Churches rely on their members to keep the lights on. If only 20 percent of the church gives, the leadership feels a need to constantly appeal to the other 80 percent to share the burden. This appeal might move the needle occasionally. But even if others are moved to give, the burden to keep things running will still fall on a minority of congregants. That could change by narrowing in on special groups of mobile givers.
Take heart! Your donations are not limited to members. There are people outside of your building who’d be willing to give if you knew how to reach them.
1. Non-Religious Mobile Givers
Don’t write off people who are non-religious. Many people without any particular religious affiliation are often happy to give to the charitable endeavors of churches and parachurch organizations.
The hurdle: Your ministry has to contribute something an unbeliever would recognize as valuable to your community. These people aren’t going to give if they feel that your sole purpose is to proselytize. But they’re willing to get invested if they can see the good you’re doing.
Luckily, we do not live in a society so far-gone that we can’t occasionally agree on what’s good.
These could include:
- Feeding the hungry
- Providing shelter for the homeless
- Buying school supplies for low-income children
This is a great way to increase donations to your church, but there’s another benefit. By involving non-religious mobile givers in your ministry, you’re also building social capital with them. The more involved they get in your ministry and the good you’re doing, the more invested they are in your church on the whole. This could even open the door to sharing the gospel with them.
This is a very concrete rendering of Matthew 5:16: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
2. Generous Backers
There are individual Christians or businesses with deep pockets looking for churches and charities to support. They’re often motivated to do this not only because they’re philosophically invested in the church’s work, but they’re also looking for the tax breaks that come from giving.
They’re very similar to the non-religious mobile givers in the sense that they need to see how their investment into your ministry is an investment in the communities where they live or operate. Often you’ll have to go out and court them and make a case for their sponsorship. This is a great task for a strong sales-oriented extrovert in your congregation.
3. Unaffiliated Church Goers
For whatever reason, there are a lot of Christians who don’t attend a church regularly. This doesn’t mean they eschew church, but they might have found for themselves some alternative form of fellowship, or they just don’t prioritize church attendance as something essential to a life of faith. Still, many of them still take giving very seriously.
This can be a harder group to appeal to since they’re defined by their lack of commitment. It’s going to take a while to convince them of your genuine concern for them as a group. You’re going to want to build a relationship with them through your messages, social media, blog, or podcasts that make them feel like they belong—even if they don’t attend.
4. Online Attendees
This last group is people who are digitally invested in ministries but don’t physically show up to regular services. This could be for many reasons. Maybe they have a hard time leaving the house because of an illness, or they’re out of town a lot. It could be that they feel more comfortable getting involved from home because of a bad experience with a church in the past. Many of these people will often watch three or four sermons a week and are invested in many forms of digital community and ministry.
This group differs from the unaffiliated churchgoers in that they’re really committed to the churches they follow regularly. If you win these people over, they can become strong ambassadors for your church. Even if they don’t physically attend, they become personally invested.
Reaching These Mobile Givers
The challenge with these demographics lies in reaching them and making them aware of your ministry. Once you get your congregation on board, you can begin a systematic process of appealing to these different groups.
This can be a legitimate strategy for growing your church by building relationships with locals who don’t have a home church. But you’re not limited to locals. Through digital media, the reach of your ministry can be worldwide.
Each member of your congregation likely has about one or two Facebook friends who fall into one of these categories. To reach these people, you’re going to need to mobilize your congregation to start regularly sharing some of the cool things your church is doing on social media. This could include:
- Charitable works
The goal of these shares is to get people interested in what your church is doing. Once you have their interest, you can begin developing relationships with these unreached givers.
The better they understand your church and your mission, the better they’ll receive your donation requests.
Using Your Church App
If your church has its own app, you can often get people involved by regular calls to download your app. Once they have your app, you can get them interested in your work. It’s a lot easier to get them invested from there.
If you have a tool like Pushpay’s Total Engagement Package, you have an app that can keep them engaged. And because it’s powered by Pushpay, it’s easy for them to give. In fact, they can even sign up for recurring giving.