The first time you introduced online giving to your church, you probably expected a mass shift of people to move from writing checks to giving online...immediately. After a few months or even a year, you realize only 5 to 15 percent of your total contributions actually come from online sources like automated bank drafts, debit cards, and credit cards.
Don’t worry! What you’ve experienced is completely normal. The reality is that most churches will continue to receive the bulk of their contributions via checks and cash.
That doesn’t mean, though, that we stop being creative in how we are promoting online giving. As more and more people begin giving online, churches...
• Realize a more consistent stream of contributions.
• Make it easier for people to give larger contributions.
• Offer a variety of electronic giving options.
• Provide an easy way to capture email addresses for future electronic communications.
One promotional strategy you may have overlooked is direct mail, which is proving to be a motivator in driving people to give online. According to the 2011 Cygnus Donor Survey, 48 percent gave to a charity as a result of a direct mail appeal while 29% gave online as a result of a direct mail appeal.
Here are a few tips to use direct mail to encourage online giving:
• Mail a letter to your active members. They are most likely to open the letter.
• Specifically mention online giving as a giving option along with more traditional options. Include the URL for easy reference.
• Tell a story about a family who started giving regularly as a result of automating the giving process through your online giving software.
• Repeat the URL to give online again in the P.S. line.
• Include the URL on the response envelope included in the direct mail piece.
• Add a “giving” button to your church’s home page to make it easy for members to find and quick for members to give.
What tips and strategies have you found that helped encourage church members to give online?