A good online giving platform should increase overall giving to the church. But a major study of the world’s non-profit organizations revealed that givers abandon their online gifts at an astonishing rate of 83 percent! That means fewer than 20 percent of those who have an intent to give actually complete their gift. 

All “GIVE” Buttons Are Not Created Equal

The most cited reason for abandoning a charitable gift is directly related to the “GIVE” button itself.

The study found that the way a “GIVE” button and giving form is implemented on the church’s website plays a significant role in the rate of gift completion. The key difference was whether the GIVE button redirected the user to a separate third-party website to complete the gift or the whole giving experience was embedded seamlessly within the church’s own website.

Why are embedded “GIVE” buttons and forms more effective?

#1 – Embedded Forms Reinforce Trust With the Giver 

If a potential giver clicks on your “GIVE” button and is whisked away to another organization’s website to complete their gift, the giver wonders … Where am I? Should I trust this new site? 

Additionally, being asked to enter their payment information on this unfamiliar site creates doubt about the security of their transaction. This erodes trust and creates friction in a process that is already fraught with emotion. No online shopping site could be successful with this tactic. 

The giver’s relationship with the church is an intimate one. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this confusing and trust-breaking practice accounts for 29% of total gift abandonment. It literally scares givers away. 

In contrast, a few online giving platforms, such as Vision2 Systems, allow for the entire donation process—from browsing rich descriptions of giving opportunities to setting up recurring giving schedules—to be completed within the boundaries of the church’s own website. The giver is never aware that a third party is facilitating the transaction behind the scenes as a silent but trustworthy partner. 

#2 – Embedded Forms Elevate the Giver and the Church, Not the Vendor

If your “GIVE” button is not embedded, the vendor’s branding is likely visible on the church’s website and on the giving form itself. Typically, these vendors also send gift confirmation emails from a “Do Not Reply” email address, rather than from the church. The vendor’s “receipt,” branding, and legalese will be the last word with the giver. And givers must correct accidental gifts through the vendor, which may have a strict no-refunds policy.

Why is all this a problem? Because giving is a very personal commitment. “Do Not Reply” emails are highly impersonal. In fact, 44 percent of charitable donors—62 percent if they’re Millennials—say they would be willing to donate up to 10 percent more for a personalized experience.

#3 – Embedded Forms Provide a Seamless Experience

Most giving platform vendors do their best to match their giving form to the church’s website in a few key areas such as colors and your logo, but it’s still painfully obvious that it’s not the same. A true embedded solution allows the entire giving page to be built with rich content, according to the church website’s styles (exact fonts, colors, and more). 

This matching look-n-feel reassures givers that they are in the right place, which calms their anxiety about the security of their transaction. Embedded giving forms enable churches to connect with givers in the same engaging way they do in person, making online giving meaningful, personal, and even informational. 

Deadly Sins of Online Giving

Learn about other major obstacles to generosity in the white paper, 5 Deadly Sins of Online Giving, from Vision2 Systems which includes the easy fixes for each common barrier to giving. 

With Vision2’s patented technology, online giving forms and buttons are easily embedded directly within your church website while maintaining secure Level-1 PCI compliance. Givers stay on the church’s website, with the same messaging and branding, to complete their gift. And thank you emails can be easily customized, sent from the church’s domain, to ensure you’re engaging your givers just as you would in person.