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.

 

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!