Digital giving is no longer a new idea in the church. Many churches have it. Many different companies provide it in one way or another.
We all agree that writing checks and carrying cash have gone the way of the VHS tape and phones with chords, but for many churches, getting 50% of the congregation signed up to give online is a win. So, what does it mean when people don’t carry cash but aren’t giving online?
You guessed it. They’re not giving at all. Or if they are, it’s whatever extra cash they just happened to have in their wallet when the plate came by. If they’re like most people, that’s not much.
Pastor Jarod Adkins’ church receives about 60% of their giving online. It’s ahead of the curve. But let’s be honest, the curve isn’t all that great either. He’s targeted a couple of different ways his church has gotten more buy-in from their congregation for digital giving and the difference it’s made.
Don’t Assume People Will Automatically Buy-In
That 60% of giving online, it doesn’t just happen automatically. It came as a result of focused training on the part of their staff: “In the first few months, it was nothing but just training people,” Pastor Adkins says.
Of course, some people will buy-in and use it just because they’re bought in to your church and they are thankful for the convenience of digital giving. Others, however, may have more questions: Is it secure? Will I still get a statement? etc. Communicating the benefits of giving online to your congregation is key to getting them to utilize it. When you’re clear, more people will give online. When more people give online, your tithes and offerings increase.
Don’t Limit People to Sunday
Pastor Adkins said realizing this one key concept about digital giving was pivotal in understanding its importance and its impact.
“Not just with visitors, but even with the regular members, having that availability where it’s more than just Sunday, people give more – more often too – and even if it’s not on a Sunday. That hour to hour and a half service is the only option if you’re giving cash or check on a Sunday. But it’s different when you give digitally. I mean I see it all the time when people get blessed at work and they get a bonus, you may see on a Friday some extra offering go in. So I think it allows people to be more generous throughout the week.”
When you provide easy, relevant ways for people to connect and invest in your church, you might just be surprised by the results.
Don’t Assume it’s Just for the Church
As a church, we’re called to minister to those inside our doors and also those in the city where we live, work, and play. Pastor Adkins says that digital giving allows them to do that more spontaneously and more generously. He tells a story about the overwhelming amount of donations that came in specifically for Hurricane Matthew relief. As a staff, they were able to notify people of the opportunity in minutes and designate a category for it in their online portal.
In this way, digital giving allows the church to react quickly and effectively when their neighbors are most in need.
If you’re constantly disappointed with the amount of people who give online, maybe it’s time to take an honest look at how you’re communicating your message. At One Big Church we come alongside churches to implement a framework that thousands of business and NPO’s have used to get people to respond to their message. Register for a free profile today and get started with clarifying your message so your ministry can start having the kind of impact you dream of.