Digital giving is increasingly important for churches today. Digital giving to churches and charitable organizations has grown by more than 60% over the past five years. Surveys show that more than half of all donors prefer to give online – and 49% of church donations are now made with a credit or debit card.
Why is digital giving growing so fast? It’s simple – the easier it is to give, the more likely it is that people will give. And digital giving makes it extremely easy for people of all ages and income levels to give to your church.
What is Digital Giving?
Put simply, digital giving is the ability to make a one-time or recurring donation via digital payment. Digital giving can be made via credit, debit card, or electronic bank withdrawal. It can be done from your church’s website or mobile phone app, or by texting from a mobile phone. It’s giving that’s not done in person, but rather digitally at the donor’s convenience.
Why Your Church Needs Digital Giving
There are several key reasons why churches today need to incorporate digital giving as part of their giving portfolio.
First, old ways of paying for things are going by the wayside. People don’t carry as much cash on them as they used to, which reduces physical donations in the offering plate. Many people don’t use checks, either; in fact, many younger people don’t even have checkbooks. It’s not surprising that many churches are eliminating plate passing as an unproductive part of the service.
Handling cash and checks is also a hassle for churches. Physical payments can be lost or stolen, and it all has to be manually counted, entered, and deposited. That’s a lot of labor.
On the other hand, digital giving is fast and easy – for both donors and churches. Donating via the web is as easy as entering payment information and clicking an onscreen button. Donating via text or mobile app is just as easy.
Members of the congregation can also give digitally at any time, from anywhere. They’re not limited to giving on Sunday mornings; they can give at their convenience – before, after, or even during church, any day of the week.
Because digital giving is so much easier, many churches find that their donations increase when they offer digital options. Remember – the easier something is to do, the more likely people will do it.
Digital giving also makes life easier for church staff. Digital donations are automatically recorded into the church’s bank account and credited to the correct donor and account. Donor and giving reports are easily generated.
If your church doesn’t offer digital giving, it’s missing out.
Different Ways to Give Digitally
There are several different ways that churches can offer digital giving to their congregation:
- Online giving, via the church’s website
- Mobile giving, via text-to-give options or mobile apps
- On-premise giving, via computerized giving kiosks
The more digital giving options your church offers, the more likely your members will be to give.
How Your Church Can Get the Most Out of Digital Giving
When your church implements digital giving, take these tips to maximize congregation support and contributions.
Make It Easy
The most important thing to do when implementing digital giving solutions is to make it easy for donors to give. Make it easy for them to give from home or from their mobile devices. Don’t make them jump through hoops to register or require them to provide unnecessary information. Make sure that links to online giving are prominent on your church’s website – make it as easy as clicking a button or link from your site’s home page. And, above all, make it easy for donors of all ages to understand and use.
Incorporate Your Church Brand
Digital giving is just one of many things that your church offers its congregation. Make sure that the digital giving options look and feel like the rest of your church’s website and physical activities. Your congregation should feel that digital giving is no different from anything else they do at your church.
Encourage Recurring Giving
Another way to make digital giving easy is to encourage donors to sign up for recurring giving. Recurring giving, with a one-time sign up, not only takes the chore out of regular giving but guarantees your church a steady donation stream – even when members can’t get to the sanctuary.
Make Sure Donors Understand the Benefits of Digital Giving
When your church first moves to digital giving you may need to “sell” church members on why they should do it. Stress the benefits to them – it takes less time to do, they don’t have to write checks every week, they can give from the convenience of their own phone or computer. If they understand why it’s a good thing, they’ll be more likely to do it.
Learn More About Digital Giving
To learn more about how digital giving can benefit your church and your congregation, contact the experts at GIVE BACK GATEWAY today. We can help you get church leadership and membership on board with this better way to give.