balance between making sure people know where to give online and overwhelming your donors with too many emails and other correspondence. Consider including an easily noticeable link to online giving when your members log into your private online community (assuming you have one).

8. Make Online Giving Meaningful

On the Giving Page, include written testimonials and even video to tell the story of how one’s giving is making a difference in the lives of other people.

9. Inform People about Alternative Giving Options

Communicate other ways people can donate if they don’t want to give online. Provide the church address, phone number, and even a text to donate number. Include a note about non-cash giving and how a giver can initiate that process. While this may not affect a broad section of your givers, it can facilitate large gifts from your high-capacity givers.

10. Incorporate Online Giving During the Worship Service Offering Message

Don’t forget to thank those who gave online when you take up the offering on Sundays.

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MinistryCFO wants to help you increase your online giving donations. Let the MinistryCFO team help you implement these proven strategies and tactics today!

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