In the rapidly changing landscape of church fundraising solutions it’s important to understand the psychology behind giving. Things like need, vision, and the heart behind generosity are important.
But you can’t stop there.
Equally important are the communication and execution aspects of rolling out new giving solution for your church. Without good communication and a well executed plan, you’ll end up with new technology that no one is using. And that equates to time and money lost that could have been spent on the mission.
The fact is that churches traditionally lag way behind the technology adoption curve.
Whether you’re rolling out digital giving for the first time or going through a technology upgrade, the three steps outlined below will have you well on your way to a smooth and successful outcome.
1. Train leadership and volunteers.
Your church probably has a leadership team, small group leaders, and a handful of very active volunteers that meet regularly.
These meetings are highly valuable to moving your ministry forward. I’ve seen them used for deeper teaching and ministry training, rallying the troops around the mission, reviewing church programs, checking in on community outreach activities, organizing church events, and much more.
But they’re also perfect opportunities to educate the most active and engaged group of people in your congregation about the digital giving tools you’re rolling out. Here’s a few ideas for you to chew on and/or use during your digital giving roll-out:
- Take 30 minutes to demonstrate the new technology to this group. Be sure to go through the entire giving process end-to-end so that they can “see” the full experience.
- Have them all sign-up for accounts and go through the entire giving process end to end.
- Give them the ability to ask questions. Take notes on all the questions being asked so that you can create an FAQ document for larger church audience.
- Ask this group to be your early adopters over the course of a month or so. Compile their feedback so that you can use it when you roll out the tools to the entire church.
- Work with this group to formulate a solid roll-out plan.
- Ask them to get one of their friends from within the church to sign-up and use the giving solution. Then have them share their experience with you.
It’s critically important that you teach, train and motivate this group to use your new giving technology themselves so that they can gain confidence and start sharing with the groups of people they lead.
Enlisting and engaging these “early adopters” helps put them in a position to become champions and gives them the tools they need to educate and train other church members so that you’re not trying to “make it work” all on your own months after the initial roll out.
Note: This is the most important tip of all. Laser focus here and the rest will fall into place.
2. Communicate early and often.
Now days it’s not uncommon for a church to have a simple way for members to give online.
What’s uncommon is people actually using online or digital giving. Cash and check still rule when it comes to church giving even though digital forms of giving have been around for many years.
The number one reason (in my opinion) for the lack of digital giving adoption is poor communication. I’ve talked to many churchgoers that didn’t even know their church provided an option to give online.
The question for church leaders is this, have you taken the time to demonstrate the digital giving tools your church provides? Have you shown your congregation how to use them? Have you taken 10 minutes on a Sunday morning or wednesday night to show people?
Connecting a laptop to your projector screen and actually going through the motions of making a contribution will increase your digital giving instantly. If you have an app, ask people to pull out their phones and download that app right their on the spot, then walk through how to setup their account with them.
But don’t stop there.
- Record a demo of you going through the setup and giving process.
- Create a how-to page on your website.
- Put information in your weekly bulletin.
- Tweet it. Post on Facebook. Share it on Instagram.
- Email your congregation.
- Setup in person group-meetings for those looking to learn more.
- Have small group leaders continue to help their groups.
- Shoot … you might even try doing live interactive video using Periscope or Meerkat.
You get the idea, right?
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Educating your congregation over a period of time until it becomes second nature, almost cultura, is the key. Enlisting buy in from the top down and the bottom up will ensure that you get the most out of your digital giving solution.
3. Ensure it’s easy for everyone.
Technology for some people is down right scary.
Sure the younger generations are literally born (mom and dad were taking pictures with their iPhones at birth!) and raised digitally these days, but that’s not the case for most. It’s essential that you remember the group of people in your church that are apprehensive about giving their money using apps or websites. Or anything that isn’t a checkbook for that matter.
They key is to ensure the digital giving solution that you introduce is simple to get started with, easy to use, and intuitive.
Digital phobia is not confined to just older people. It could be someone of any age. You have to design giving options to appeal across the age spectrum.
4. Provide multiple giving options.
Here are a few of the digital giving options that you could roll out to your church.
- Application (iOS, Android, Windows, etc) giving
- Web Site giving
- SMS/Text giving
- Kiosk giving
- Recurring giving
That’s at least five ways for one to give digitally.
The key here is that one size does not fit all. Some of your congregation will like to give on your website. Others will love text giving. Still others will want to setup recurring giving once because they’re forgetful and don’t have to bother with it again.
The idea is to give your members options.
When you employ a multi channel giving strategy you have a greater chance of member engagement and adoption which ultimately leads to a better chance of increasing your income. And increased funding allows you to do more in your community, serve more people, and fulfill your church’s vision and mission.
The numbers are in. Millions of people are using their phones and other digital means to pay for and use goods and services. If you haven’t done so it’s time to jump in and work out what’s right for your church to take advantage of the digital giving revolution.
Give your church members an easy to use mobile giving solution that’s ultra fast and wallet free. You’ll benefit from:
- Increased giving consistency by making it simple for you members to give in the moment or via scheduled recurring gifts.
- Improved giving response rates by putting the power to give in the palm of your member’s hands. No more remembering the checkbook or wallet.
- Reduced cost and admin time spent on data entry, gift management and administration.