uplifting Bible Verses

Uplifting Bible Verses for Every Situation in Life

By | Bible Verses

Day to day life can be difficult. We all struggle with anxiety, fear and maintaining hope in an oftentimes desperate world. No matter where you are in life there are several inspiring Bible verses that can instantly lift you up. All verses are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise stated.

Anxiety

Anxiety is often defined as excessive worry or uneasiness. Anxiety may come in many forms. We worry about jobs and are concerned about our families. Excessive anxiety may even affect our physical health.

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. – Proverbs 12:25

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. – Psalm 94:19

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. – John 14:1

Hope

Hope is a confident expectation. It is not only a desire, but an expectation of something to come. Hope is an essential aspect of our day to day lives. Having hope gives us the strength to carry on through difficult circumstances.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.- Psalm 119:114

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

Faith

Faith is having a total confidence or trust in someone else. It's important to have faith that circumstances will improve. It's most important to have faith that God will intervene on our behalf.

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2: 8,9

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1

Death

Death is the end of this life as we know it. Whether it's the death of a loved one or your own mortality, this is something we all will eventually have to face.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25,26

…and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. – Ecclesiastes 12:7

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelation 21:4

Patience

Patience is the ability to endure trouble or suffering. It's also the ability to wait for good things to happen in their proper time. The world around us moves at dizzying speed. Many people expect instant gratification. Increasing our patience is something we all should strive for.

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. – Proverbs 19:11

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10

Anger

Anger is feeling frustrated toward a person or a situation. Anger is usually associated with feelings that someone is treating you unfairly. It's so easy to lose our temper and lash out at those around us.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, – James 1:19, 20

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, – Ephesians 4:26

Fear

Fear is the thought that something bad or painful is going to happen. There is fear of having health problems, fear of relationships ending, and fear of losing our jobs. Fear is closely related to worry and anxiety.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4 (KJV)

The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? – Psalm 27:1

Peace

Peace is something the world is continually striving for, though we often fail to find it. We experience peace when we feel inner fulfillment and well-being. We all long for peace, both internally and externally.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7

Sadness

Feeling discouraged, disappointed or unhappy are all forms of sadness. Sadness is an inevitable aspect of life. We can find, however, inspiration and comfort even in the midst of the deepest sadness.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Love

Love is generally defined as intense emotion and deep affection. However, Biblical love is usually thought of as action. There are many types of love. There is romantic love, friendship love and most of all, love from God.

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.- Song of Solomon 8:7

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8

Whether you're looking for comfort during sadness, hope in a time of discouragement or peace that transcends all understanding, the Bible provides comfort for every situation.

Church Offering Plate

7 Modern Alternatives to the Church Offering Plate

By | Make HOW they give easy

The collection of “tithes and offerings” seems like it has always been a part of worship.

Yet the offering plate only became commonplace in the 19th century, after the American government ended state support for churches in the 1830s. After that, the collection of offerings gradually became a fixture of each service, and many have come to expect it just as much as they expect prayer, singing, and preaching.

Passing the church offering plate, as it's called, has become the primary way for members to support the mission of their church. However, this method of giving hasn't been perfect.

Not only can the plate only accept physical assets (like cash), but also many followers desire greater transparency, simplicity, convenience, and privacy when giving their money. Additionally, there are plenty of stories that reinforce negative perceptions about the church offering plate.

Given the rise of mobile technology and online donations, it makes sense for churches to digitize their giving. It will make people more comfortable to give money and it will expand the reach of your offering plate.

Every year, churches miss out on lots of money because they don't meet their donors where they are. After all, 54% of donors prefer to give online with a credit or debit card, and 25% complete their donations on mobile devices.

So, if you want to implement other ways to collect donations, consider these seven alternatives to the church offering plate.

1. PayPal

As one of the largest online and mobile payments platforms, PayPal makes transferring money from one party to another fast and easy. Folks will be able to donate from their phone, computer, and even in-person to your PayPal account. Also, your members can easily track what they gave and you can maintain an accurate picture of how much you've collected. PayPal also supports churches through their Giving Fund and provides tax receipts, making it one of the best alternative s to the church offering plate.

Churches must set up a nonprofit PayPal account for accepting donations. PayPal offers discounted rates on fees for registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Rates are currently 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction, and you won't have to pay a monthly fee.

2. Website Donations

Go to the Red Cross website. Within seconds, you can donate money to the organization. They make it straightforward, transparent, and quick.

You must do the same for your church. By setting up an online giving platform on your church's site, you could increase your recurring giving by 39%, according to data from NewFire Giving. That's more money for church services and activities, mission work, community service initiatives, infrastructure upgrades, and more.

3. Venmo

A sleek payments app for P2P transfers and purchases with merchants, Venmo literally makes giving money fun. Owned by PayPal, the app is incredibly popular with millennials, and therefore could encourage members from that generation to start supporting the church's mission.

Setting up a Venmo account is free and easy. Keep in mind bank transfer limits Venmo has, and remember to track contributions for tax reporting.

4. Text to Give

You certainly know that texting to give has become common, especially for helping out during a natural disaster. There are many tools out there that you can integrate with your church's bank account or giving platform.

For example, NewFire Giving has created the SecureGive platform, a free app readily available in app stores. Through the SecureGive App, members can search for your church and then donate money with the click of a button. This streamlines giving at your church, and gives you a private, seamless avenue for collecting the money you need to support your ministry.

5. Giving Kiosks

Looking for a physical (yet digital) alternative to the church offering plate? Then set up giving kiosks at your church. Compared to a church offering plate, a kiosk is less awkward, more secure, feels less forceful, and enables your volunteers to focus on more meaningful activities.

Having a giving kiosk on site will also bring in more contributions. According to research from NewFire Giving, the average gift when using a church donation kiosk is 24% higher than when using mobile. Clearly, major donors like the tangible nature of a kiosk, as well as the control it offers compared to a giving plate.

6. Online Fundraising Platforms

You've definitely heard of how people have used GoFundMe to raise money for a personal issue or cause. Such platforms give you access to a broader audience and enable micro-giving on a large scale. No wonder folks can have so much success on them (if they do their campaign right).

When thinking about alternatives to church offering plates, consider online fundraising platforms designed specifically for donation campaigns and nonprofit organizations. For example, Donate.ly, a fundraising tool for nonprofits, offers reduced fees for churches and a great user experience for donors, who can easily set up recurring donations.

7. Church Donation Management Software

With so many alternatives to church offering plates, you may worry that the giving process will become disconnected and tough to manage. Thankfully, church donation management platforms can help you unify the entire operation so that you can improve efficiency and maximize donations.

NewFire Giving has created an innovating church giving software solution. Through NewFire Giving's platform, you can:

  • Receive donations online, via mobile app or text, or from a giving kiosk (aka an “ATM for Jesus”)
  • Create donation categories, organize giving campaigns across multiple campuses, and generate giving reports each quarter
  • Develop custom church branding (studies show donors are 42% more likely to give when the donation page matches the look/brand of the church)
  • Ultimately surpass your church's funding needs

Optimizing Giving at Your Church

Digital tools, like donation apps and giving kiosks, will encourage giving and streamline the donation process at your church. When combined with the church offering plate, you'll ensure your church offers everyone a way to contribute in a manner that's appropriate for them. And this will make maximizing funding at your church much more likely.

The only thing left to ask is: Are you doing everything possible to meet your church's funding needs?

Start igniting generosity among your members today!

Pastor appreciation day

Out-of-the-Ordinary Ideas for Pastor Appreciation Day

By | Resources

They feed and lead God’s people often at the expense of their own convenience. And even in the background, they are praying for you and you’re even unaware about it. So how do you say thank you to these generous souls who are serving the church every day without fail? We’ve rounded up unique ways to express your gratitude this coming Pastor Appreciation Day.

Support their Quirks

The man of God can be a man of many quirks too. This Pastor Appreciation Day, you can stoke some of their quirks. If your pastor is fond of a particular drink, you can ask the help of his family and stock up the fridge with that beverage. Fond of chocolate or any particular snack? Have a bouquet made of chocolates or other snacks delivered to his office.

Thank Him for An Entire Year

You can express your appreciation and say thank you in the form of an annual membership. For instance, if your pastor has always wanted to start a fitness regimen you can sign him up for a membership at the gym. Or if he is a movie buff, a Netflix subscription might be apt. If he is an avid reader but just lacks the time to binge read, an Audible subscription might be the best gift.

Double Honor, Double Rest Days

Sabbath is very important for everyone, not just your pastor. When God instituted a rest day out of a week of work, He knew our body needs it. Observing the Sabbath honors the Lord. This Pastor Appreciation Day is the perfect time to give your pastor additional days for rest. You can even go the extra mile and shoulder a vacation for him and his family as well. Not only will he enjoy that time, but the whole congregation will also be blessed with the pastor rested and refreshed.

Feed the Shepherd

Your pastor has stayed true to his mandate to feed God’s flock, it’s fitting to take one day out of a year to return the favor and feed him and his whole family. You could have a home-cooked meal delivered straight to their dinner table or you can treat him and his family to their favorite restaurant. Or better yet, invite your pastor’s family over for dinner at their convenience and prepare something special for them.

Get Creative with a Collage

Grateful for the life of your pastor? Say it creatively! Instead of the usual collage, you can have a collage with pictures of a herd of sheep and superimpose their faces with the faces of people from the congregation. You can even have a speech balloon on each “sheep” and ask the people to write something encouraging for your pastor.

Hide it in Plain Sight

Planning to give a bonus check or even a simple letter to your pastors this Pastor Appreciation Day? Make the gesture extra special by hiding the check or letter in their most read book⁠—the bible. This will entail the help of their family members if your pastors keep their trusted bible at home.

Give a Tech Gizmo

For the tech-savvy preacher, you can get him useful gadgets like noise-canceling headphones to keep him focused and zone out from the distraction when he’s preparing for his preaching. Other useful gizmos are phone or tablet accessories as well as external hard drives. Or better yet, you can give him a tech store gift card so he can have a field day there.

Follow the Word

Instead of giving your pastors the usual notes of encouragement from members of the congregation, why not make it even more thoughtful by placing them strategically in different places where they frequent. You can have a mix of notes from church members and encouraging bible verses. You can place some notes visibly while others are concealed. After all, you never know when your pastors need the extra boost of encouragement and finding those notes just when they need it can be very refreshing.

Be Marthas For this Month

Most times of the year, you’re Marys, sitting in the church, listening to pastors teach and preach the word of God. This Pastor Appreciation Day, it’ll be great to be Marthas for once. Yes, we’re talking to you guys too! You can make your pastors' life easier and it doesn’t even have to cost a cent. You can volunteer to mow their lawn, clean their house, or babysit their children while they're out on a date with their spouse. Taking the time to serve your pastors even outside the four corners of the church is an excellent way of saying thank you.

Host a Mini-Concert

Rally the members of the different ministries in your church to prepare a presentation for your pastors. You can have the kids, with the leadership of Sunday school teachers, prepare a dance presentation. The youth group, ushering ministry, and worship team can also come up with their own unique presentation. The staff and the pastors’ children can even join in on the fun to honor the men and women who stepped up to answer God’s call in their life.

Pray for Them

This one shouldn’t be an out-of-this-world idea, but it’s the most important so it shouldn’t be left out on this list. It’s no joke being given the mandate to lead God’s people while tending to their own household. That’s why they need the grace of God more than ever to fulfill their calling. And while the congregation’s at it, speak a blessing over their family as well. They’re one of the reasons your pastors do what they do even when the going gets tough.

There are just some of the ways to honor the people that God has appointed to pastor His church. And while you’re at it, you have to know that you’re not just honoring a person, you’re honoring the One who gave them the calling. Thus, Pastor Appreciation Day is not just for pastors, it’s for the congregation as well—the day presents an opportunity for the Church to honor God by appreciating the leaders He has installed over us.

Inspirational Bible Verses

20 Inspirational Bible Verses that Help You Continue to Persevere

By | Messaging

Sometimes all you need is an inspirational or encouraging Bible verse to be able to take that next step, wake up to another day and keep on moving on. Just like the first sip of that hot morning coffee, or a hug from a loved one, people sometimes need a jolt of help, comfort, and encouragement to be able to move one foot in front of the other and to keep on persevering. Below are numerous inspirational Bible verses that have helped many through adversity, whether it's during times of depression, fear, discouragement, a broken heart, illness or other situation that has you feeling adrift in a sea of despair.

Strengthening Your Faith

The first step in overcoming obstacles and addressing your adversities is to return to your faith. When things aren't going your way, it's easy to turn your back on God and to doubt your faith. This is when you must ask Him to restore your faith, to forgive you of your doubts, to increase your unbelief. After all, it only takes the faith of a mountain seed to move mountains if your request is in God's will.

Matthew 17:20 NIV He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

It's when you lean and depend fully on your faith alone that you will be able to persevere, no matter what obstacles stand in your path.

Proverbs 3:5 – 6 NIV Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Restoring Your Hope

With faith, comes hope. Just a tiny sparkle of hope can ignite a fire in your heart, and help you feel optimistic again. With a “can do” attitude almost anything is possible. But if you feel that you can't overcome something or begin again, then it may be a self-fulfilling prophecy with that self-defeating attitude.

Romans 8:28 NKJV And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV For I know the plans I have for you,” declare the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Our Father states in the following verse that He will not leave you without comfort. He will be with you — always and forever.

John 14:18 KJV I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Conquering Your Fears

If you're afraid and riddled with self-doubt, you may be too encumbered to take that next step. And that next step may be the one that frees you from the burden you are facing. That inconceivable next step may enable you to feel strong enough to take another step forward, and then another. You must remember that the Bible is full of verses commanding us to “not be afraid,” and to “not fear.” Our Father is always with us. Visualize Him standing right beside you every step of the way, holding you with His right hand and urging you to overcome whatever is troubling your soul.

Isaiah 41:10 NIV So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

The following verse asks you to cast, throw, or give over your cares or concerns to the Lord. If you are like most people you probably do this and a few minutes later you start worrying about the same old problem that you just gave up! That's when you must again cast your cares unto the Lord repeatedly, if necessary.

Psalm 55:22 NIV Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Keep in mind, as the below verse points out, that God always knows what's going to happen — before it happens. You can trust that He always has your best interests as His priority.

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV The Lord goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Shoring Up Your Strength

To have the ability to keep on trying, to keep on persevering, you have to be strong. The following verses can help you remember that everyone feels like giving up, tossing in the towel, or quitting at one time or another. But your strength, your hope, is in the Lord!

Ephesians 6:10 – 12 NIV Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Isaiah 40:30 – 31 NIV Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Psalm 46:10 NKJV Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Honing Your Perseverance Skills

When trouble comes — and it definitely will in your life and everyone else's — reflect on these following verses. They explain that you can overcome your tribulations — with His help and by seeking His refuge.

Philippians 4:13 NIV I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV No temptation has overcome you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. And when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

John 16:33 NKJV These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 61:4 NKJV I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.

Rejuvenating your faith helps keeps you strong enough to push aside your fears because it restores your hope. These fears can be paralyzing at times. It's truly disheartening to be so fearful that you can't even take that first baby step. Perseverance is the key to beginning again and to overcome all the obstacles that prevent you from living your Christian walk fully. Persevering against all your tribulations will help you be all that God designed you to be!

Vanco Payment Solutions Review

By | Alternatives

If your church is searching for a payment solution that specializes in nonprofit, faith-based organizations, Vanco may very well be a consideration. However, before you settle for out-of-the-box software, it's a good idea to compare your options. Here's a look at what Vanco offers and an overview of some alternatives that may fit your church's needs.

Understanding Vanco Payment Solutions

Charitable giving is on the rise, but church giving remains stagnant. That has led to a massive increase in interest amongst churches regarding eGiving software. Online donations hold major potential and when implemented correctly and with a partner that is familiar with the needs of churches, eGiving software will more than pay for itself. This is one reason why Vanco has begun marketing its payment processing software to faith-based organizations.

However, Vanco does not solely focus on churches or non-profits in general. Vanco also targets professional service providers, for whom they act as a payment processor. In addition, they target educational groups and schools along with other organizations that accept payments or donations regularly.

In order to serve all of these markets, Vanco has attempted to offer a plethora of services, including administrative tools for educational institutions and on-site card readers for service providers. Add to this list school registration software and event management systems and Vanco's offerings can easily become overwhelming. In this sense, what Vanco offers generally goes far beyond what a faith-based organization needs in order to manage and promote donations.

Services and Features

Focusing specifically on what Vanco offers to faith-based organizations, the market all of the following:

  • Giving kiosks
  • Mobile card reader
  • Website-based donation collection
  • Smartphone app donation collection
  • Text-based donation collection

Looking at this list, what Vanco provides does not differ from the offerings of other solutions. However, one thing that makes Vanco different is that the company does not openly disclose its processing rates or account fees. To figure out how much your church will pay, you'll need to visit the GivePlus website.

GivePlus Pricing

GivePlus is the sub-company of Vanco that focuses specifically on donation solutions for faith-based organizations. The GivePlus website breaks pricing down as follows. It's important to note that, while these GivePlus rates include mobile and online giving software, all tiers require you to pay for giving kiosk, card reader, and/or text-based giving separately.

Start

  • This tier is suggested for churches that take in less than $20,000 in donations each month
  • The debit or credit card rate is 2.75% + $0.45/transaction
  • The ACH processing rate is 1.00% + $0.45/transaction
  • Mobile and online giving is included in the $10/month fee

Sustain

  • This tier is suggested for churches that take in $20,000 to $40,000 in donations each month
  • The debit or credit card rate is 2.35% + $0.35/transaction
  • The ACH processing rate is 0.80% + $0.35/transaction
  • Mobile and online giving is included in the $49/month fee

Custom

  • This tier is suggested for churches that take in more than $40,000 in donations each month
  • The debit or credit card rate is undisclosed and based on volume
  • The ACH processing rate is undisclosed and based on volume
  • Mobile and online giving is included, but the monthly rate varies

Additional Costs

For all tiers, you can enable text-based giving for an additional $5 per month. You can also add a card reader for the cost of hardware (which is undisclosed). The cost to add a giving kiosk is $29 per month in addition to a one-time fee for hardware.

Alternatives Solutions

Ultimately, your faith-based organization deserves an affordable, simple, and transparent solution that will enable you to not only efficiently process your current donations but also work to increase the overall number of donations you are accepting. This is possible by opening the doors to new methods of accepting donations, like giving kiosks and text-based software.

However, Vanco is far from your only option if you are looking to expand into the world of eGiving or online donations. NewFire Giving offers an all-in-one solution for one low monthly fee and is fully dedicated to serving the needs of faith-based organizations like yours.

What NewFire Giving Offers

NewFire Giving offers online, mobile, and text-based giving just like Vanco, along with an on-site giving kiosk, all of which tie into the time-tested SecureGive Software. However, unlike Vanco, NewFire Giving pairs this powerful software with something even more impactful: one-on-one coaching and education.

NewFire Giving is built on the notion that digital giving should not be difficult, expensive, or unsustainable. With the right software and the right approach, digital giving can prove to be your church's greatest asset and enable you to continue connecting with your congregation as their habits and priorities change over time.

With Ignite Coaching, your church can implement the proven generosity framework that has helped thousands of other churches achieve the results they need to create a sustainable, impactful ministry that can make a lasting difference in the community.

Best of all, Ignite Coaching can be combined with NewFire Giving's world-class donation software or utilized with your current provider. When combined, NewFire Giving becomes a complete solution that will get your church the results you've been waiting for.

Schedule a Discovery Call

With NewFire Giving, churches are able to achieve a 10% increase in donations in just 6 months. All it takes is a discovery call to identify your church's current roadblocks. In just 30 minutes, you and the NewFire Giving team will outline three steps you can take in the next few months to make a substantial, direct impact on the number of donations you are currently receiving. Click here to schedule your call.

Text In Church

Text In Church: Reviews and Pricing and More | New Fire Giving

By | Resources

Building a community within your church congregation starts with good communication. Many churches rely on weekly or monthly newsletters, bulletins, and announcements. Research shows that turning to text may be a better way to boost engagement.

Gartner reported that 98% of text messages are opened compared to 20% of emails. Response rates for SMS are also much higher. As communication technology advances, it is important for churches to keep up. Many pastors are turning to church-based software, like Text In Church, to reach their congregations.

Text In Church claims to help busy leaders build relationships through communication tools. The company focuses on guest retention rate by using automated messaging and emails.

If you are a busy leader hoping to grow your congregation, you may benefit from a church communication platform. But finding the right software isn’t always easy. Is Text In Church right for you, or are there better options? This guide looks at Text In Church features, pricing, and alternative solutions.

What is Text In Church?

The idea for Text In Church stemmed from a church plant and the need to improve engagement with guests and members. The software company helps pastors and leaders build authentic relationships. It uses text messaging as a means to stay in touch with church members. Text In Church advertises three simple steps to using their platform:

Gather information

Leaders can transfer their church’s database of contact information directly into the Text In Church software. Guests and members can also text your church’s Text In Church number and fill out a Smart Connect Card.

Follow up with guests

Text In Church provides 16 different templates to send follow-up texts and emails. Communication with new church attendees follows an easy, automated pathway.

Engage in real conversations

The software offers two-way texting so that members can respond. Send text announcements, event invitations, and encouragement.

The Key Features of Text in Church

Engagement is an essential part of church-building. Communication tools like Text In Church attempt to bridge the gap between church attendance and church engagement. The company claims that the world sends over 23 billion texts each day. People are already texting, a lot, and it makes sense to use this form of communication to stay in touch.

Text In Church includes some basic key features for communicating with church members.

  • Automated workflow
  • Two-way messaging
  • Database organization by group (small groups, volunteer groups, ministry teams)
  • Integration with MailChimp, Community Builder, and other services

The software is for church leaders. Pastors and leaders are busy and communication tools can help them stay connected. Text In Church is an effective way to promote upcoming events, share church information, and send automated communication. Users can even send birthday greetings or event reminders. Text in Church is for any size church, and it even offers a custom tier for large churches.

How much does Text In Church Cost?

Text In Church advertises three different pricing tiers. The basic, pro and premium plans offer various levels of support and features. Starting at $37 per month for the basic plan, users can send 500 monthly text messages, unlimited emails, and access to email and chat support. Each plan increases progressively. For $67 per month, users can send 1500 texts, and for $97, users can send 2500 monthly texts and get phone support.

There is a fourth tier for churches that want to send more than 2500 texts each month. The pricing is not advertised as it depends on the custom needs of the church.

Customers often ask how they calculate text messages. Each message sent to a single number counts as one. If you send one text to 20 people, it counts as 20 text messages. Incoming messages do not count against the final number of texts.

Exploring Church Engagement

Text In Church focuses largely on saving leaders time and helping them grow church attendance. They offer 16 follow-up templates along with a six-week follow-up calendar. The idea is that by automating communications, guests feel engaged and more willing to return.

What communication needs or gaps does your church need to fill? Do you need easier communication with your church? Or are you looking for ways to encourage engagement through giving?

Growing your church attendance is useful, but did you know that only 10% to 25% of church members tithe? Fulfilling your church’s mission and vision requires volunteer support and it requires funding. Platforms like New Fire Giving encourage engagement through giving and participating in church campaigns and fundraising efforts. Church engagement looks different for everyone. Understanding your goals and needs will help you determine the best software for your church.

How do Text In Church and New Fire Giving Compare?

Both Text In Church and New Fire Giving encourage church member engagement. Text In Church focuses on text-based communication. New Fire Giving uses digital giving to increase donations and church involvement.

New Fire Giving’s approach is unique. The company encourages and educates pastors, and also provides software to make giving easier for church members. Their focus is on both the church leaders and the congregation.

Text In Church is largely focused on leaders. Their website directs questions specifically at church leaders, asking, “Are people not reading your newsletter?” “Did you have low attendance at your last event.”

The two platforms coincide in their goal to improve church involvement through text. Churches that use Text In Church are seeing an increase in return attendees. Those that use New Fire Giving are seeing a 32% increase in new givers. They are also seeing an increase in recurring donations.

The power of text doesn’t end there. Offering online tithing options increases tithing. The majority of online tithers prefer mobile giving, including text-to-give. People today are giving less to church than they did during the Great Depression. The solution to this downtrend could be to increase engagement and involvement through mobile giving.

The Key Features of New Fire Giving

New Fire Giving offers four ways to receive donations: online, at giving kiosks, on an app, and through text messaging. New Fire Giving software integrates with current church management software. But it also serves as a standalone product. Users can easily sign up and the software saves the contact information. Leaders can then use this database to communicate with church members.

The software behind New Fire Giving offers these key features:

  • Email statements of giving
  • Giving analytics
  • Recurring payments
  • Custom branded app and online giving page
  • Apple Pay integration
  • Multi-campus functionality
  • Unlimited custom giving categories

New Fire also makes it easy for church members to sign up for small groups, volunteer for events, and join in giving campaigns. All from their phones.

New Fire Giving doesn't just focus on sharing information through text. The platform uses text and digital giving to encourage congregations to give, volunteer, and participate in the wider mission of the church.

With increased engagement also comes the need to effectively communicate church goals. New Fire Giving provides coaching and training for pastors. The Ignite Coaching and Generosity Framework helps leaders assess their church and build an action plan that supports the donation software.

New Fire Giving has three tiers at three different costs, depending on church needs. They offer basic coaching, a complete package, and an accelerated package. The complete package is the most popular for $147 per month and provides Ignite coaching as well as the digital giving software.

What Others are Saying About Text In Church and New Fire Giving

One of the best ways to learn about a product is to see what others are saying. Your peers and fellow church leaders are already using these products. What do they think about them?

Reviews of Text In Church

On Capterra.com, Text In Church received an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on g2 Crowd. Customers enjoy the ability to easily text congregants and organize their congregations into groups.

Several customers mentioned that they mainly use the service to connect with volunteer teams. The interface is clean and simple, but some state that there is a learning curve involved. There are also some ongoing integration issues that users find frustrating. The feature people love the most is that it’s text! They are seeing a higher response rate than with only using emails to communicate. Overall, users had good things to say about Text In Church:

“The Text In Church software is very easy to use and quite user friendly…The response rate is amazing as the majority of our people are getting and reading our messages to them. Can't say the same about emails, though. Don't like how the text messages split up into multiple messages if you go over the character limit. It's way too easy to put in too much information and bam…you're over the limit.”

“Great program with good features. Please wage functionality vs. support. If function is the main concern, this product is great. If you would like help along the way, don't buy this product.”

Pros

Easy to use: According to customers, the biggest pros of Text In Church is the ease of communicating with church members.

Automated workflow: Customers also like the automation features that allow them to easily connect with guests and new members.

Saves time: Many churches commented on how much time they saved using the platform.

Cons

Lack of support: Several users commented on the lack of support when they experienced issues with the software and billing.

Poor Integration: Text In Church advertises integration with a few existing programs. Some churches, however, struggled to use it with their current software.

Reviews of New Fire Giving

Customers of New Fire Giving enjoy the growth in giving and engagement within their churches. The majority of reviews on Facebook are 5-star ratings. Many customers also expressed satisfaction with the way the Ignite Coaching changed their perspective on giving. One customer shared their satisfaction with the entire program that New Fire Giving offers, from software to coaching. Here is what a few customers have to say:

“The NewFire Giving Framework has increased our giving by 20% every year for the last 6 years.”

“We came into this approach thinking it was a marketing meeting. We left with a whole new mindset on giving.”

Pros

Increased giving: Customers love to see their congregations engage in campaigns, capture church vision, and increase their giving.

Easy to use: Customers also like how easy the digital giving software is to use. Congregants can easily give from their phones.

Change in perspective: The New Fire Giving framework provides leaders with a new way to think and talk about giving. This, in turn, impacts the congregation's perspective on giving and generosity.

Cons

So far, customers are really satisfied with New Fire Giving. According to their website, New Fire Giving has consulted over 5,000 churches and provided a digital giving framework for more than 2,300. They also share that it is more than 42% more likely that a donor will set up recurring giving on a branded page. Customers are seeing the reality of these statistics and more through New Fire Giving’s coaching and digital software.

Finding the Right Church Software for Your Congregation

Keeping your congregation connected and engaged is important, but how do you know which software or tools are right for you?

Text In Church and New Fire Giving both offers easy, supportive, and mobile-friendly ways to increase engagement in your church. It is important, however, to invest in software and platforms that best support your congregation. As you review each company, consider your church’s budget, goals, and engagement needs.

For churches that have solid giving practices, but that struggle to stay connected, Text In Church could be the best solution. The texting and communication platform helps keep people connected and improve retention.

Increased church retention, however, doesn’t always mean increased giving. For churches that seek to improve church generosity, New Fire Giving could be the tool you need. You can improve church member engagement with software that keeps church members up to date on campaigns, events, and financial goals. The digital and coaching tools from New Fire Giving may be the best way for your church to boost involvement while also increasing support.

Which platform best fits your needs? Those who are looking for a way to stay connected with their congregations will find some great features from Text In Church. If you want to increase engagement, involvement, and donations, New Fire Giving is a great place to start.

church announcements

Church Announcements: The Complete Guide to Church Announcements

By | Resources

Announcements may not be the lifeblood of the church but if you want an informed and engaged congregation, someone has to give it much more thought than just another item on the to-do list. Here’s how to spruce up church announcements and get everyone listening.

Set Priority

Just because the service allots 10 minutes for the announcement doesn’t mean you use all of those time. People’s interest wane when you try to cram every activity that the church is up to into the announcement. So instead of informing the congregation about seven events, try to whittle it down to two, prioritizing major events that most of the congregation have to know about.

Provide a Clear Call to Action

Announcements are not just about providing information. Think about it. When you’re announcing an upcoming event in the church, you’re also compelling the congregation to join, volunteer, or tell their friends about it. That’s why every announcement should always end with a clear and riveting call to action. Give it a sense of urgency. People are more likely to respond when they know what they need to do.

Inspire and Inform

Inspiration is the best motivator. And people are inspired to take action when there’s an emotional connection. They don’t just have to know what’s good, they have to feel it’s good. This is why part of what makes a compelling announcement is casting the vision. Share why the church does these events. What are the church’s values? When those resonates deep with the people, you’ve made it simpler for them to commit and act.

Aside from talking about your whys, telling stories when appropriate is a great way to connect emotionally with the congregation. Stories stick way better than just giving the facts. So if Jesus used parables to communicate important truths about the Kingdom, you too can use stories to convey important information.

Use all Communication Channels

Aside from relaying the information during service, all your other communication channels should be synced with the same information. That means the church’s website, social media accounts, mobile app, and bulletin boards should have all the particulars. This way, the congregation can stay updated even when they missed one Sunday service.

Select the Right Person

Everyone has different giftings from the Lord. One may be excellent with admin tasks, while others might be great with music. As a pastor and leader, you need to know the strengths of your staff and assign suitable tasks to them. Likewise, with church announcements, you need to choose the right person to take that mic and relay important information in an engaging way. You can even have two people deliver an exciting dialogue, when appropriate, for a more engaging and not-your-usual approach.

Reinforce with Visuals

Studies confirm that people retain details better when you reinforce the information with visuals. You can use slides or videos for your announcements. You can even use the time before the service to show those slides and videos so there won’t be any idle time in the minutes leading up to the service for early birds.

Enlist the Help of Leaders

The best way to spread information is to cascade it to key people in the church, which happens to be the small group leaders. They’re the ones who meet and interact with members of the congregation. They add the human element to a standing invitation from the church. People can always ignore what’s said during the announcement; it’s way harder to say no to a personal invitation from a friend.

Get Creative in the Sermon

Most people who attend church put a high premium on sermons. It’s that one part of the service people wouldn’t miss. Pastors can creatively plug upcoming important events into their preaching as a reminder. Plan to preach on sharing the love of God to others? You can subtly mention that your upcoming outreach program is one of the best venues to do so.

Be Inclusive

While fostering deep and meaning relationships inside the church is always a good thing, there might be some pitfalls to avoid. For one, it can get too insider-focused that visitors feel like they’re outsiders. The same thing can happen with announcements. When communicating on the stage or pulpit, have the visitors in mind. Avoid church-speak, just convey the information using common everyday language. And as much as possible, announcements should be relevant to most in attendance, if not all. There are better ways to relay information that’s relevant only to a few church members.

Be Prepared

While spontaneity can be good sometimes, it doesn’t work well when you’re doing the announcement during the service. The goal is to get the community involved with church activities so it’s imperative that you relay complete and relevant information beforehand. The last thing you want is confusion, which can be a likely outcome if the one holding the microphone during a church announcement is not prepared.

It’s ideal to set aside some time before the service to go over the spiel and details. This way, you can spot and correct errors ahead of time.

Ask for Regular Feedback

Humility is truly a virtue especially when you’re leading a congregation. It’s also the one attitude that could help the church make positive incremental changes over time. Yes, even something that’s seemingly ordinary as announcements could be improved if the leadership will just take the time to ask for feedback from the right people.

First, you gauge if the people are responsive to the announcement. If yes, check what you did well. If not, brainstorm with the staff what the team could do to make the announcement more compelling. You can even ask trusted church members for their thoughts and ideas on how to improve. After all, they’re the one who’ll have to listen, watch, and sit through the entire thing.

Church announcements are often handled like an afterthought when it’s very important in forging a strong community. It’s a nice glimpse into what goes on beyond Sunday service for visitors. And it’s that bridge that leads to more involved members.

Welcome to Church

Church Visitors: The 6 Things that Say “Welcome!”

By | Clarify the WHY

There is a multitude of prompts that will inspire a person to grace the doors of your church. Perhaps it is loneliness and the individual feels that a church home is a wise place to make new friends, or an acquaintance keeps inviting the person and he thinks if he visits just once that the friend will stop bugging him about it. Other reasons could be that a person once had a deep faith and wants to become more spiritual again, or the individual is new in the city and is looking for a church home.

It's great to have visitors in your church, but it's vital that they return and eventually become members if your church is to experience growth. One of the best ways to ensure that your church is healthy and growing in numbers is to make those first-time visitors feel welcome and comfortable during their visit. After all, this may be your only chance to make a good first impression. It takes courage to visit a new church, particularly if the person doesn't have friends who are members and has arranged to sit with them. Below are six tips that help demonstrate to each and every visitor that they are truly welcome in your church.

  1. Designated Visitor's Parking Area: Having a designated visitor's parking area is a wise idea for many reasons. This parking area is typically close to the entrance of the church and prevents the visitors from having a long walk into the building particularly if they are elderly or have small children along. A really nice touch is to have a covered parking area that is near to the door in case it's rainy outside. If an awning isn't possible, having a church member or two armed with golf-size umbrellas to escort visitors inside is a charming and welcome touch for people who were caught off guard by the weather. Another kind gesture is to have members stationed near the parking area to greet the visitors and give them directions to the worship center or a particular Sunday school class if needed. A first-time guest would likely turn the car around and leave if they had to circle the parking lot a few times to find a parking spot. No one likes to go somewhere new and to arrive late, therefore a designated parking area is very helpful for visitors.
  2. Door Greeters: Anxiety usually runs highest when the first-time visitor is about to enter the building. The person may fear that he or she will be totally ignored, stared at, or won't be dressed appropriately. The visitor has no idea if this is going to be a friendly, welcoming church or if the members will only smile slightly, yet remain aloof. Station friendly, outgoing church members at each busy entrance to your church. Instruct them to smile, say “Good morning,” or “Welcome,” or some other appropriate greeting. Ask them to shake hands with the adults as they enter and to give a friendly ‘high five' to the youngsters or a gentle pat on the back. Encourage them to make eye contact and to be attentive if the person looks lost or confused. If so, ask the visitors if they have any questions or if you can assist them with directions. If possible, have a couple of members around who can not only direct the visitor but also escort them to the right Sunday school class, etc. Instruct them to keep up a friendly — yet unobtrusive — chatter along the way so that the person won't feel awkward or ill at ease.
  3. Opening Greeting: The pastor or another leader of the church should make it a point to always welcome any first-time guests from the pulpit. Two or three sentences describing how friendly the members are and how delighted you are to have visitors today will help the guests feel more comfortable. It's also smart to mention any special events and unusual details that will occur during the service, such as a special singing by the middle-school choir, Communion, or a potluck after the service that all guests are invited to attend. This lets them know what to expect and makes them feel more comfortable when it's happening. At this time, also encourage the visitors to fill out the guest cards that are included in the church bulletin. Have a basket or box where guests can place the guest cards as they exit the worship center. These cards allow them to ask for more information about the church or upcoming events, inform you of their prayer needs, and any other questions or concerns they may have. You should also have a place for them to provide their email address, contact number, and address.
  4. Meet & Greet Time: It's nice to schedule a meet and greet time during each service. Ask the members to go around and shake hands or greet friends and visitors. Although many people feel this is awkward, if just one member approaches the visitor with a genuine smile, polite eye contact, a handshake and a “Good morning, I'm Paul. We're glad to have you!!,” it can go a long way in encouraging the visitor to return to the service again. Email the members occasionally and encourage them not only to greet the people to the left and right of them on their pew but also to step away and greet visitors that are within two or three aisles from them. Knowing that someone went to the trouble to do that can really make a first-time guest feel welcome.
  5. Meeting the Pastor: It's important that guests have an opportunity to meet the pastor — and his spouse — if he's married. Many churches are too large to have a receiving line after the service. If this is the case in your church, invite the guests to go to a designated area after the service where they can meet the pastor and receive a small gift or gift bag. This gift can be something as small as a bookmark with a spiritual theme, or something larger such as a coffee mug. Have brochures available on a nearby table that tells about the activities, Sunday school classes, Bible studies, and upcoming events in the church.
  6. Follow-up with the Visitors: Since you had the guests fill out a card during their visit, now you have contact information so that you and your parishioners can reach out to them. First and foremost, thank them for coming to the worship service. This can be as unobtrusive as a postcard or a follow-up phone call. If they indicated interest in certain Bible studies, classes, or upcoming events, have a couple of members of the church visit their home to share more information or have a member of the class call and personally invite them to come to a meeting.

Reaching out to the visitors of your church in a friendly, genuine, and engaging matter helps ensure that your church continues to grow and serves your community in ways that benefit all. Make it a high priority for your church to say “Welcome” to all who grace your doors!

Online Tithing

Online Tithing: Proven Strategies to Increase Online Giving In Your Church

By | Resources

Thanks to technology today, raising necessary funds for your church has become easier than ever. New tools make donating or giving dues to churches convenient and stress-free. This means that members are more likely to give, thanks to the fact that there are few obstacles to doing so. Also, tech-forward giving tools encourage younger generations to give, since they are more likely to give using channels and platforms that are familiar to them.

One way that churches are harnessing the power of technology for improved giving is by accepting online tithing. Tithing is an important way for a church to fund its important activities, take care of its facilities, and pay for its clergy and staff. Traditionally, tithing required church members to pay 1/10 of their income. While today, tithing is more relaxed in terms of rules and restrictions, collecting tithes from church members is still a critical step for keeping a church open and thriving.

In the past, churches passed around donation plates or buckets in order to collect cash and check donations for members. Congregants could also send in their tithes, by writing a check to the church and putting it in the mail. Today, however, online donation platforms make it possible for people to tithe from the comfort of their own couch. Online tithing means that people can give from the convenience of their own smartphone or tablet.

If you want to know more online tithing, read on. You can learn about why your church should consider using an onling giving platform and what benefits you can expect to experience from using it. Also, find strategies for making the most of your online tithing platform. If you use it in the right ways, you can increase donations and ensure that your congregation can continue to thrive and grow for years to come.

The Benefits of Online Tithing

There are many benefits of online tithing beyond simply providing congregants another way to give. Here are some of the most important.

You Can Make Giving Mindless

Some online giving platforms allow congregants to set up recurring donations. This means that money is withdrawn from their accounts and giving to the church on a regular basis without the congregant having to take any specific action. By making giving mindless, you minimize obstacles to doing so and help ensure people don't forget or feel bothered by the task.

You Can Offer Multiple Giving Locations

When you have digital giving options, people can donate to the church from the comfort of their own home or office. They can also give at digital kiosks set up in the church, which allows for giving without handing over cash or check but also lets congregants give in a safe and secure environment. By offering multiple locations for giving, you increase the chances that people will remember and choose to give.

You Can Accept Multiple Payment Types

Some congregants may only carry cash. Others are used to writing checks. Still, younger church members may only be used to handling digital currency. Appeal to the variety of members at your church by offering digital tithing, where donors can give with a debit card, credit card, or a bank account. If you use digital tithing and accept cash or check donations, you can ensure that everyone feels like they have a way to give.

You Can Accept Donations from People Not Physically Present

Some donors may be members of the church who are traveling. Others may be former members who still want to support an institution that is important to them. With online donations, you can let anyone, anywhere in the world, donate to your church regardless of where they are located. Remove any geographical restrictions on giving by making the Internet a place that you accept tithes.

You Can Keep Better Fundraising Records

With online giving, you can keep better records regarding church donors and fundraising. A platform like NewFire Giving will automatically generate organized, easy-to-browse records of people who give and how much they give. You can also sync an online giving platform with your church management software, so you can have a comprehensive resource for data about the people who belong to your church, how much they give, how they choose to give, and how you may be able to appeal to them to give more.

Tips for Increasing Online Giving in Your Church

It's an important first step to introduce an online giving platform for digital tithing. However, you should learn the most effective ways to utilize online giving so you maximize the number of donations you collect. Here are some helpful tips for increasing online giving in your church.

Make the Whole Process Super Simple

Want to make sure you maximize the number of online tithes you get? Make the entire process as easy as possible. The easier the donation process is, the more likely people are to complete it This means that you should even minimize the amount of information that people need to hand over in addition to their payment information. You may simply want to ask for people's names and some basic contact information. The less information-entering people have to do, the more likely they are to complete the tithing process.

Allow for Recurring Giving

As mentioned above, allowing people to set up recurring gifts is a good way to increase the amount people give over time. Sometimes, people forget to tithe or donate because they are simply busy or distracted. If they can set up automatic giving, they can send money to your church without having to use any extra energy, space, or brain power to do so.

Use Multiple Reminders About Donation

When you want people to use your online platform for tithing, make sure you place multiple reminders in a variety of locations to encourage people to give. Share the URL during services and in church handouts, and take time during events to encourage people to download your giving app. Also, use social media pages to consistently remind people that they can tithe online, and place buttons for online giving on your website and other places where you have an online presence. By placing reminders to give online, you can ensure people remember to do so, especially when they are already spending time online.

Tie the Act of Giving to Liturgy

When you or other clergy members give a sermon at a service, try tying this sermon to the act of giving. This is not only a way to remind people to give. It is also a way to help people understand why they should give, as well as why donating to the church is important. By illuminating where in Scripture it talks about the importance of generosity and giving, you can make the important connection between congregants' religious practice and tithing.

Be Clear About How Funds Will Be Used

Want to make people feel great about giving to their church online? Make sure you are clear about how tithes will be used. On your donation page, layout clear instructions about what funds will be used for. You can also remind people in services about how online donations will be applied to the church. When people know where their money is going and that it is going to a slew of good causes, they will be more excited to donate to help.

Make All of Your Giving Pages Branded

Use your church's logo, typeface, and branding materials when you create online giving pages. You want your congregants to recognize that they are giving to your church when they access the platform to give. By ensuring any giving app or site is branded, you create cohesion for your congregation's online presence, and you ensure that congregants know they are donating to a place they know and care about and that they're online

Accept Online Tithing with NewFire Giving

If you want to try accepting online tithes at your church, consider getting in touch with NewFire Giving. NewFire Giving is an online donation platform designed specifically for churches, so we can provide you with the tools and guidance you need to help improve your fundraising efforts and expand your capacity to accept money from congregants. In addition to a selection of tools that will allow you to accept funds in a variety of ways online, NewFire giving also offers educational resources to ensure you are making the most of your giving platforms. Our team will help teach you both how to use the platform and the best ways to encourage giving from your congregants, so you can ensure that your church is financially healthy and primed to grow.

If you have any questions about how you can benefit from NewFire Giving or how our tools may be able to benefit your congregation, reach out to us. We'd be glad to help you see how NewFire Giving may just be the solution you need to ensure that your church thrives.

Stewardship: What Is Stewardship?

By | Resources

That today's Christians have lost their sense of stewardship is a grave matter of concern. Stewardship is, after all, one of our innate responsibilities as Christians. Psalm 24:1 tells us that God owns everything: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof” (KJV). But that is not to say that we do not have a role in managing and caring for everything that He owns. Read on to discover the true meaning of stewardship and how it can help us to better fulfill our duties as Christians.

Where do we find stewardship in the Bible?

The word ‘steward’ means ‘manager of a household.’ To be a good steward, one has to be a good manager of God’s household.

Stewardship is an important notion for Christians. Indeed, the Bible often references stewardship, confirming its central place in Christians’ lives. Considering this importance, it is of grave concern that Christians may be losing their sense of good stewardship. It is not, after all, a term used only in fundraising and volunteering.

Some important stewardship verses include:

  • ‘Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.’ (NIV, Corinthians 4:2)
  • ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’ (NIV, Peter 4:10)
  • ‘Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.’ (NIV, Timothy 5:8)

But it is not only in verses that we find great examples of stewardship. Joseph’s story, in particular, stands out as one about the true virtues of being a steward of God’s resources. Joseph remained a good steward even through troubles with his siblings, Potiphar's wife, and his time in prison. In the end, he made it to the top of Egyptian society as an advisor to the Pharaoh. Joseph's story alone shows us how powerful a virtue stewardship can be, and how great the rewards are that it may entail.

What are the biblical meanings of stewardship?

At its core, stewardship involves four guiding principles. These principles are critical to ensuring good stewardship in our everyday lives. The principles are ownership, responsibility, accountability, and reward. Together, these principles tell us, as servants of God, that we are in a position of trust. If we fulfil that trust, we will receive a reward.

Stewardship as Ownership

Adam was the first steward of God’s household. Since the time of Adam, we have all continued the work as administrators of God’s resources. In this, we must recognize that everything we have and everything we experience belongs to God. As we belong to God, everything that we know belongs to God. While we may feel that it our own hands that have created wealth, it is God who created those hands in the first place:

  • ‘But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.’ (NIV, Deuteronomy, 8:18)

Stewardship as Responsibility

In knowing that God owns everything, we know that everything that we take in God’s name must be cared for in His interests. As stewards of God’s household, we must know how to develop and sustain God’s resources according to His wishes. In that, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves about God’s will and His work.

Stewardship as Accountability

No steward can be responsible for the belongings of God if he or she is not able to account for how they managed the household. There will come a time when God calls us to account for our decisions at the Gates of Heaven, and we must be able to explain how we met the demands of the trust He placed in us. Good stewards are confident and authentic in their description of their work as managers of God’s resources.

Stewardship as Reward

Paul encouraged us:

  • ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.’ (NIV, Colossians 3:23-24)

There is an immeasurable reward in faithful and honest stewardship to the Lord. Though we do not work for that reward, we take joy in knowing that God may grace us with an inheritance should we deliver excellent service to Him. Our rewards may be many and various, and when we receive them it will be an honor for eternity.

How can we be better stewards of God's resources in our day-to-day lives?

Stewardship is a broad undertaking requiring daily action from Christ’s followers. It is not a one-off action or mission; it is a regular commitment that we undertake in our servitude.

For some, like Professor Paul Stevens, stewardship is another way of talking about ministry. Stevens believes we are all ministers, and that in our daily lives we have opportunities for ministry.

How, though, may we incorporate the principles of stewardship into our daily lives?

  • Be mindful of the gifts God has given. We can pause often to reflect upon the blessing of stewardship, and we can try to be conscious of all the good that comes from selfless service. God blessed us by giving us the abilities to serve. It is good stewardship to recognize the privilege of being able to do God’s work.
  • Give for the sake of giving. Today, we focus too much on the details of economic value and return-on-investment. In doing so, we have forgotten the real value of giving: giving itself. We may try to gift to others without desiring any particular outcome. In doing so, we may find there is reward whatever that outcome may be.
  • Consider the needs of those who cannot speak for themselves. Whether human or animal, we should be aware of the needs of those who cannot request God’s resources themselves. His household is for all creatures great and small. That means we must be attentive to all needs without discrimination of any kind.
  • Trust in God no matter the hardship you face. Stewards of God’s resources exist among God’s resources, and in that sense, we are never far from His help. Whatever the difficulty faced, take comfort knowing that God is generous. He will provide. Jesus faced the ultimate hardship and never wavered as God’s devout steward. We must do the same.

These actions are achievable for all and effective in nurturing good stewardship.

Conclusion

Great and faithful stewards exist in us all, even if some of us have lost our way. Reminded of what it means to be a good steward, we must now, as Corinthians 4:2 demands, prove faithful to the trust placed in us. If stewardship is calling you as it has so many of God’s servants, take these lessons and go forth with the ambition and grace to do the work of God in your daily life.

Motivational Bible

Motivational Bible Verses

By | Messaging

For Millennia, people have turned to the Bible as a source of strength, comfort, and guidance, both when life feels difficult and challenging, and when life is joyous and feels worth celebrating. If you are seeking a resource for motivation and guidance in your life, the Bible can be an extremely helpful resource packed full of verses that can help lift your mood, guide your choices, and encourage you when things feel rough. Read on to find some of the most motivational verses in the Bible. You can turn to these when you need direction, uplifting, or just an extra push.

Bible Verses for When Life Feels Hard

The following bible verses are the helpful motivation for when life feels particularly hard or challenging.

  • Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah, 40:30-31
  • Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy, 31:6
  • The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. – Psalm, 18:2
  • Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. – Epheisans, 6:10-12
  • All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John, 14:25-27
  • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile. – Jeremiah 29:11-14
  • But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
  • I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you. – Isaiah 43:2

Bible Verses When You Need Motivation to Pursue a Goal

Sometimes, the Bible can serve as a resource to give you an added push or motivation. Read these verses when you are seeking motivation.

  • Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. – Colossians 3:23-24
  • All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. – Proverbs 14:23
  • You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. – Proverbs 128:2
  • Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. – Ecclesiastes 9:10
  • Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense. – Proverbs 12:11
  • Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. – Romanas 12:11-12
  • Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. -Psalm 1:1-3
  • For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.   “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. -Psalm 91:11-16

Bible Verses When You Want to Celebrate

If you have something you are proud of or happy about, there are many Bible verses that can help you mark them moment. Here are some of the best Bible verses for when you are feeling celebratory.

  • The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17
  • You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. – Psalm 16:11
  • Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. – Ecclesiastes 9:7
  • Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness. – Psalm 96:11-13
  • Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. – James 1:17-18
church online giving

Church Online Giving: What Is Online Giving and How Does it Help? | NewFire Giving

By | Resources

Every year, fewer people are carrying cash in their pockets. Meanwhile, roughly 95% of Americans are using cellphones. These two facts alone are enough to lay out a strong argument for online giving. With the trend of online giving seeing a substantial increase year-over-year, rising 23% in 2017 alone, there's no doubt that your church could benefit from opening your doors to this new, favored form of gifting. Of course, for many churches, the concept seems foreign, impersonal, and perhaps even intimidating. If you find yourself facing these same hesitations, this information might just change your mind.

The Rise of Online Giving

Last year, millions of people made a donation online. According to Double The Donation, “Online giving grew by 12.1% over the past year.” This is a number that continues to grow season over season as more organizations begin to open their doors to the concept of virtual gifting. Of course, if your church hasn't jumped on board yet, you're not the only ones. Many churches have hesitations surrounding online giving. How will people respond? Is it difficult to implement? Will your congregation even use it? These are the most common questions ministries find themselves asking. Fortunately, answers are not hard to find.

When it comes to response, there is no doubt your congregation will welcome online giving. After all, NP Source says “54% of donors worldwide prefer to give online with a credit or debit card.” The main reasons are that it's simply faster and more convenient than “traditional” gifting. With so few people carrying cash, it's much quicker to use credit or debit card than it is to go to the ATM and make a donation in person. Likewise, online giving allows people to make donations outside of church, which widens the window of opportunity from just one day out of the week for most church-goers to literally anytime.

This greater accessibility is also what encourages adoption for most congregations. As your church becomes familiar with the online giving platform you choose to use, you can find more ways to reach your church-goers and garner their support. With online giving enabled, you can suddenly begin campaigning in whole new ways. Is your youth group fundraising for their next mission trip? Now you can collect donations on your website, across social media, and even through text-to-give campaigns.

This opens the doors for many church-goers who do not regularly bring in cash donations for sermons or make recurring donations via mail. Online giving will make doing so easier for those who are interested in supporting more frequently but find the lack of flexibility a barrier to doing so. Still not convinced? Consider these benefitsof online giving.

It reaches almost every generation

If you think that online giving will only get utilized or appreciated by the youngest members of your congregation, think again. Almost every generation has adopted technology, especially mobile phones. Moreover, most of them are already familiar with the concept of online giving and many regularly participate in online giving campaigns themselves.

Roughly 84% of Millennials donate to charity, responding best to social media and text messages. Meanwhile, Gen Z is close behind with email campaigns prompting almost 1/3 of this generation's online giving. Almost 60% also say social media content inspires their donations.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Baby Boomers also use online giving. They're most likely to answer calls and check email, but they're also active on social media and use text messaging. Nearly 3/4 of them donate to charity, and “24% of Boomers say they were promoted to give an online donation because of direct mail they received.” Even the Greatest Generation–still representing almost 12% of people within the United States– remains strong gifters. While they're most likely to give physically, this generation always answers calls and many use email, too.

It is easy, flexible, and intuitive

Online giving doesn't just happen online. In fact, there are many ways to bring online donations to your church. Giving kiosks are a popular solution, blending the accessibility of credit card donations with the personalized connection of a physical act. These kiosks can integrate with your giving software and get placed into your church for easy gifting in-person.

At home, your congregation can use this same software to give not only through your website but also through text-to-give campaigns or a mobile app. These options make it an extremely flexible addition to your church's infrastructure and help encourage adoption across your congregation, too. Whether or not a person is tech-minded, they will have an easy time navigating through today's intuitive gifting interfaces.

It adds security and simplicity to your church

While the purpose of online gifting is not to get your church-goers to transition from physical donations to virtual ones, it will greatly increase the number of virtual donations your money gets. Not only does this help to increase your overall flow of donations–especially by encouraging and enabling recurring donations–it will also help make managing your church's finances easier and more secure overall.

When people give physical money, that money has to pass through many hands before it makes it into your church's account. The same goes for checks, which can undoubtedly become lost or damage and, in general, just be a hassle to cash. In this sense, online gifting isn't just more convenient for your congregation, it's much easier for your church's staff as well. Suddenly, bookkeeping becomes so much simpler when you have an online gifting program doing much of the work for you in the form of automated reports.

Along these same lines, getting online donations gives your church a much better snapshot of your financial outlook. Online recurring donations, in particular, help your church look ahead at the coming months to see how many church-goers are already committed to making a donation and in what amount. This can help your church better prepare for and plan expansions and outreach campaigns that are vital to your continued growth and success.

Adopting Online Giving for Your Church

Do not think of online giving as a replacement for cash donations or even checks or mailed monetary gifts. Rather, online giving is a new way to give for those who do not prefer the former. Opening up the opportunity for online giving lowers barriers for those who find it a hassle to give through cash or check, be it in person or through the mail. For most congregations today, this is most people–meaning enabling online giving could quickly increase how many donations you have coming in. Additionally, online giving makes setting up recurring donations that much simpler for those who want to do so.

Of course, another area of concern for most churches is the actual implementation. A simple yet functional solution is necessary for multiple reasons. First, it ensures that your church's staff will find it easy to set up and utilize the features of your online giving platform. Second, it ensures that your church-goers will also find the interface simple enough to use and, ultimately, enjoyable to interact with.

Another consideration is branding or the option for personalization and customization. Since you do not want to lose that sense of connection, being able to completely customize the interface to match your church's current website and design is paramount to widespread adoption across your congregation. If you choose a platform that seamlessly integrates into the existing design of your website and represents your unique church, it will definitely help you maintain the personalized feel in every interaction people have with the system.

With these things in mind, you are likely searching for that perfect solution, which means this is the ideal time to look at what NewFire Giving can offer your church. Here are some details about the NewFire Giving platform and ways it can help your ministry step forward and better connect with today's church-goers.

Empower Your Church With Ignite Coaching

NewFire Giving is excited to offer free, detailed instruction for churches on how they can increase donations year after year. This knowledge is truly empowering for organizations just like yours and includes the methods you need to follow in order to excite your congregation and ignite that passion for giving within your church-goers.

In just nine short video modules, your church will receive a wealth of priceless information at no cost. We also include templates that you can put into place to begin seeing growth quickly. We welcome all churches into this free series, regardless of whether you plan to pursue the implementation of NewFire Giving for your ministry. Learn more here.

At NewFire Giving, we believe that empowering your church with up-to-date information, tips, and tactics is one of the most powerful things we can do to help boost your congregation's involvement and support. That is why we prioritize education throughout every stage of the process, including (and especially) for churches who have already chosen to implement NewFire Giving software into their church.

If you choose NewFire Giving, you won't just receive our powerful online giving software. You will also receive personalized mentoring to help improve the financial health of your church. Our giving technology and experience will help your church see an increase in both one-time donations and automated recurring gifts.

Open The Doors to Online Giving With Proven Technology

To prove beneficial and effective, the online giving software your church chooses has to be convenient, easy, and intuitive for all of your users. Our simple SecureGive Software is all of these things and more. With three ways for your congregation to give, there is no confusion or hassle.

First, they can donate through your website using any browser. Our software is fully compatible with the latest operating systems and looks great no matter what device your users happen to be accessing your website from, be it their computer, tablet, or mobile phone. That means it offers the essential responsiveness and flexibility you need.

Second, they can donate through their mobile phone by using our secure text-to-give software. By texting the amount they wish to give to a short, memorable number, you can receive a donation in just seconds. All information is collected through a secure form that uses bank-level security.

Third, you can receive donations through a kiosk. These new and exciting form of gifting bridges the gap between quick forms of payment like credit cards and the need for that in-person connection and availability. Our software allows you to utilize every form of online gifting in use today, helping you to reach the largest number of people at your church in a way that is accessible and familiar to them.

Schedule Your Discovery Call

We believe in building a one-on-one connection with an understanding of each church that is interested in NewFire Giving technology. That is why we encourage you to schedule a discovery call with our team. During this 30-minute conversation, we will answer all of your questions while learning more about your church's current financial need and approach to gifting.

We are so confident in our technology and coaching that we guarantee your church will see at least a 10% increase in online giving within the next six months. Give us a few moments of your time and we will be able to identify the roadblocks in your current approach and assess your alignment with today's era of giving. With that, we will go ahead and give you three steps that your church can follow immediately to begin increasing your donations–all in one phone call. Click here to book your free conversation.

donation letter

Donation Letter: How to Write the Perfect Donation Letter | NewFire Giving

By | Resources

No matter what your organization’s goals may be, finding ways to secure funding is imperative to the success of your campaign. One of the most effective methods of securing funds is by writing a donation letter to potential donors. Nevertheless, when performing a Google search, finding the best methods of formulating a great donation letter can be a bit tricky.

What is a Donation Letter?

A donation letter is a typed or hand-written letter sent to potential donors in order to raise funds for your organization or cause. These letters typically appeal to the emotions of potential donors by explaining how achieving the goals of your organization can help the world as well as why receiving financial donations is imperative to reaching those goals. Although you can write and send donation letters all-year round, experts assert that donation letters are most effective when you send them towards the end of the year, as many individuals and organizations are determining their pre-tax season finances. Either way, a good donation letter is short and concise, while also including specifics regarding the importance of the mission as well as the requested donation.

Types of Donation Letters

There are various types of donation letters. The type of donation letter you write should depend on the type of donor you are contacting. The types of donation letters are as follows:

Church Building Fund Requests– This type of donation letter is specifically for churches who are seeking donations from existing members and supporters. The purpose of these letters is to remind the donor of the benefits the church has and will continue to provide as well as how important it is to secure funding to continue to offer these services in the future.

  • Charity Auction Item Requests– Rather than simply requesting funds, charity auction item request letters are to help convince potential owners to donate items to charity auctions.
  • Fundraising Event Donations– This purpose of type of donation letter is to request either donations to help organize a charity event or that the person attends the event to donate or sends a donation to contribute to the event.
  • Sponsorship Request Letters– Sponsorship requests are made for the purpose of securing funding for events and other initiatives. In this case, the organization typically offers the potential donors something in exchange for their sponsorship. For instance, many organizations offer to give the sponsors things such as VIP access, free advertising at the event as well as on event-related materials, or even having the event named after them, so the community is aware of which individual or entities sponsored the event.
  • Mission Trip Funding Requests– This is similar to a sponsorship letter. However, mission trip funding requests are created to fund particular missions and excursions, rather than events.
  • Missionary Support– This type of donation letter requests support for particular missionaries who are actively working towards a goal that stands to help a particular community as well as the world at large.

Individual Vs. Corporate Appeals

In addition to knowing your purpose, before you write a donation letter, you must also consider who you will be writing to. Drafting a letter for an individual requires a different technique then when drafting a letter for a corporation or group of people:

  • Individual Appeals– Individual appeals are for individual donors and typically request small one-time or recurring monetary donations. These appeals typically appeal to the sentimentality of the individual by telling them more about the cause and how even small donations can make a major difference.
  • Corporate Appeals– These appeals are for businesses of all sizes. Unlike individual donation appeals, these appeals are typically written to request things such as sponsorship, in-kind donations (such as meals, raffle prizes, employee volunteers, or even the use of a venue for a charity event), to collect employee gift-matches, and more. These types of appeals typically focus on how the donor company stands to benefit. For instance, by providing T-shirts for the volunteers for the event, a company can receive a high level of promotion by including their name and logo on every shirt.

How to Write an Effective Donation Letter

Without proper guidance, writing a donation letter can be tricky. Given the fact that donation letters help to secure funding, finding the perfect way to word them can literally make or break the proposal. If you need help formulating your donation letter, be sure to include the following:

  • Header– Your header should include the name of your non-profit as well as your logo, if applicable.
  • Non-Profit Contact Info– Make sure you include the physical address of your organization, the company’s email address, phone number, and any social media pages.
  • Date– Decide on what date your plan to mail or email your donation letter(s).
  • Donor Salutation– The first impression can be a lasting one. Your greeting sets the tone for your entire donation letter. Decide whether you want to be more formal or personable. You can either stick to the tone of your organization or personalize these greetings based on the brand/ style of the donors.
  • Acknowledgment of Relationship to Donor/ Organization– To add a personalized touch, take the time to remind the donor of the nature of the relationship and/or how their past donations have helped your organization. For instance, when writing to an individual, you could include something along the lines of, “last year, with the help of you and an array of other awesome donors, we were able to achieve…”. On the other hand, when writing to businesses, you may write something along the lines of, “your company has become a recognized staple at our fundraisers and with your help, we will continue to achieve our organizational goals”.
  • The Story of Your Non-Profit– As a general rule, you will want to steer clear of salesy language as it can often be off-putting in this context. However, the section involving the story of your non-profit is your one chance to sell your company. This is the area to help you connect to the donors on an emotional level. In a donation letter, your story should include: the need (explain why the donations are needed), the solution (give a vivid description of what the success of your campaign will entail), and the hero (to help your donors realize how important they are to you, be sure to make your donors the hero in the story every time!).
  • Call-to-Action– Creating a call to action is one of the most important elements of your donation letter as this is the section in which you literally ask for the sale. One of the more effective ways of doing this is by including a call-to-action with time restraints. For instance, in the case of individual donors, you may want to include some special item or benefit for the first respondents (i.e. the first 50 donors will receive V.I.P. access to all events in June). On the other hand, when dealing with corporate donors, you may include something along the lines of, “first 5 companies to donate will have their company names on all merchandise distributed at the event”. In doing so, you have not only given your potential donors a number of reasons why they should donate but you have also added one that will encourage them to do so quickly.

More Tips for Creating a Great Donation Letter

After learning the specifics of what a great donation letter entails, here are a few tips and tricks to help you make your donation letter as effective as possible:

  • Keep it Short– Despite the fact that you need to include the aforementioned sections, you should still make your donation as short as possible. In this age, you should assume that most people are too busy to read a massive document just to learn about and support your organization. Keep it as succinct as possible to avoid losing your audience.
  • Don’t Forget the Self-Addressed Envelope– Self-Addressed envelopes add an extra special touch when you are attempting to raise funds. Including this envelope will be yet another way to encourage them to write a check and mail it back ASAP.
  • Include a Legitimate Hand-Written Signature (If Possible)– While printing your signature is fine, you really should try to include a legitimately hand-written signature to make it seem much more personal. Especially when dealing with donors from the past and/or donors who have the capacity to donate large amounts of funds to your cause, you will want to take the time to hand write your signature. This will help them to feel like you have reached out to them personally, rather than inserting their name into a template letter that you have sent to all potential donors.
  • Don’t Forget the P.S.- Including a P.S. is a great way to reiterate your call-to-action. Experts assert that most people read the P.S. second, after reading the salutation.

Creating a donation letter does not have to be a nightmare. For more help creating the perfect campaign for your charity, contact the experts at NewFire today. No matter if your organization needs coaching, resources, or anything in between, NewFire Giving is a great company to help you set your charity campaign trail ablaze.

 

Church Marketing

Church Marketing: 10 Tips to Create an Effective Church Marketing Plan | NewFire Giving

By | Make HOW they give easy

Is attendance at your church down? You’re not alone. The most recent statistics show a 4-point drop in near-weekly attendance — from 42% to 38% between 2008 and 2017. But that doesn’t mean a smaller congregation is inevitable. Instead, look at why people choose to attend church and the reasons they skip services. Ask what your church can do to meet their needs and overcome their objections. Base your church marketing plan on this information. And apply the following proven strategies to reach the people who are receptive to finding a place of worship to call their own.

1.     Develop Your Brand

Branding has evolved. It’s no longer just logos, graphics, jingles, and catch-phrases. Though it may incorporate all or some of those features. Your brand tells people who you are and creates a unique identity. This sets you apart from other churches. It also conveys your ideas, what you stand for, and how you interact with the world around you.

Turn to your church leaders to help determine your brand identity. Discuss the values your church represents and the audience you hope to reach and engage. Seek survey feedback from congregants to learn what they perceive to be your brand.

Once you’ve created a brand for your church, express it. Design a logo, use pictures, tell a story, and live it out every day. Add a slogan if it fits naturally with your brand.

Sample Brand: Your branding involves community outreach. So, your slogan is “Raising up our community through good deeds and God’s word.” A graphic of several people arm-in-arm in front of a townscape is your new logo. You display many photos of your community outreach projects on your website and in your marketing materials to reinforce brand meaning.

Authenticity is essential in your branding. Be sure it truly reflects what’s important to your church, your congregation, and your community.

2.     Establish a Branding Presence

Spread your branding online and offline. Make it a part of your website. Place your logo prominently at the head of all your webpages. Add your slogan, too, if you have one. Explain your values and tell your branding story on your “About Us” page. Over time, you can add photos and videos that show how your church is fulfilling your branding efforts and goals.

Display your branding at your church through signage and banners. Branded outdoor canopies or awnings are smart marketing tools. They’re elegant and understated but are present year-round. When designed well, they give your church added curb appeal and draw the eye. Have them embossed with your logo and/or slogan to help establish brand memorability.

Carry the logo, slogan, and any other branding graphics and colors over to your printed materials, too. This includes:

  • Church signs
  • Service programs
  • Newsletters
  • Business cards
  • Church letterhead
  • Envelopes
  • Pledge cards
  • Door hangers
  • Postcards
  • Bible Study guides/questionnaires

Wherever your church is present, so too should be your branding.

3.     Embrace Social Media

  • Social media marketing is a cost-effective approach that can meet multiple objectives:
  • Reinforce your branding efforts
  • Strengthen your church relationship with current congregants
  • Help you reach new parishioners
  • Support SEO strategies

These platforms offer numerous ways to teach, reach out, and interact with a wider audience. Post uplifting messages, Bible verses, and links to your blog, vlog and community events. Even spark discussions on relevant topics. But don’t limit yourself to text. Consider images, video, audio, and live streaming. Many churches live stream their services. This is very helpful for congregants whose poor health prevents them from attending in person. Invite your followers and fans to get to know your church and the people behind it better. Spotlight different individuals each week. Link to bios, photos, and media for a more engaging experience.

Facebook is an excellent platform for these various strategies. Instagram gives people those all-important visuals. And Twitter is a great option for sparking conversation and sharing graphics, quotes, and church updates. You should also buy paid social media ads that target specific demographics. This helps you focus on potential congregants who may be most receptive to your church’s values and messaging.

4.     Don’t Ignore Traditional Marketing Methods

Offline marketing may be old-school, but it still works. Some suggestions follow:

  • Buy ad time from local radio and TV stations.
  • Post ads in local newspapers and community magazines.
  • Invest in promotional items printed with your church name and logo:
  • Screen printed shirts and caps
  • Notebooks
  • Pencils and pens
  • Lanyards
  • Mugs and water bottles
  • Distribute windshield flyers and door hangers.
  • Mail out postcards.
  • Hire billboard space.

Make an effort to identify your target audience before investing in print ads and media ad space. You shouldn’t market to everyone. Religion and spirituality are very personal experiences. People choose churches to attend based on very specific needs and desires. Do your research and tailor your traditional advertising efforts to the people who are most likely to respond to your church’s values, messages, and style.

5.     Reach Out with Email Newsletters

2018 Pew Research survey questioned Americans on what motivated them to either attend church or skip it. The top reason for attendance, at 81%, was to become closer to God. This was following by teaching their children about faith, becoming better people, and finding comfort during difficult times. There are probably many people in your flock who attend your church sporadically. Give them reasons to return to your church more often.

A newsletter can reinforce the lessons, scripture, and sense of communal support church services offer. Include transcripts of your sermons. Add notes to better illustrate your meaning. Highlight Sunday School classes and other kids’ activities that may encourage parents to bring in their children. Include uplifting quotes and messages that remind them of God’s grace in times of strife. In this way, you help them strengthen the purpose they find in church. In turn, it will boost attendance rates and encourage word-of-mouth referrals.

6.     Launch Community Outreach Efforts

Churches often play vital roles in their communities. Having a positive impact in your town represents God’s words and deeds. These actions reinforce the good word and deliver a powerful message to all. They also touch community members you may otherwise not reach. If your church isn’t very involved in your city, consider some of the following suggestions to fix that.

Advocacy for the Less Fortunate

  • Help the homeless.
  • Give clothing and supplies to women’s shelters.
  • Visit with Assisted Living residents.
  • Establish a food bank.

Volunteer Work

  • Organize a neighborhood clean-up event.
  • Donate time in a food kitchen.
  • Help build homes with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Host educational seminars.
  • Support veterans’ issues.
  • Ask members of your congregation to volunteer their professional services to the underprivileged. Examples include tax help, carpentry, plumbing, financial counseling, salon services, and auto work.

Sponsorships/Partnerships

  • Youth sports teams
  • Local Humane Society or Pet Rescue organization
  • Recreation centers
  • Local Book Shops

Fun Stuff

  • Kids’ events
  • Cookouts
  • Free car washes
  • Easter Egg Hunt

Bridge Events

Show secular individuals and non-church members that God’s love is all-inclusive through action rather than scripture. Organize a bridge event demonstrating that your church welcomes and uplifts everyone.

  • School supplies giveaway
  • Block party
  • Parenting classes
  • Holiday events
  • Recycling drive
  • Concert
  • Carnival
  • Wellness program
  • Free community swim day

Hold these events at venues off church grounds and avoid religious themes.

7.     Spotlight Your Events

Hosting church activities and holding community outreach events are great works. They’ll also help with your church marketing efforts. But only if you get the word out. Get your congregation involved. Hold contests or raffles as incentives for bringing friends, relatives, co-workers, and neighbors to an event. Use those traditional marketing methods to get the word out. Advertise your event in the community paper and on radio stations. Post banners and other signage. Don’t forget to highlight upcoming events in your newsletter and on your website. And be sure to post information and updates on your social media accounts with links to your site.

8.     Apply the Personal Touch

Just getting people in the door is not enough to build a bigger congregation. You must give them a welcoming experience that encourages them to return. You need to engage your visitors and learn what they respond to. Start with a warm, personal greeting. Don’t forget to provide sign-in cards to gather contact information. This will give you the data you need to follow-up with some of your other marketing efforts.

Provide small gifts to new visitors, like the promotional items identified in the Traditional Marketing section. Books and gift cards for area businesses also make nice gifts. Include informational brochures about your church, events, and community outreach efforts. Offer snacks and beverages to encourage fellowship before and after your service.

Follow-up with your new visitors right away with a personalized thank you card. Then email them a few days later. Request feedback on the service and ask them if they have any suggestions to make them feel welcome. A week later, send an Evite to attend another service or upcoming event.

Pro Tips:

  • Use welcome and directional signage to help visitors find your church and locate adequate parking.
  • Don’t overwhelm your visitors by asking for too much information on the sign-in cards – just name, mailing address, phone number, and email.
  • Be sure your follow-up correspondence includes your website address so they can look up more information about your church.

9.     Take Advantage of Local SEO Strategies

In the 2018 Pew Research study, researchers asked what kept some respondents from attending church. Almost a quarter of those respondents said they haven’t found one they like. If people in your community are searching for a church home, will they find yours? Local SEO can increase the possibility that they will.

List your church on all the relevant online directories to help searchers find you. Some essential business listing services include Google, Facebook, Bing, and the Yellow Pages. Claim your Google My Business Listing online. Add pertinent details so searchers know where to find you, how to contact you, and when to visit. Include your branding with your logo and pictures. Once you’re up and running, invite congregants to leave reviews to make the most of this essential marketing tool.

10.     Maximize the Use of Digital Tools

Digital bulletin boards, mobile apps, podcasts, and mobile-optimized websites are examples of some of the digital tools that can support your church marketing efforts. Smartphone use has been growing rapidly. In the U.S., it’s currently at 248.68 million users. And it’s expected to grow to 270.66 million smartphone users by 2022. With those numbers, you need to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. And if you create a church app, you make it easier for more people to interact with your organization and participate in events.

Tithing in the Digital World

Declining church attendance isn’t the only downward trend in the church sphere. Among the people who do attend services regularly, tithing has been decreasing. About 17% of Americans claim they tithe. And only 3% to 5% of congregants who donate to their churches do so through tithing. That’s the same percentage of Americans who admit their tithing amounts have lessened. Your organization relies on these donations to perform all the essential function of a church. With increased charitable receipts, you can reach more people and do more good. This is another area where digital tools can be helpful. Software simplifies the process, enhances convenience, and gives congregants more donation options.

These church marketing tips will help you extend your reach and connect with new church members. With strategies that embrace both online and face-to-face methods, you have a better chance of interacting with different generations. And by establishing your brand, you effectively express the values and mission of your church to your community. Digital tools can support you in these efforts and allow you to focus more on spreading the gospel, helping your community, and maintaining a successful ministry. Our digital donation software is an excellent resource to help you meet these goals. Learn all about NewFire Giving – the giving software that pays for itself.

Engaging Every Type of Giver: Maximizing Success of Your Church

By | Clarify the WHY

Whether you are a pastor or a leader within your church, you know that it can be challenging to raise money while focusing on meaningful missions. Although you'll likely want to focus most of your energy on missions that benefit those in your community and beyond, these meaningful objectives require financial support.

Since each member of your congregation is a unique individual with his or her own habits when it comes to charitable giving, it rarely makes sense to use a one-size-fits-all approach to reach everyone. By understanding what motivates your audience, you can speak to their individual needs for the success of your church.

In some cases, people are sporadic givers, whereas others are consistent impact givers. Regardless of who walks into your church, here's how to engage each type of giver.

Want to Engage Different Types of Givers? Here's How

In order to receive consistent financial support, you must actively communicate with those in your church. Although you most likely see the majority of givers on Sundays, you're no longer limited to this one day in terms of engagement.

In today's digital world, it's imperative that you provide those in your church with multiple options and methods to give. Although there's software that will make this a reality, you also need to be clear in terms of your message. That is why you must first understand who it is you're speaking to based on each type of giver.

As you have likely noticed, there are a number of different givers that support your ministry. These include:

  • Reluctant givers who don't give at all or give rarely
  • Casual, sporadic givers who often give based on an emotional response
  • Regular givers who support the church on a consistent basis
  • Thoughtful, impact givers who go above and beyond in terms of their generosity
    While you'll want to take a specific approach with each giver, regardless of who you're speaking to, ensure that communication remains open and that you are consistent in terms of taking ownership. As a pastor, for instance, you'll want to be open about your church's budget and core objectives so that your members better understand the financial health of your ministry.

When aiming to target those who are reluctant to give or do not give often, it's important that you make these types of givers feel secure. Let them know that their contribution, no matter how small, will be put to good use — and that they matter in terms of the church's overall vision. The key is making people feel comfortable enough that they can ask questions — transparency is key.

Also, studies have shown that asking for a donation but then encouraging payment later can increase giving among reluctant givers.

In terms of those who are key donors, meaning those who contribute on a regular basis, it's important that you nurture these individuals. Of course, you'll want to show your appreciation and gratitude. However, you'll also want to encourage open dialogue. So, let them know how their contributions impact the church in terms of positive progression. Always tie their donation to a sense of purpose, and be open about the outcome, providing key details in terms of their generosity.

So, whether you're discussing the needs of the church with a new giver or an impact giver, know who you're speaking with in terms of their own emotions, motivations, and behaviors. In doing so, you will strengthen bonds all while funding key missions that benefit all.

If you're ready to reach more people, all you need is take 30 minutes of your time. We can help you increase your giving by at least 10 percent. Contact us today to learn more!

giving to the church

Giving to Receive – The Art of “Paying Back” Those Who Give

By | Resources

Everyone likes to think they are a generous person, but in fact giving can be very difficult for many people. One of the reasons why people do not give as much as they could is because they find that the process of giving provokes anxiety. Let's take a look at the psychological reasons why people find it difficult to give and explore ways to help givers overcome these barriers.

Lack of Information Leads to Anxiety

You might think that making a charitable donation would lead to people feeling satisfied and happy. However, many donors are left feeling anxious and uncertain after making a donation. This effect happens most often when donors do not have enough information about how the receiving organization plans to use the donation. They might feel like they have been tricked or that they have wasted their money if they have no idea how the money will be used. These feelings are unpleasant and are likely to lead to donors declining to donate again.

Inform Donors to Give Them a Good Feeling

When people know exactly how their money is helping a cause, they are more likely to feel satisfied and happy about their donation. This feeling of satisfaction could prompt the donor to give again in the future. The more information you can give, the better. Provide positive stories about the things that donations have allowed your organization to achieve.

Reward Donors for Giving

Even though we all like to think that we are generous people, it is human nature to want a reward for our good actions. Even a small or token reward can make the process of giving much more satisfying to donors. Rewards can even make the process fun, sparking feelings of wanting to give more in the donor.

Rewards You Can Give to Pay Back Those Who Give

Rewards for those who give do not have to be extravagant or expensive. Something as simple as a picture of the person or people the giver's donations have helped can make a huge difference. Pictures can help donors to connect with the causes they support and help them to feel as though they are part of something much larger than themselves.

Use Technology to Bring Rewards to Those Who Give

In the past, sending out pictures to people who give donations was time-consuming and expensive. Depending on the charity, this kind of reward-giving could eat up a significant chunk of the donations that are received. Thankfully, technology has made the process of engaging with those who give much easier. If you use a donation app or online campaign to raise money for your cause, you can quickly and easily send reward pictures to those who are subscribed to your app, web page, or mailing list.

How to Maximize Donations for Your Cause

To maximize donations for your cause, it is important to go the extra mile to keep those who give engaged and motivated to make a change. Never forget about those who support your organization. Whenever someone takes the time to make a donation, be sure to get in touch with them to let them know what impact their money will have. In this way, you can foster feelings of goodwill in your donors and make them more likely to continue to support your organization in the future.

Your Guide to Church Database Software

Your Guide to Church Database Software

By | Resources

While you may not realize it, finding the right technology to help you run your church can help ensure a congregation and an organization that thrive. There are lots of tech tools that can help a church function more smoothly, and one of the most important for any congregation to consider is church database software. Today, many churches have already adopted software to help manage their information, and studies expect that the adoption rate will grow by 9% by 2021. Church database software has a variety of functions and purposes and, depending on the solution you choose, can help you organize your marketing, fundraising, communication, growth efforts, and much more. Here is a helpful guide to church database software–what it is, how it works, and how it can help your congregation.

What Is Church Database Software?

Church database software helps church leaders organize and store important church information digitally. This software can do things like keep a list of active members and their information; track donors and donation amounts and automate processes such as email and written communication. Some church database software is specific and created for one specific task, like storing the contact information of contact members. Others are comprehensive, and allow you to manage fundraising, communication, and more all in one place.

One arena in which church database software can be extremely important is church fundraising. Church database software allows you to see who made donations and for how much. It allows you to see who can be solicited to give, who may be an untapped resource, and if there is someone whose gift amount may increase. it also automates all of these processes, so communication does not have to happen manually–it can be completed in the click of a button. Also, it can help automate giving, lowering the obstacles and barriers to donating and increasing the chances that people will donate.

Why Use Church Database Software?

You may realize that your church needs to harness today's technological solutions in order to stay relevant and grow. However, you may not completely understand the benefits of church database software for your congregation. After all, you're already thriving by keeping your membership information in a digitized spreadsheet. Why do you need a different software solution? Because there are some concrete benefits of using church database software that go beyond simply getting your tech products up to date. Here are some of the most important.

Get a Better Handle on Who Is in Your Congregation

You may think you know who your membership is. However, have you ever used tech solutions to actually understand the demographics of your congregation? If you use church database software, you can analyze data about the people who attend church. as well as how attendance has changed or grown, where people join from, the ages and professions of the people who belong, and more.

Understand Your Potential Workforce

Churches need volunteers and commitment in order to succeed. When you have software to see who is available to help, who has helped in the past, and what skills people have to share, you can clearly see the pool of people who can help the church and its events thrive and succeed.

Effectively Manage Physical Facilities

A church is a place of worship, but it is also a community center. Many church database software solutions allow you to manage information about your physical church building(s) as well. That way, you can manage the activities and happenings in each part of the building, and you can ensure that all events and activities have a space to be in, and an allotted time.

Church-Specific Software

There are many software solutions out there that allow you to keep track of lists of people or manage teams. One of the best parts of using church database software is that it has been designed specifically for churches. Because the software is church-specific, it offers features that make sense for congregations, as well as church goals, leadership structure, and more. Church-specific software lets you track the right information about members so that you can understand what congregation members bring to the table and need in order to stay happy as a member.

Types of Church Database Software

There are lots of church database software solution options. They vary in purpose, type, power, and more. Here are some of the types you can find for your congregation.

Comprehensive Church Management Software

Some solutions for churches are comprehensive. This means that they allow you to store data, manage facilities, handle communication, and more in one place. These solutions tend to be broad and comprehensive, but sometimes lack capabilities in certain areas, like fundraising or data analysis.

Contact Management Software

You need to be able to get in touch with your membership easily. For that reason, some companies have created software solutions that are simply for managing the contact information of members. These solutions store contact info and let you automate the process of doing mailings or writing emails.

Fundraising-Focused Software

Some of the best church database software is intended to improve fundraising. These software solutions store member data and information, including contact info, ino about their giving, and more. That way, you can keep track of who has given, when, and how much, and then make it easy for these people to give again (and for new donors to give, as well).

Consider the Top Church Database Software Solution for Fundraising: NewFire Giving

If you are ready to adopt a church database software solution for your congregation, consider choosing NewFire Giving. NewFire Giving is a software option specifically created to help improve fundraising efforts.

NewFire Giving allows you to easily and digitally store and keep track of important information about donors and donations. However, it also has a slew of tech features that simultaneously can improve your fundraising efforts. First, it allows for giving via any internet browser, so no member has to be at church in order to donate. It also has features that allow donors to text-to-give, making it easy for them to make donations from the comfort of their own smartphone. Finally, you can use the program on hardware, so that if donors are more comfortable giving at church or a church-related event, you can have devices ready for people to use.

NewFire Giving allows you to keep comprehensive records about donors, so you can understand where and how your church can raise the money it needs to operate and thrive. NewFire Giving also comes with support and educational resources, so you can make sure you are taking full advantage of the power of the platform, and that you are tackling your general fundraising and growth efforts in the best way possible.

To learn more about NewFire Giving and how it might benefit your church, reach out to us today. We can help you see how it can enable you to more effectively manage your financial information and more easily grow your congregation.

texting donations

5 Reasons to Accept Donations Via Text Messages

By | Resources

Around the world, technology has opened new doors to connect with your congregation. It may have begun with digital outreach, but now it goes far beyond that. Text-to-give software is a new way that technology is enabling more support and involvement.

And it's doing it in a way that speaks to today's generation of parishioners. With a congregation spanning young and old, text-to-give is a method of giving that will speak to almost every generation of your church.

Of course, many churches are apprehensive when it comes to adopting new technology. If you're wondering whether text-to-give software is worth implementing, here are five statistics that might convince you.

1. Over 97 Percent of Adults Text Every Week

The simplicity and familiarity of text-to-give are definitely its biggest benefits. With most, if not all, of your church members already texting regularly, there's no doubt that they'll be able to catch on fast.

Over 97 percent of adults text at least once a week. That means the adoption of a text-to-give campaign is seamless with no learning curve or barriers. Participating only takes a few clicks. In fact, the easy donation process is one of the best aspects you can market when pushing your campaign to the congregation.

No clunky forms or overwhelming steps. It's extremely straightforward. That's what places text-to-give as one of the biggest methods of donating — especially over long distances and to urgent causes. Churches, in particular, stand to benefit from the implementation of this method thanks to its sheer accessibility. People crave simplicity, and text-to-give provides it.

2. The Average Response Time Is Only 90 Seconds

On average, 90 percent of text messages get opened within three minutes. The average response time once opened is roughly 90 seconds — compared to 90 minutes for email. With 91 percent of Americans owning a smartphone, there is no doubt that texting is highly accessible. Plus, with push notifications, it's highly unlikely that the recipient will miss your text messages. Surveys say that 7 out of 10 churchgoers use text messaging.

All of this makes for extremely high open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Compared to email, a text message is more likely to get opened overall and more likely to get opened quickly. It also makes for straightforward, easy action. Most of all, you can better control when donors receive your messages as push notifications get sent immediately upon receipt. That is unlike email inboxes, which can sit for hours or even days before donors check back in or take any action.

This all links to the high efficiency of text-to-donate campaigns. Plus, using a responsive design can help double giving by making the giving process even faster and more seamless.

3. Nearly Half of All Mobile Pledges Come From Text Links

Mobile pledges make up a large portion of giving. In fact, mobile giving has gone up by 80 percent since 2013. Because of its popularity, by simply making sure your website is mobile-responsive, you could increase donations by 126 percent.

With that in mind, you can drive even more mobile pledges by using direct text messages. After all, about 49 percent of mobile pledges originate from links sent via text. Call centers drive the other 51 percent of mobile pledges. But as times change, the world of giving is certainly starting to shift in favor of text-to-donate instead.

If you do not already enable mobile giving by having a responsive website, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. This is the first step in driving more engagement across all generations of your congregation. There's no question why.

Not only do the majority of Americans change addresses every year, nullifying direct mail efforts, but they also use less cash and fewer checks. It is essential that your congregation has a way to give using cards, with card being the preferred method of payment for over 80 percent of them.

4. Text-to-donate Campaigns Average $107 per Person

Don't get fooled into thinking that a text-to-donate campaign will only drive mediocre results. Implementing a text-to-donate campaign will certainly prove worth it, with donations averaging $107 per person.

So, knowing the numbers, it's surprising that the average nonprofit organization only has 63 mobile subscribers for every 1,000 email subscribers. While texts have a great response rate and high accessibility, organizations just haven't begun to take full advantage of this powerful form of outreach.

It's definitely worth investing in growing your SMS list if you haven't yet. Since 57 percent of people who view a video of a nonprofit end up making a donation, there is no doubt that you can find interesting ways to market your church on social media and other platforms to help encourage text donations.

You can also help create a sense of urgency for campaigns or cultivate a stronger sense of community by using text as a means of updating donors on progress. For instance, if fundraising for something specific, you can send progress reports along the way that point out both how much you have raised so far and how much more you need.

Continue to thank recipients who have given by making them feel included and pointing out how their contribution has fueled the progress. Encourage recipients who haven't yet donated to participate in the campaign. To do so, emphasize why it's important that you meet your funding goal or get their support.

5. You Can Target Your Messaging Using Demographics

With a list of SMS donors to share your campaigns with, you'll find that building up your database is easy. A simple text-to-give donation form can gather extra details for you, including a donor's full name and email address. You can also get other information from your donors, collecting notes about how much they give, how often they give, and how long it's been since they last donated.

In turn, you will get to target your messaging based on these details, which will lead to even better results. Since the majority of your donations will come directly from individuals, you will find that collecting certain demographic information to build up your database is extremely beneficial.

For instance, about 15 percent of donors give once a month or more. However, this seemingly small percentage accounts for over half of the money organizations receive. A branded giving page makes a donor 42 percent more likely to opt into recurring giving. That bumps the average household donation from $1,250 on a non-recurring basis to $1,788 with a recurring donation. That's a small difference to the donor that adds up to $538.

Knowing your donors well can help you find opportunities to convert one-time donors into recurring donors. Plus, it gives you the chance to better connect with donors who are already giving at least once a month.

You can also time donation requests better with personalized information. For instance, many churches send requests during the last three days of every year when 10 percent of all charitable giving takes place. However, you could see better results by timing donation requests based around on how frequently a person donates or whether or not they gave in the past.

This provides you with many of the great benefits seen with email marketing, but wraps it all up in a highly convenient text message that donors will not hesitate to open. One study finds texts have an open rate more than four times greater than email.

Stay Connected

As your church welcomes new generations and their families, it's essential that you find ways to stay connected with every member of your congregation. Text-to-give software is one way to do just that. By giving your members a new way to connect with and support your church's programs, you're making the donation process simpler and more accessible.

We are so sure of the effectiveness of our text-to-give software that we promise to increase your donations by 10 percent or more in the next six months. All we need is a 30-minute consultation to get your organization started.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to NewFire Giving today.

Online Donations

Online Donations: Technology Doesn't Inspire People to Give

By | Make HOW they give easy, Resources

So many companies these days have lost touch with the communities and causes they're trying to reach. Many of them are selling the idea that technology is the answer to increasing donations to your church. However, we've found that the bells and whistles that come with church apps and websites don't inspire people to invest in your ministry.

While these are essential channels to have, opening them up in itself doesn't encourage giving. Rather, they provide the people you have inspired to give a means by which to do so. Of course, if adding a button on your website or starting a text-to-give campaign won't increase giving, what will?

Do You Need Online Donation Channels?

Gone are the days of passing around an offertory basket and collecting enough to cover your church's everyday operations. While your congregation may still make offerings on Sunday, there's no doubt that this method is growing increasingly less common. But it's not because of people's unwillingness to give.

In 2018, church giving experienced an increase of an incredible 18.1 percent. That means, amongst all forms of charitable giving, churches have seen the largest increase. This speaks to people's continued and growing desire to support their local community churches. So, why aren't your offertory baskets paying the bills any longer?

The reason is simple. Times are changing, and so are the ways people handle money. For 80 percent of Americans, debit and credit cards are the go-to way to pay for everything they want and need. Year over year, cash and checks have seen less and less usage.

One study found that 50 percent of people carry cash with them less than half the time when they go out. When people do carry cash, over three in four say they keep less than $50 on them. Almost half said they keep less than $20. An incredible 46 percent of people say they use cash fewer than eight times a month, while 5 percent never use it at all.

There's no getting around it. While Americans are continuing to spend and give, they're doing it in different ways than before. This is why you need to begin opening up new channels to receive donations in a way that is more convenient for your congregation.

That will open doors for potentially higher donations from those who currently donate in cash. And it will also give way for other members to donate who may not do so regularly due to the inaccessibility of cash and check donations. With that in mind, you shouldn't look to replace the traditional ways of giving.

Online Donations Are Only Supplementary

You shouldn't see online donations as a way to replace the traditional ways of giving. While not everyone may put money in the basket as it's passed from one pew to the next, there are members of your congregation who will happily do so.

It's important to realize that each member of your congregation has a preferred form of giving. Some will prefer the offertory basket, but limiting your entire congregation to this method requires the great majority of them to go well out of their way in order to donate. They'd have to find an ATM or visit the bank, get out cash, and carry it with them each week if they were to regularly participate in giving.

This makes for inconsistent and inconvenient donations that don't tend to please donors. That's why you need to add new channels that expand the ways by which people can donate to your church. In doing so, you give members young and old a refreshing way to give that's simpler for them.

Do Not Limit Your Church to One Channel

Having several channels is, by far, the most effective way to see church giving stats increase. Text-to-give is certainly one of the most popular forms of online donations today thanks to its high availability amongst nearly all generations. But having a simple online form is also essential for web-based donations on both desktop and mobile.

In fact, adding a donation button to your website can increase giving. Also, optimizing that page for mobile can increase pledges by 126 percent on average. These are major results that will make a major impact on your church. However, as suggested earlier, simply adding a new donation button or making a form mobile-friendly isn't enough to make people donate in and of itself.

How to Increase Giving Through New Channels

Opening up a new donation channel is a fantastic first step to increasing giving amongst your congregation. But it's not the only thing that needs to happen. In order for people to actually start taking advantage of the new channels you open, you need to do some basic outreach and accomplish a few things.

1. Make Your Congregation Aware of the Channels

Your congregation should know all of the ways they can give to your church so that they can easily decide which one is best for them. There are many ways to inform your congregation about all of the methods you have available. Featuring them on your website in an obvious spot is a good method, but you should also try more direct methods.

In order to reach as many members of your congregation as possible, consider the ways in which you contact donors (and potential donors) who may not visit your website. Think about your social media channels and, perhaps even more so, within the church itself.

Announcing the exciting launch of a new donation channel before or after a service is a good way to promote adoption of your channel. You should also hang posters and/or flyers within your church's entryway, informing all members of your congregation about the various ways they can give.

2. Educate Your Congregation on How the Channels Work

The great thing about text-to-give software and similar donation channels is how simple it truly is for everyone to get involved. It's as easy as texting a short number, clicking a link, and filling out an extremely short, simple form with payment details. But illustrating the real ease of this process is key to getting donors to try it for themselves. Once they do, they'll get hooked on its speed and straightforward nature.

Of course, before they ever try the donation channels for themselves, you will usually have to demonstrate all of these things for them. You will need to make certain that all of your potential donors know why they should choose to use this new channel. They should know what exactly they need to do in order to start taking advantage of it.

A great way to do this is through simple social media posts showing a short video walk-through or even photos that illustrate how the channel works and what it looks like. Short descriptions accompanied by clear, branded imagery will do wonders for educating your congregation.

3. Keep in Touch With Your Donors and Potential Donors

As a church, you already seek to build a rapport with each and every person who comes through your doors. This is where your marketing practices should really begin to shine. If you are doing things correctly, you will be able to collect key information about your donors through the various channels they interact with you on.

This is important because it allows you to get to know your donors better, thus allowing you to provide them with better service. It also helps you direct the right messaging their way when it comes to fundraising and other campaigns at your church.

Collecting information about every donor, ranging from their name to their birthday, will help you better personalize your messaging to them. In turn, they will be able to build a stronger connection with you and you with them.

These notes will help you maintain the personal connection that many think gets lost when they switch from in-person giving to online giving. Going the extra mile to help make sure that your church members feel individually appreciated, valued, and recognized will do wonders for encouraging regular giving and support in general.

4. Design Cause-driven Campaigns

One of the best ways to get a person to donate is by setting a goal and specifying a cause. To get more church members actively supporting your church and its programs, you can set up various campaigns throughout the year that have a finite goal in mind. This helps to get these church members participating, even if they are unable to set up a regular recurring monthly donation for general church support.

Cause-driven campaigns create a sense of urgency amongst donors and are also very inspiring. Because you'll have a set amount of money you need to raise and a deadline for doing so, it helps get everyone moving more quickly. By telling them how much you need, donors often get a much deeper sense of impact when they are able to cover a portion of the goal themselves.

These campaigns could have funding goals big and small and deadlines ranging from a week to a few months. Ideally, they'll be short-term and very actionable with a clear description of what you are trying to accomplish.

For instance, you might fundraise to send the youth group off on a mission trip next summer. In this case, you not only should specify how much you need and when you need it by, but you should also share the stories of the youth group members to help churchgoers connect with them.

It's highly likely, especially in today's larger congregations, that many people won't know the youth group members and their families personally. As such, sharing some information about each of them can help your congregation really feel like a close-knit community — just as it should.

In this case, you could even incorporate some quotes and comments from the members and counselors themselves. This will help get across why this mission trip is so important while emphasizing everyone it will impact.

5. Update Donors on Progress and Impact

Yet another way to help encourage giving and maintain that personal connection even with online channels is to keep donors updated at all times. Have a subscription list that they can easily opt into when making a donation and from your website. This allows members of your congregation to stay updated on what you are fundraising for and where their donations are going.

Aside from the daily operations of your church, highlighting where donations go within the community and beyond will really help donors feel as though they are making an impact. And that's exactly what they are after. They want reassurance that your organization, as a local community church, is doing things for the greater good.

You can share progress reports through weekly or monthly emails. You can also include highlights in pamphlets that you pass out at service. These methods will help spread awareness across your entire congregation and so, too, will posts on social media.

When you use donations for a large event or contribution, showcase it through a blog post and share it everywhere so that donors know their funds are going to wonderful causes that aren't far from home. Include images and videos where possible to really foster the human connection.

Additionally, you can send text updates to donors when they participate in short-term campaigns. These text updates can both help to create a sense of urgency, encouraging them to share the campaign with friends and family, and also help them feel appreciated.

Personalizing text updates to reflect whether or not the recipient has donated, how much they have donated, and the impact they have had will go very far in helping your church meet future campaign goals. People want to feel involved and they want to know that they are making a real difference.

6. Set Giving Expectations and Speak About Them

This is tough advice to follow for some pastors who feel that it comes across as greedy or perhaps legalistic, but setting expectations for giving and speaking about them often will prove highly effective. Your new church member meeting is one good place to go over giving expectations. And you can do so in a very friendly way that doesn't come across as forceful or exclusive.

One good way to bring up giving expectations is to simply talk about the past causes that your church has supported. You can also talk about financial requirements for youth groups and other programs you run.

By doing so, it naturally opens the doors for speaking about how much you need from donors in order to keep these things going. And by introducing the giving expectations in this way, it makes it clear to even brand new members that donations are going somewhere worthwhile.

Pastors can take the same approach during service to bring up giving expectations and speak about the church's financial needs. Sermons surrounding the topics of giving and generosity provide a great platform for talking about this topic in a way that's very approachable and not at all reminiscent of soliciting.

Of course, one major part of garnering recurring donations and new donors is leading by example. When setting giving expectations for churchgoers, also set expectations for church leaders that at least match what you're requesting donors to put down.

This will help your church avoid the all-too-common misconception that the majority of donations go straight into the leaders' pockets. In turn, this will help further build up that feeling of a strong sense of trust, shared goals, and community.

7. Always Find Ways to Say Thank You

Appreciating those who donate to your church will go a long way in encouraging new and old members alike to give. Your method of appreciation will often reflect the method of donating.

For instance, if a person donates via a text-to-give campaign, you'll likely send a text message in response. Meanwhile, if they give online, they may receive an emailed thank you message. Furthermore, if they give in person, you should do your best to provide a handwritten note or direct thank you.

Additionally, you should show appreciation for church donors through public forms. Many churches publicly thank their most loyal and largest donors at service. Of course, always ask the donor before doing so in order to respect their privacy and humility.

You should, however, include a thank you message to all donors on your public financial statements. Also, make sure your church sends out thank you cards to accompany end-of-year giving forms that every donor receives.

Set up a process that enables you to easily thank your donors and you'll find that it goes far in helping them to feel appreciated and recognized. This will encourage them to give even more as you continue to build a strong relationship with them and other church members.

8. Ask for Feedback From Your Congregation

Every congregation is different, but most today feature a long list of churchgoers that range from young to old with all different types of life circumstances. The fact is, the majority of your church members would be willing to donate. But are you making it clear enough to them how they can do so? More importantly, are you making it easy?

These are the questions you need to be asking. In order to really know the answer, it may be best to talk to your church members directly about how they want to see your church open its doors up to new kinds of interactions. There are likely plenty of churchgoers who would happily share their opinions with you.

Your questions shouldn't be limited to only donations, either. Ask how your congregation wants to be able to engage with the church and its projects, be it on social media, your website, or somewhere else entirely. Such valuable feedback will take only moments to collect. But it will truly pay off as your church continues to grow and change to accommodate your growing and changing congregation.

NewFire Giving's Promise

NewFire Giving can help your church discover the power of digital donations. Give us 30 minutes and we promise to increase your church's donations by 10 percent in the next six months. That's how confident we are about the effectiveness of NewFire Giving's text-to-give software. Click here to learn more.

SecureGive

SecureGive: How It Works and Why It Matters

By | Resources

Digital giving is a growing trend across all generations. That's why it's extremely worthwhile to make it an option for your churchgoers. SecureGive is one method of doing so, with mobile and online donations accepted. Of course, there are plenty of competitors to SecureGive. Familiarizing yourself with the features of SecureGive is important for making an informed decision.

Is SecureGive a Reliable Option?

Having an effective giving strategy is at the core of having a successful church that can give back to the community. And SecureGive is an extremely reliable and feature-rich option if you are looking to accept donations in new ways.

NewFire Giving exclusively resells the SecureGive software. In the past few years, more than 2,300 churches have adopted this digital giving software. Meanwhile, more than 5,000 churches have received consultations to help them increase their overall donations.

With the implementation of SecureGive and our strategies, your church will be able to take its mind off fundraising. You'll be able to put the focus back where it should be: on achieving your mission. SecureGive software makes the process of donating easier for everyone, lowering the barriers that many people face when wanting to give.

This, combined with NewFire Giving's education and consulting, will make accepting donations almost hands-off for your church once again. We guarantee you'll see a 10% increase in your donations within six months. Imagine what those extra funds could enable your church to achieve.

New Ways to Give

Generations new and old are interacting with churches in new ways. Offering your communities a diverse range of options for giving back is essential for boosting engagement. Here are four ways you can begin accepting donations with new software.

Online Giving

Online giving allows visitors to access your donation portal 24/7. They can do so via desktop or mobile, using any browser they choose. The system allows them to make a one-time donation, or they can even set up a recurring donation.

Online giving is the number one way to ignite consistent, recurring donations from your churchgoers. Very few people in today's world have the time to write a check each month, stamp it, and send it off. Automatic withdrawal is more convenient and easier for everyone.

In fact, implementing it can increase your recurring donations by 39%! There are low transaction fees, and donors won't have to go through the hassle of writing a check, stamping an envelope, wasting paper — or forgetting to send in altogether. Automatic recurring donations allow you to better predict cash flow too and track your church's giving growth and trends.

Giving Apps

Does your church have an app? More than 77% of adults in the United States know how to use apps. That's because apps are extremely convenient. They also put so much information right at your fingertips, a reason why every generation uses them.

A custom church app will fit your organization's vision. It will also include a giving feature that allows users to give straight from the app, without having to go to an external link or browser. This will improve the user experience and encourage giving.

NewFire Giving can design a custom application for your church that offers all these features and more — like the ability to give using Apple Pay to donate.

Text-to-Give

For those who wish to donate from their mobile device, the easiest way to allow them to do so is with a text-to-give setup. They can text the dollar amount they wish to donate to a short, designated number specific to your church. They'll then instantly receive a secure link where they can enter their payment details.
This method is particularly useful for promoting campaigns that you are currently running. For instance, you can share and push your text-to-give program when your youth group needs to raise money for a mission trip. Text-to-give campaigns prove over and over again to be very effective, especially for raising one-off donations from a large number of donors.

Giving Kiosks

Giving kiosks are becoming increasingly popular for on-site donations. That's because they allow people to donate large and small sums of money in a way that's convenient for them. So few people carry cash these days, so kiosks allow them to donate in-person but in a more accessible format.

You can take these kiosks to events and fundraisers organized away from church grounds. Thus, they enable you to accept donations from a wider audience and further fund your programs.

If you need some inspiration to implement one, just look at the numbers. The average gift made via a kiosk is 24% greater than gifts made through mobile devices. It is a hands-on way for people to give with all the convenience of an electronic and portable system.

 

How to Get Started With NewFire Giving

Your church deserves a solution that's more than “just software”. That's why at NewFire Giving, we go the extra mile in making sure that we'll be able to provide you with the right program for you. We will meet with your team and learn about your needs before showing you the numbers and explaining how our software could impact your church and community.

We will answer your questions and give you a thorough tour of our software and education programs so you can see how NewFire Ignite will support your operation vision. Book a discovery call today to learn more.

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