This is the third in a series on year-end and online giving. In this post we are going to rank the most used online giving features and consider their benefits to donors.
All of these insights come from the survey we did a few weeks ago. So, they originate from church leaders using online giving every week. If you would like to learn more, join us tomorrow afternoon at 2 Eastern / 1 Central for our year-end onling giving zoom briefing.
We will keep the briefing short - 15 to 20 minutes - and share insights from this survey and other comments from our team and other leaders on the call.
In the survey we asked the question, "Which of these online giving features do you provide AND have promoted?". Here are the responses.
I would have expected the website, recurring and special offering responses to be almost universal. It's encouraging to see how Text is knocking on the door to that same level of adoption.
The cover fees option has only been widely available a couple of years. At first some churches were hesitant to make the additional ask. However, it looks like more and more churches are becoming comfortable with making that option available even if they are not promoting it. If you are a Churchteams client and want to add this, go to Giving > Settings > Online Giving > Online Giving Options.
We have people ask about taking donations from other third party apps like the Cash App, Apple Pay, and others. We're keeping an eye to see how that trend continues to evolve.
In addition to the responses above, our survey respondents identified these benefits of online giving to their church donors.
- First fruits - A key principle of scripture is to give from the first part of what you receive. Automated, recurring giving is seen by many donors as their way to consistently live out this principle.
- Faithfulness - Others shared about donors who didn't set up recurring, but instead set up personal reminders to login or text to give. This could be done as soon as people receive their check or are notified of their direct deposit as well.
- Unable to attend - Online giving gives homebound members as well as those who are livestreaming worship services the opportunity to give from wherever they are in the world. This helps them feel more like they are a part of the worship experience.
- Seatback cards - A common concern for faithful givers is that by giving online, they don't have anything to put in the plate when it is passed. One solution that we offer is "I give online" seatback cards. These can be printed, laminated and placed in the seat backs for givers to take and drop into the plate as it is passed. These can be included in the count if desired and then returned to the seatback pocket for reuse.
- Stewardship challenge - Some churches offer a "3 month money back tithe challenge" based on the passage in Malachi 3:10 that says, "test me in this." Our online giving feature allows people taking this challenge to set up recurring giving for just three months. If for some reason they ask the church for a refund, our refund button makes it easy for staff to refund the donations as promised.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
We all know that the key to giving is the heart of the person. Online giving is not about changing people's hearts, that happens through good teaching and personal conviction. Online giving is about making it easy for changed, cheerful hearts to respond.
May the Lord richly bless you and your church during this end of the year giving season.