August 17, 2016
Our mission as an online giving provider is to make sure you reach your donation goals. We want to take this opportunity to share three things that you can start doing today to make online giving a success.
- If people do not know online giving is available, they will not use it. There are a few easy ways you can make sure people know about online giving at your church. The easiest way to make people aware is to have the option to give be somewhat obvious on your website. Having a consistent navigation button on your website with the words, Online Giving, Donate Online, or Giving, is highly recommended. These words are easy to read and hard to misunderstand. Burying your link to online giving or using longer words like “Financial Stewardship,” may get glanced over and result in a missed opportunity. It should be very easy to find your online giving button. Take a minute to visit your own website. If it takes longer than five seconds and a quick look over to find out where to donate, you may be making it too hard to accept donations online.
- If you have done a good job of making sure your online giving is easy to find, the next step is driving traffic. We are not talking about in a car and during rush hour. “Driving Traffic” is simply the concept of getting people to your website. We all do not like to admit it, but the fact is potential donors are not going to your website as often as you think they are. People can attend church and be a part of organizations for years and only visit the website once or twice a year. You must drive traffic.
- Maybe you have heard this saying:
“Witness always. If necessary, use words.”
We laugh at that, but it is true. Just imagine how you might impact your awareness and traffic if you used words. We recommend mentioning it to your congregation four weeks in a row. Remember, not everyone is in service every week. If you have side screens that run before services or printed materials that your members receive, make sure you are mentioning on them that online giving on your website.
Once you have mentioned it four weeks in row, now it is time to get creative. Each week come up with a new reason to send everyone back to your website. The more you drive traffic to your website week after week, the more your members will see your “Online Giving” link that you made obvious on your website.
Unfortunately, driving traffic is a goal that really is never reached. You will want to continue to come up with new ways to make your website “sticky” – making sure people visit it and come back to it again and again.
Make it Personal
- The third thing you can do to increase your online giving is making sure you have made it personal. If you have a giant button on your home page that launches people right into the donation form, you have not made it quite as personal as you could have. We call that a “cold transfer “. It is the “click and boom” form in your face method. It does not always work best. When someone clicks the link that you made stand out, we recommend having that initial link take the person to a page that discusses giving in general. Try to come up with 3-5 sentences that serve as a “warm transfer” to someone actually submitting the donation. Here is just an example of what you might communicate preceding the button that opens the donor application:
- Thank you for your support! Because of your financial support
and generosity, you have planted seeds that will enable
[organization name] to grow in our community, and provide a
church home for you and others. Thank you again for answering
the call to contribute to God’s work here at [organization name].
There are several ways to donate to [organization name]:
1. We offer safe and secure online giving:
Click Here to Give Online
2. We have a donation boxes in the back of the auditorium where
you can leave your offering.
3. You can mail your donation to:
City, State ZIP
In closing, if you have done everything you can to build awareness, drive traffic, and make it personal, you have the right foundation in place to make sure your online giving is a success. Since you have done your part, we will do everything we can to make sure the process is seamless for your donors.