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3 Creative Approaches To Church Giving Online That We Can Learn From Amazon


One of the common challenges churches have across the board is figuring out how to increase church giving online.

These days, everything is increasingly digital, and everyone is increasingly comfortable transferring money online, whether it’s for purchases or donations. The world has gone online. As church leaders, there some valuable lessons you can learn from the expert in all things online and digital to increase online giving from your congregation. That expert is Amazon.com.

In the mid-1990s, Amazon was racing against many other companies to be on top in “online retailing.” Today, it is considered the “everything store” for its huge selection of items that are delivered at a shockingly fast rate. Every day, millions of online shoppers go directly to Amazon first before making any purchases to compare prices. There’s a clear reason why: Amazon has paid attention to how it’s customers interact with the company online.

An Amazon-Inspired Approach To Online Church Giving

Today, our churches can learn a lot from Amazon, starting first with how they design their digital interfaces. Second, the company has a strong customer-centric philosophy. Their people-prioritization makes them a great example for the church. Third, they have experienced exponential growth in the past couple of years. Their marketing team is constantly studying what people respond to so they can sell more products with better experiences. Since we want donors to feel appreciated throughout the giving process and have a positive experience, this method may be just as beneficial for our churches. 

3 Creative Approaches To Learn From Amazon About Church Giving Online

Apply valuable lessons learned from Amazon to church giving online


Make the act of giving uncomplicated for your customer (church givers) by reducing friction. As you can imagine, Amazon is committed to this kind of customer experience. As an example, take Amazon Prime, which reduces friction by removing shipping costs from your shopping cart. This way, you don’t have to slow down at check-out. It also stores multiple credit cards in case you need to decide where individual purchases should be charged. With Dash buttons, all it takes are a few pushes of a button — and boom! I’m fascinated by the Amazon Echo, whose entry into easily usable omnipresent technology has allowed us to shout orders from anywhere in our home. On top of that, they’ll ship our products right away!

Is it easy for people to locate the giving option on your website? Make church online giving as easy as possible with a simple, user-friendly interface that is clear, accessible and intuitive.

Increase online giving when you reduce friction for your church's online givers. Start by making the process as easy as possible with a simple, user-friendly interface. Click To Tweet

Seasonal giving slump? 2 Ways to Increase Summer Giving


Mobile is the way people increasingly access the Internet — including your church website.  Your site needs to be “mobile optimized” so it works cleanly on a wide variety of phones, tablets, and other interfaces that people carry around. Actually, your digital giving solution should begin to operate from a “mobile-first” perspective as time goes by.

I meet a lot of church leaders who don’t fully understand that mobile devices are the primary way that people interact with the web for many websites. Your process for church giving online needs to be optimized for these smaller screens, especially if you want your digital giving solution to reach more donors and grow your ministry.

It's true: mobile devices are the primary way that people interact with the web for many websites. Your process for church giving online needs to be optimized for these smaller screens. Click To Tweet

Lesson #3: EMAILS WORK

If you’re a regular Amazon customer, you know how the company sends an incredible amount of emails your way. For example, you receive a confirmation email after an order has been shipped. You also get an eager “your order is here” notification as it arrives on your doorstep! In addition, they also send more general marketing messages to help remind you about popular products on their site.

Defined Value Point

Most individuals would be annoyed by all of this mail, especially because the majority of it is unsolicited. However, because each email they send has a defined value point, Amazon knows we’re likely to open them multiple times. Furthermore, each email includes a valuable “call to action” that directs the reader to the desired action.

I’m not advocating that you send the same amount of emails as Amazon, but I do think churches could send more. For example, you can schedule monthly statements rather than waiting for quarterly reports. This way, you’ll keep people interested in giving while showing how their donations make a difference to your church’s outreach efforts.

Keep up the interest in church online giving by creating more interaction points with your givers via email. This way, they can see how their contributions are making an impact on the ministry's work.  Click To Tweet

Helpful data for you: 10 Stats About How Churches Are Faring Regarding Giving 10 Stats About Church Giving

As you can see, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from successful online retailers like Amazon. For instance, your digital giving process should be as easy and intuitive as possible with a user-friendly interface. And when you’re designing the actual user experience, you must match reality in terms of actual usage, which means mobile-first. Also, keep people’s interest piqued in church giving online by creating more interaction points via email. With additional communication, you can share stories that will demonstrate how their giving is making an impact on your ministry’s work. 

Which of our church online giving lessons do you resonate with the most? Why? Let us know in our comments section below!

Rich Birch
Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for its innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution. His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems To Drive Growth At Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is designed to help your church reach more people in your community. You can find more of Rich’s practical tips and insights at unseminary.com


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