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.