There’s no denying that online giving has become a viable option for churches today. However, what most churches fail to realize is how online giving can make an exponential impact on their overall church giving strategy and results. A few weeks ago, I ran across statistics providing a detailed look into online giving from the past year.
Here are some of the more interesting findings that communicate the impact online giving is making for churches and other nonprofits:
- Churches and nonprofits saw a 21 percent online revenue increase in 2012 over the previous year.
- One-time gifts accounted for 89 percent of online giving, while monthly giving accounted for 11 percent.
- For churches and nonprofits that offered monthly giving programs, monthly giving revenue grew at a much faster rate than one-time giving.
Each of these statistics provides a different insight into how churches can utilize online giving to increase overall giving and maximize their potential for ministry. There were a couple of key ideas that surfaced as I began thinking more about the topic. Based on these statistics, here are a few ways your church can begin utilizing online giving in a more prominent way over the next few months:
- Provide givers with quick and convenient ways to make contributions online. If giving to your church online is complicated, you’re destroying any chance of using it as a way to increase your overall giving numbers. Most importantly, it should be easy to find your online giving option from both a personal computer and mobile device. Another key to making online giving as easy as possible is to establish an automatic withdrawal for your members’ monthly tithes and offerings. While this option may not be for everyone, those who do give on a regular basis might prefer to have their contributions automatically withdrawn. As the study indicates, monthly giving programs raise four times the amount of money of a one-time gift over the course of the year. Be aware that, if you do provide a way for people to set up an automatic withdrawal, you should also allow those individuals to access and modify the schedule themselves. Making them call the church office to do this is both cumbersome and potentially embarassing.
The more complicated it is to give online, the less money your church will receive through the medium.
- Include an online giving option with all your campaigns across channels. The best way to ensure people give online is to make sure they know it’s an option. If you took a poll of your church members asking if they knew about your online giving option, would you be surprised by the numbers? Be sure to announce online giving as an option before the weekly offering and add a note to any giving communication to help every church member know that giving online is a viable option.
Did your church see a significant increase in the amount of tithes and offerings given online last year? What are you doing to increase that number this year?