Online Donations

10 Ways Churches Can Increase Donations

People often forget their checkbooks at home but rarely forget their cellphones when heading to Mass. To keep your church relevant and up with the times, it is important to bring your donation base to an online platform rather than relying on checkbook donations. Here are ten ways to help keep your church receiving consistent donations.

  1. Create a Mobile-Friendly Donation Page: Although your website might have a great donation page set up, check to make sure it loads properly on smartphones and it is easy to access. Many times, online donation pages can be too much for phone’s mobile sites and will kick the donator right out, and the process will quickly become frustrating for them. By creating a mobile App page, you will be able to guarantee there won’t be an issue for your donors. Having mobile-friendly pages can create a streamlined process of giving for your community. Look into an electronic giving solution with mobile-friendly pages for your needs. 
  2. Create a Mobile App: As long as you can keep your App up to date and relevant, there isn’t any reason you shouldn’t create a mobile App. There are many benefits to having a mobile app; your entire congregation will be able to know what is happening and when, but it will also make it easier and safer for members to donate through a secure network.
  3. Host a Church-wide Fundraiser Right After Your Sunday Service: Something as simple as a pancake breakfast right after mass is a great option. You won’t need to rent space, and you will have guaranteed visitors to at least stop by since majority of your congregation will be at Mass Sunday morning.
  4. Offer the Option of Recurring Donations: When shifting towards online donations, one great benefit is you can ask members if they would like this same donation to take place monthly. There are many obvious benefits for your Church if a member does a monthly recurring donation, for example, it is a donation you can count on and expect. You will also be notified if they do cancel it so you can be aware of that too instead of waiting for a check to come in the mail that might have never been sent.
  5. Make Sure It’s Someone’s Job to Handle Your Church’s Donations: Finance teams exist in almost every Church which usually covers the counting of donations that come in, where the donations are going to be spent and making sure the bills are paid. However, rarely is it someone’s job to oversee how the Church is going to raise money. There needs to be a position in your Church for the chairman responsible for creating fundraisers.
  6. Be Transparent with Where the Donations Are Going: Let members know if the donations will be going to an upcoming mission trip your Church has planned, or let them know you are raising money for new pews, no matter how little the project may be, people usually like to know what they are going to have a part in creating.
  7. Start Thanking People: This seems so simple yet such a small gesture can go a long way. The decision to donate to a church is a huge deal for someone who has never done it before. A handwritten card thanking that person for donating to your church will make the donor feel appreciated and supported. Someone who donates the same recurring amount will probably appreciate a phone call every so often thanking them for their donation and checking in to see how everything is going in their life. These little gestures cost your church next to nothing but speak volumes to your members.
  8. Plan a New Givers Event: Track everyone who donated for the first time in the past 12 months and invite them and their families to a movie night or a nice but simple dinner. These will likely be the newest members of your congregation, and it will be a great way to make them feel appreciated and invited. To help make this tracking easier, make sure your online donation page has an option to answer ‘Yes or No’ to the question of, “Is this your first time donating to our church?”.
  9. Ask and Listen to your Congregation About Their Needs: Your church needs to make sure they are communicating with their members about what they feel the church is missing or where they would like to see the donations go.
  10. Help Members Manage Their Finances: Many people would love to give but simply cannot due to living paycheck to paycheck and not really sure how to budget money properly. Host a seminar for those in your congregation interested in learning how to correctly manage their money and help them get ahead. By doing this, more of your congregation will be able to donate in the future, and many will also appreciate the help and that the Church was looking out for their wellbeing.

There are many things your Church can do to help raise money through the congregation, a lot of these won’t cost a lot to follow through with but will make a large impact down the road.

 

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Time Saving Tips for your Donation Process

There are many ways to save time when it comes to organizing your donation process; it will be trial and error process in figuring what works best for your organization and what helps you receive the best feedback from your members.

The best time-saving tip would be to have a majority of your donation process and platform to be online. Not only is it easier for your donors since many people don’t carry cash and especially don’t have checks, but it can be easier for your organization, too. With all of your donation information tracked and recorded without a lot of manual labor, it will be easier to set realistic goals.

You will have a better idea and understanding of what your organization is capable of doing since all of the previous months will be tracked online as well.

Your Donation Process

To keep track of who your donors are, be sure your website has a sign-up page that collects all of the information; name, phone number, email and addresses. With this, you will be able to keep track of all of the donors which will help when you have a large fundraiser your organization is beginning to plan. You will not have to go through donation by donation and look up their information on who to send invites to, but it will all be one place.

Another great benefit to this is a headcount of who is visiting your website. You will always have numbers at your fingertips to set realistic expectations for the number of attendees when planning an event.

Setting up automatic tax receipts to be sent will help your organization save time because you won’t have to manually write one for each donor. When someone makes an online donation, be sure to have an option if they would like a tax receipt emailed or printed, ‘click here’.

This can help guarantee people won’t be coming around tax return season looking for the receipts for all of the donations they have made to you throughout the year. Another automated must is making sure a thank you goes out with every donation. Receiving a thank you in a timely fashion is both respectable and appreciated if they take too long to be sent out; like handwritten cards typically do, it is easy to come across as a compulsory practice without feeling genuine.

Getting the word out about your organization can be challenging, but let your donors do the work for you, by letting them brag about what organization they just donated towards. Make sure there is a ‘share’ feature on your website that is sharable on all social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter.

By doing so, you will save your organization so much time and effort that no longer needs to be put into making sure people see your organization’s website. People’s friends and followers on social media are typically like-minded people who will hopefully result in more followers of your organization.

When creating your organization’s website or donation page on an already made website, make sure someone who is tech savvy is in charge of the website design and functionality. If you have a cool website that isn’t routinely updated with correct calendars and upcoming events. It is likely people will leave your website and not trust it to donate money through. Also, be sure your organization has artwork or symbol that is unique to your platform. Having something small but recognizable will help brand your organization. People will look for that piece of artwork when donating because it helps your website prove authenticity.

Don’t forget to use the 80/20 rule; spend 20% of your time creating your websites content, and 80% of your time promoting it.

It is easy to get caught up in creating the ‘perfect website’, but if you spend your entire day creating that, you haven’t spent any time finding donors. When trying to save time during your donation process, make sure you are spending an efficient amount time where it is important. There are so many websites on the internet that yours will never be found if you don’t promote it. Some ways to promote your website are sending out scheduled emails that are prewritten and ready to go. You can send these emails to everyone who has already left their information on your sign-up page.

According to CNBC, the best time to send an email is 10 am, you will catch most people at work or at their desk who are sitting and have an extra moment to read emails rather than in the morning when they are trying to get out the door or later in their afternoon when they are heading home and purposely not checking emails. Time-saving tips for your donation process may take a little longer, in the beginning, to get everything accurately set up and running but will likely save your organization a lot of time in the long run.

If you’re looking to save even more time and money, contact the experts at Stewardship Technology for more information!

Peer to Peer Funding

Peer to Peer & Crowdfunding

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Peer to peer fundraising and crowdfunding are commonly used interchangeably. However, the two are very different and can benefit your organization in different ways. Crowdfunding can be used by individuals and nonprofits where peer to peer fundraising can only be used by nonprofits.

Essentially, crowdfunding involves a fundraiser asking for a direct donation and peer to peer fundraising asks for supporters to donate to their page and then send in the entire contribution to the nonprofit’s campaign.

Peer to Peer & Crowdfunding

These are two great options for raising money for your organization, depending on what you plan on doing can help decide which one will work best for that particular fundraiser. Peer to peer fundraising is known as the social fundraising technique. When enlisting the help of your supporters to fundraise on your behalf, it typically needs to be tied to some sort of event.

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk is a perfect example of peer to peer fundraising perfectly executed. This fundraiser has become a household name that almost everyone is familiar with. When people sign up to participate in the 3-Day walk, each is responsible for letting their friends and families know they are raising money for the walk and in that way, obtain “sponsors.” After collecting the donations from all of their sponsors, the participants than in turn donate all of the money to the Susan G. Komen 3-day Breast Cancer Foundation.

Crowdfunding has a different approach to the fact the organization asks for donations directly after explaining what they are raising money for.

A great example of crowdfunding is when someone or an organization set up a GoFundMe. When there is a GoFundMe or a similar donation site set up, there are usually pictures and an explanation of what the raised money will be going towards. Along with the explanation, there is typically a tracker that lets people know what the goal is, how much money has been raised towards it and how much time is left in the fundraiser.

This is also a great option to reach many people because when someone donates, many times you can share on multiple social media platforms the fundraiser happening, so the organization’s donors are promoting the fundraiser for them.

Although very opposing options in the sense of being executed differently, they both have the same end goal in mind. Choosing which will work best for your organization, you will need to weigh the pros and cons of each. It is possible that both could work for your organization for different fundraising needs.

When beginning a peer to peer fundraiser, a lot of groundwork has to be done opposed to crowdfunding. With crowdfunding, you start the fundraiser online and set up the donation page and let the donors do the rest. With peer to peer fundraising, you have to get volunteers involved who are passionate about your organization but also trustworthy.

They will be the face of your fundraiser when out collecting donations from strangers or sponsors. Although possible, it can be difficult to track how much each volunteer is raising if cash donations are being collected. You want to make sure you have honest and trustworthy volunteers at the forefront of your organization’s fundraiser.

Peer to peer fundraising is a lot of work for a team to arrange but can be very rewarding since it is shared on so many platforms by so many different people, there is an opportunity to reach so many potential donors and new networks of people.

With peer to peer funding, there has to be something these volunteers are going out and raising money for. There needs to be a marathon or a dance-a-thon, or like the 3-day foundation, a 3-day walk organized and coordinated. The volunteers raising money for your organization are typically offering themselves to participate in the event if people pay to support them.

When your organization creates a peer to peer fundraiser, it can become something that is done annually, and that way builds a reputation, and your organization can become recognized as the ones who put on that event. When planning on making something annual, all of the hard work that went into planning the original peer to peer fundraiser can be reused when planning for the next one.

Online Donations

How to Engage Millennials to Donate Through Social Media

 

donating through social media

Donating through social media is an emerging form that’s revolutionizing donations. Bringing new expectations to charitable contributions, millennials are shaking up what used to be a routine platform. Understanding how this generation views and feels about charity is essential in creating events, they will be excited to raise money for and participate in.

Donating Through Social Media

Millennials are unique in the fact that they are not the most financially stable generation, yet according to “The Millennial Impact Report” taken in 2014, 84% made a charitable donation in 2014. With about 80 million millennials in the United States, that means almost 67 million of them donated to causes they believed in.

There is a preconceived idea that it is a lost cause to try to receive donations from a generation struggling with student loan debt, but that could not be further from the truth.

There are many ways to grab the attention of millennials, but what really stands out is being able to create experiences they can post about. Social media platforms are free and there to be utilized, if they’re already going to be posting about it, your organization might as well take advantage of the marketing. Apps such as Snap Chat create filters called Geo-tags otherwise known as geography tags showing the location of the user. Create a hands-on event such as a dance-a-thon, cook-off events or even something as simple as a half marathon, these are events to show up to, and therefore the location needs to be shared. When you see one millennial it is likely there will be others not too far behind, posting where they’re at and what they’re doing is likely going to cause others to come join.

When using social media, there is also a great feature of setting up donations via text messaging. High function simplicity is key to grasping this generation’s attention. Red Cross, for example, has a phone number set up for quick donations in $10 increments when natural disasters strike. You can have something similar set up for your organization through many nonprofit companies such as “Giving Fire” which doesn’t charge a fee for each text-based donation you receive as well as making it very simple for your donor.

Millennials care about issues, not organizations and that is important to keep in mind when trying to raise money for your group or nonprofit. Being transparent and providing accurate information of where the donation will be going will likely help your success. With that comes grey territory, although this generation appreciates transparency, millennials want information quick and probably will not read lengthy newsletters or long-winded emails. Twitter has limited number of characters that can be used per tweet, meaning you need to grasp millennials attention quickly and thoroughly.

Pairing an exciting photo of last year’s Dance-a-Thon or Bubble Run with a tweet explaining the details and a website link of where to sign up will gravitate traffic to your organization’s website where you can better tell what you have planned. Another benefit of mobile and online donations, they are easy to track and keep the record of whereas checks can take a while to receive if they are by mail and then even longer to be cleared by the bank.

In the eyes of a millennial, minimal steps such as, Tweeting, “liking” photos, and sharing links online is a step helping charity. Being patient and building up a relationship with your potential donors is how you will retain loyal donations from this generation. They might not donate from the start but once trusting your charity or organization, they will volunteer time or donate money.

Meeting the demands of millennials expectations can be challenging for companies who have
Been doing the same thing for years but the change will be rewarding. If your charity is helping build schools or feeding children, millennials expect that they will be able to share those photos on their Facebook page with their friends.

Donating through social media is key to keeping millennials interested. The more shares and retweets are better for your image as well as satisfying to your potential donors, everyone wins.  You can use social media to your advantage with donations.

Using Stewardships electronic giving solution, you can use custom reporting and share mobile-friendly web pages to your followers and community. Sharing the opportunity to donate more often will increase the likelihood to give. Therefore, using an online giving platform will increase millennials to donate through social media.

Are you interested in increasing your donations? Contact us today!

Peer to Peer Funding

Peer to Peer Fundraising and Crowdfunding

picture of words with peer to peer fundraising and crowdfunding

Peer to peer fundraising and crowdfunding are commonly used interchangeably, however, the two are very different and can benefit your organization in different ways. Crowdfunding can be used by individuals and nonprofits where peer to peer fundraising can only be used by nonprofits. Essentially, crowdfunding involves a fundraiser asking for a direct donation and peer to peer fundraising asks for supporters to donate to their individual page and then send in the entire donation to the nonprofits campaign.

These are two great options for raising money for your organization, depending on what you plan on doing can help decide which one will work best for that particular fundraiser. Peer to peer fundraising is known as the social fundraising technique. When enlisting the help of your supporters to raise money on your behalf, it typically needs to be tied to some sort of event.

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk is a perfect example of peer to peer fundraising perfectly executed.

Peer to Peer Fundraising and Crowd Funding

This fundraiser has become a household name that almost everyone is familiar with. When people sign up to participate in the 3-Day walk, each individual is responsible for letting their friends and families know they are raising money for the walk and in that way, obtain “sponsors”. After collecting the donations from all of their sponsors, the participants then in turn donate all of the money to the Susan G. Komen 3-day Breast Cancer Foundation.

Crowdfunding has a different approach in the fact the organization asks for donations directly after explaining what they are raising money for.  A great example of crowdfunding is when someone or an organization sets up a GoFundMe. When there is a GoFundMe or a similar donation site set up, there are usually pictures and an explanation with what the raised money will be going towards.

Along with the explanation there is typically a tracker that lets people know what the goal is, how much money has been raised towards it and how much time is left in the fundraiser. This is also a great option to reach many people because when someone donates, many times you can share on multiple social media platforms the fundraiser happening, so the organizations donors are promoting the fundraiser for them.

Although very opposing options in the sense of being executed differently, they both have the same end goal in mind. Choosing which will work best for your organization, you will need to weigh the pros and cons of each.  It is possible that both could work for your organization for different fundraising needs.

When beginning a peer to peer fundraiser, a lot of ground work has to be done opposed to crowdfunding. With crowdfunding, you start the fundraiser online and set up the donation page and let the donors do the rest. With peer to peer fundraising, you have to get volunteers involved who are passionate about your organization but also trustworthy. They will really be the face of your fundraiser when out collecting donations from strangers or sponsors. Although possible, it can be difficult to track how much each individual volunteer is raising if there are cash donations being collected. You want to make sure you have honest and trustworthy volunteers on the forefront of your organizations fundraiser.

Peer to peer fundraising is a lot for an organization to arrange but can be very rewarding since it is shared on so many platforms by so many different people, there is opportunity to reach so many potential donors and new networks of people.

With peer to peer funding, there has to be something these volunteers are going out and raising money for. There needs to be a marathon or a dance-a-thon or like the 3-day foundation, a 3-day walk organized and coordinated. The volunteers raising money for your organization are typically offering themselves to participate in the event if people will pay to support them.

When your organization creates a peer to peer fundraiser, it can become something that is done annually and that way builds a reputation and your organization can become recognized as the ones who put on that event. When planning on making something annual, all of the hard work that went into planning the original peer to peer fundraiser can be reused when planning for the next one.

If you’re looking for a solution to help you live out your mission, email the experts at stewardship technology. They focus on providing a complete suite of products to ensure your nonprofit is fulfilling its mission.