Once you select the right online giving solution for your church, your work isn’t finished. It’s not enough just to have a digital giving platform. You need a plan to make sure your church adopts it—so you can get your money’s worth.
Depending on the vendor, you may have a dedicated representative who is committed to helping you succeed. (This comes standard with Pushpay, but some vendors offer more limited customer support.) A good vendor will guide you through specific adoption strategies and help craft them for your unique situation, but there are general steps you should take as well.
Here’s how to ensure you successfully launch your new giving solution.
Get your staff on the same page
Sometimes a single staff member drives the decision to get a new online giving solution—maybe that person was you! But regardless of how many church leaders were involved in the process of persuading your church board and selecting your solution, there are bound to be some members of your staff who don’t recognize the value digital giving brings to your church.
Every person on your staff needs to be able to represent your church’s perspective on online giving, and they need to be comfortable and confident promoting it—because if you want your members to adopt it, your whole staff needs to be on board.
A lot of people have a hard time with change, even when it’s good. And your church has likely been giving in the same way for years, decades—maybe even over a century. So take the time to talk about the why behind online giving. It’s the ideal solution for you and your church members, and your staff needs to understand the reason.
From a church operations standpoint, digital giving removes the tedious process of counting, transporting, and depositing cash and checks. It also removes the risks associated with that process—no one has to count it, and there’s no opportunity for it to get lost or stolen because it goes straight to your accounts.
For your members, your new giving solution will let them tithe and give the way they make any other transaction. They pay their mortgage, rent, and other bills online. They shop online. They pay their friends and family through apps. They can even order coffee or pizza with their phone.
The convenience of mobile giving means people can still give if they forget their checkbooks (which they rarely use) or don’t happen to be carrying cash (which many people never do). They can also give when they’re out of town or miss your service due to illness or other circumstances.
Ultimately, digital giving allows you to increase generosity in your church by making it easier to give. Your staff shouldn’t see it as a secondary solution—it’s the ideal way to give.
Make sure it’s easily accessible in your app and online
When people go to your church website or mobile app, you might not want “DONATE NOW” to be the first thing they see. But in order for your church to embrace digital giving, it needs to be easy. And that means they should be able to conveniently give with a tap or a click, and they should be able to see where they can do so right away.
The URL for your giving page should be easy to remember, too (yourchurchname.com/give works great).
Remember, you’re going to be telling people where to go in order to give. You shouldn’t have to explain several steps just to get started.
Set up funds for specific goals and operations
If your giving solution supports it, you should designate specific funds that align with your major ministries, projects, and goals. This allows your church members to easily give to the specific areas of your church that they feel called to support, and it shows you what they’d probably like to stay informed about.
Churches that have Pushpay can use Impact Cards to highlight updates related to the specific fund someone donated to.
Teach your congregation how to use it
If all you do to encourage online giving is tell your congregation it’s available, only the most tech-savvy church members are going to use it.
Don’t just tell people it’s easier to give this way. Show them. Most giving solutions are fast enough that you can demonstrate how to give in a short announcement. With Pushpay, people can give for the first time in 30 seconds or less—and it’s even faster the next time. You could demonstrate how to give digitally while the offering plate is being passed around, or in a separate announcement. You may want to show people how it works on social media, too.
Remember, just because you’ve shown something once doesn’t mean everyone saw it. You will probably need to periodically demonstrate how online giving works—which won’t be a problem if you have a fast, convenient solution.
Remind people about it every time you take the offering
For decades, the default way to give money to your church has been passing the offering plate. If you want that to change, you need to remind people about online giving as often as you ask them to pass the plate.
Besides, there are always going to be people sitting there with nothing to put in the plate—not because they don’t have money, but because they aren’t carrying cash or checks. This is an opportunity to remind them that they can still participate and respond to what God is calling them to give.
Link to it from your other communication channels
Since your church now supports a way for people to give online, you can promote it through your online channels, like social media, email, and your blog. When you initially launch your giving solution, use these channels to announce the new way to give—explain it just like you would in person during the service.
Later, you can add a link to online giving in your email footers, or include it in other relevant online communication.
When people are already online, digital giving is most convenient. By dropping a link now and then, you put giving just a tap away.
Promote recurring giving
Recurring giving is hands-down the easiest way for people to give—because it happens automatically. Your church members can look over their budgets and prayerfully decide how much they’d like to give, and then make a commitment to ensure it happens every month, right on schedule. They can even set their donation to occur right after payday, or on the day they pay all their bills, so giving naturally fits into their finances.
It fits into your finances better, too. Recurring giving helps churches maintain a consistent budget because giving becomes more consistent. Even during the notorious summer slump, church members will continue giving, whether they’re in attendance or not.
Not to mention, we’ve found that recurring givers donate 42 percent more annually.
Make digital giving a priority
You’ve already invested time and resources in your digital giving solution. But without a thorough launch strategy, your church may not embrace it as quickly as you’d like. So make the most of your new tool, and plan for success.
To learn more about how a digital giving platform combined with best practices can help stabilize your church budget, download the free Guide to Growing Recurring Giving today!