Don’t Give Up on Digital Giving!
Make strategic adjustments to your approach
More than a few church leaders, after offering digital giving, have been surprised that their congregations didn’t enthusiastically adopt it. If you’re one of them, you may be second guessing the decision to go digital. Don’t. The evidence that you made the right choice is overwhelming. Most Americans simply don’t like to write checks or carry cash anymore. Whether they’re buying stuff or paying bills or yes, donating money, they’d prefer to do it digitally.
So rather than giving up on digital giving, your next step should be to either tweak or reboot your approach and help your people more fully embrace it as their primary giving channel. Here’s how.
First...make sure your staff and lay leaders are bought in. They need to understand why digital giving is the way to go. To make sure they get it, call a meeting and explain why your church needs to move in the digital direction. Coming out of that meeting, they need to be the ones who promote digital giving to your people and practice it themselves.
Second...make sure you chose the right digital tool. With all the options available today, you want to be sure the solution you use works best for your people. Maybe you’ll offer more than one, like giving kiosks in the lobby and a donation page on your website. The key, though, is to focus on one of the options as the preferred giving channel.
Third...don’t spare the fanfare. If you didn’t make digital a big deal initially, it’s time to shout it from the metaphorical rooftops. Plan a weekend to reintroduce the new giving paradigm, explain why you’re promoting it and show how it works. It’s a good idea on this weekend to set up stations in the lobby where people can connect with volunteers who will walk them through the process on their devices.
Fourth…woo people into digital giving. The longer they put it off, the less likely they are to try it. One way to get them started is to do a digital-only fundraising effort for a cause everyone cares about. It could be a nearby shelter for abused women or a short-term high school missions trip that your people want to support. By making digital the only way to donate, you provide a natural way for them to try it out.
Finally...be prepared to answer questions. As with anything that’s new or unfamiliar, people will wonder about various aspects of digital giving. Is it spiritual? Are donations secure? How will these donations appear on my bank statement? There are good answers to questions like these, and you’ll want to be ready to provide them.
The good news is that you won’t have to start doing a bunch of online research to flesh out the details of these strategic steps.