When online giving started to become a more popular option for nonprofits in 2010, churches were slow to respond. Fortunately, more and more churches have started offering online giving for their members over the past few years. As of last year, 93 percent of churches offered online giving through their website. However, many church leaders are frustrated because they can’t understand why more people aren’t using it to give.
Many church leaders are still missing the mark when it comes leveraging online giving as a significant portion of their overall giving. Whether you made the decision out of necessity (because fewer people were carrying cash and checks to church on Sunday) or you didn’t want to feel left out (all the other churches were doing it), you’ve probably realized that just because you offer it doesn’t mean that people will automatically start giving.
Why are most churches struggling to see any significant increase in giving after making it easy for people to give online?
'Offering' the opportunity to give online is half of the formula
Online giving must always be seen through two lenses. The first is that it’s an opportunity for churches to offer a variety of giving methods. Some people still prefer to give through traditional methods. Other church members never carry cash and need the opportunity to give online. Offering online giving does not make someone generous, but diversifying available giving options does remove barriers for people who prefer to give using more modern methods of giving.
However, there’s an equally important part of the formula that many church leaders miss. Simply offering online giving does nothing to cultivate the generous habits of individuals and families. This is why integrating online giving with your church management software is so critical! When you realize using online giving as a tool to identify and connect with your givers, you’re able to cultivate those relationships and impact future giving.
The secret to success with online giving is understanding both sides of the formula. Not only do you have to offer it, you have to leverage it in a way that cultivates generosity.
Four resources to help cultivate generosity through online giving
If you’re ready to start seeing some traction with your church’s online giving, here are four resources that can help:
- How To Create An Effective Online Giving Process — Whether you’re looking to develop an online giving process or improve your current process, this post will help you create noticeable results.
- Balancing Information & Intuition Webinar — While not about online giving specifically, this webinar with Sanford Levings provides some great tips on how to leverage valuable information to increase generosity in the lives of your church members and grow your ministry.
- Learn About Church Donor Behavior — In this post, Kevin Stone shares an inside look at how his church leverages Church Community Builder to increase donor retention and overall giving.
- Church Community Builder Case Study: Online Giving — Here are three churches that saw a significant increase in online giving participation after connecting online giving and their church management software.
Is it time to rethink your church’s online giving strategy? What are you doing to cultivate the generosity of those who are giving online?