Church fundraising is a necessary part of running the business of a church. While not always the favorite pastime of pastors and church leaders, fundraising is a must. Raising money to fund ministry programs, care for church facilities, retain and train new staff, and to lead congregations requires strategy and planning. Pastors don’t often like to talk about money–but let’s face it, raising money is an essential and necessary part of church business.
The good news is that fundraising is also a great community-building opportunity for churches and a way to strengthen ministry outreach. The business of church fundraising can definitely be transformational. So how can technology also allow church giving to become more enjoyable?
Here are 3 tech insights that can inform more efficient and effective church fundraising:
1 – Digital Tools to Fundraise
Church fundraising software can help pastors and church fundraising teams organize, plan, track, and inform their members throughout the year. Conveniently, many church management software systems like ACS and Servant Keeper already include pledge and donor management features. The key is to use these systems to track and gather the data your church needs to understand donor performance, maintain good donor relationships, and set accurate and attainable fundraising goals.
For churches that may not be using full ChMS solutions to manage church business systems, there are also plenty of fundraising-only tech solutions that churches of any size can use to simply accept donations. Online giving and fundraising software tools can be easily integrated into existing ChMS and websites or used in tandem. There are a variety of free fundraising software tools available to churches.
The goal is to give church fundraising efforts the attention and technical capabilities they need to be successful in our digital world, which especially means being able to accept and track online donations.
Many of the available software systems offer free trials and lots of bonus materials, videos, and training to get users up and running quickly. Putting fundraising software to work for your church is an innovative and conscious investment that can strengthen your church’s financial foundation and ability to manage large capital campaigns, yearly pledges, or one-time donations.
2 – Digital Giving is Vital
Using mobile apps, web donation forms, and even text-to-give can be important tools for churches make use of. Churches that accept tithing online increase overall donations by 32%. Online giving also provides donors access points and options for making their gift to the church anytime and from any location. 67% of nonprofits around the world are set up to accept online donations and 60% of church donors are willing to give to their church digitally. Making online giving easy and accessible encourages, inspires, and meets donors where they are.
Mobile Apps create personalized giving platforms for churches that their members can carry around with them all day in their pockets. Smartphones provide instant access to giving during services, events, meetings or on the go. And some app features include push notifications that can be sent to church members with reminders, event announcements, and fundraising updates. Mobile giving via text messaging is just as convenient but may be on its way out in 2018.
Websites donation forms and online giving website plugins are also simple and necessary ways to receive donations through church websites. And kiosks are basically mobile web portals that can be available at events so folks can walk up and make an online donation, sign up to volunteer or join a special program or group on the spot.
Using a multifaceted online and mobile giving approach is like opening all the doors and windows to let in a cool breeze. Churches are welcoming members and donors to take an active role in supporting their congregation and its ministries by making multiple donation routes available. Make it easy and accessible and people will get online and give.
3 – Digital Fundraising Harnesses Multiple Methods
The most successful fundraising leaders inspire their donors and their fundraising committees to happily give their time, talent, and treasure to the church. This giving happens online and offline. Integrated fundraising strategies that utilize tech and personal communication inspire church leadership teams to build healthy fundraising programs that meet the needs of their congregation in real time and in the digital space.
Some people love to attend fundraising events where they can socialize while purchasing tickets, auction items, food, and gifts. Others like to donate online or during worship services. Some people prefer to simply write a check once a year and be done with it. Of course, there are also those who may only be able to give to their church through the donation of their time and talent. All of these donors are equally as important and keep churches operating well.
Pastors and church leadership teams who are managing fundraising planning, donor engagement, and volunteers would be wise to take stock of their church members’ individual gifts, learning who they are and how they like to give. Then take that knowledge and create a diverse, year-round fundraising strategy that inspires and engages them all.
Donor retention is the most crucial metric to be achieved in fundraising and one way to better understand donor satisfaction is to survey your church members. Successful fundraising efforts and strong church communities are built on learning what members think, listening to their ideas, and incorporating them into future plans and programs.
Online Fundraising Surveys
Surveying congregations about fundraising and donor engagement at least once a year is a great way to learn more about members, the entire church community, and your church’s fundraising and donor trends. This valuable survey data can yield surprising information about current fundraising strategies that can be translated into new ideas and more successful planning.
There are also many free and inexpensive digital survey tools churches can use to upgrade from paper surveys as well. Having this data available digitally allows for a deeper level of analysis using digital tools like the Fundraising Report Card. Creating surveys and asking congregations for their honest feedback encourages inclusion and opens the door to a wellspring of new ideas, energy, and potential for building a more vibrant fundraising program for your church.
A consistent and thoughtful approach to fundraising is a marker of success for any nonprofit organization. A church’s fundraising program, as a whole, is a channel to community building, major gift giving, and transformation through ministry and outreach programs.
With an effective fundraising plan in place, church members and donors know exactly how to give, when to give, and what to give. They also have confidence in your church’s ability to manage that process, and that confidence can become part of the fabric of your church community. That’s when giving becomes contagious and enjoyable! People love to give when it feels good and when they are confident. Let easy to use tech tools help create open and welcoming giving channels at your church and put the fun back in fundraising.
Also check out these full-service fundraising strategists that offer churches comprehensive coaching, data analysis, legacy planning, and tons of additional resources and services to reach fundraising goals.
Full-Service Fundraising Strategists:
Additional Church Fundraising Statistics, Ideas, and Resources: