If you’ve been on a church tech blog (like this one!) anytime in the past half-decade, you’ve probably heard a thing or three about online giving.
You may have heard that online giving is continually linked to increases in overall giving.
Or that checks are on their way out.
You may even have heard that 25% of online givers are first-time givers.
So yeah…you get it. Online giving is an important tool for the church.
Unfortunately, all too often, the conversation around online giving ends at “get it!” And while finding the right solution for your church is certainly an important piece of the puzzle, you can’t stop there. The right technology is only half the battle. You need to tell your congregation about it! Tell them early, tell them often, tell them enthusiastically. Just tell them!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a church devote considerable time and energy to finding and implementing the perfect giving platform, only to completely drop the ball when communicating with their congregation. It almost seems as if these churches are embarrassed about offering online giving. They don’t want to “make it a thing” so they don’t say anything about it at all.
Still others seem to have what I call the “Field of Dreams” mindset. “If we build it, they will come.” But then they don’t come. And when they don’t, that church’s leadership is left with the impression that online giving “just wasn’t for us.”
Don’t let this be the story at your church! Introducing new forms of giving is just like introducing any new service, event, or ministry: people can’t and won’t participate unless they know about it!
Specifically, here are four ways you should be communicating with your congregation about digital giving:
1) Launch Sunday
Making giving faster, easier, and more secure is cause for celebration! Don’t relegate it to an “oh by the way” during the announcements. Take the time to enthusiastically introduce the new giving tools to your congregation. People respond to enthusiasm. If they see that your church’s leaders are behind it, they’ll get behind it as well.
2) Email Announcement
Sadly, not all of your members were in the sanctuary on “Launch Sunday.” Plus, some people who were in the sanctuary probably missed some key details. Send an email the following week re-introducing the new tools, explaining why they’re important, and linking to the page on your website where your members can try the tools out for themselves.
3) Permanent Place in the Bulletin
Weaving new giving tools into the culture of your church takes time and persistence. One easy way to do this is with a simple reminder in the bulletin about the choices your members have when giving to your church. I’ve seen some churches include the link to their giving page or even a QR code for people to scan and use immediately. Both are great ideas! And remember, it’s not about forcing people to give a certain way. It’s about presenting them with a host of options so they can choose the one that works best for them.
4) Regular Reminders
You should do a full review of your church’s “giving channels” at least once a quarter. New people are joining the church. Someone’s financial situation may have changed in recent months. Others may have just forgotten! Combining these reviews with a stewardship Sunday or a quarterly financial update can be especially effective. One-and-done communication won’t cut it. Continue to weave your digital tools into all of your conversations about generosity.
If you’ve already had digital giving in place for sometime now, don’t despair! You can (and should) still do steps 1 and 2. It’ll help. I promise.
And, conversely, if you’re currently in the market for an online giving provider, their level of rollout and communication support should be one of your primary considerations. The right giving provider will not only provide some cool tech; they’ll also set your team up for success with marketing pieces and “done for you” resources.
Mogiv, for example, creates a customized “launch plan” for each of our new customers. From intro videos to bulletin inserts to email templates and more, these plans include everything churches need to effectively introduce our platform to their congregation.