One of the biggest things we see churches struggle with regarding online giving is sustained growth after launch. Chances are when your church enrolled in e-giving it was received well with a healthy number of your members deciding to use it. However after the first couple months, e-giving registration stagnated. This is something we see often with churches that are new to online giving, but why does this happen?
The members of your church that switched to online giving right off the bat were likely sold on the idea even before you decided to offer it. This group of people saw the value of online giving, and would have likely gotten started even if you didn’t promote it at all. But your promotion efforts can’t be limited to this group of people…you also need to focus on educating the rest of your congregation in order for it to grow.
One of the common misconceptions of online giving is that it’s different from traditional giving. This is simply not the case. It’s still essential to your church and in many ways is more important as it promotes a more stable stream of donations. Plus ask yourself this: would you be satisfied if your traditional Sunday donations weren’t growing? Probably not.
Since online giving is a fairly new concept, it’s not something that is a “norm” at your church. Everyone knows that the collection plate comes around every week because it’s been a part of your service for years, but they need to be reminded about online giving. Constantly reminding people about e-giving and highlighting its benefits will go a long way towards promoting growth, but simply repeating that it’s available week in and week out can grow tiresome and ultimately turn people off to the idea. You need the right combination of conventional and creative promotion to engage your congregation.
Making sure your members know online giving is available is important, but many pastors and ministers don’t want to take the time to talk about it weekly. This is completely understandable and as mentioned before might not be received well by your congregation. A great alternative is print material, such as bulletin inserts, brochures and handouts. This effectively promotes online giving while also educating your members. A great starting point is your e-giving Customer Relationship Manager, who has plenty of pre-made material available for you and your church. This material answers a lot of the initial questions church members tend to ask, explains the benefits of e-giving and walks your members through the registration and donation process. To learn more about the materials available to you, visit our NCS Difference page.
Keeping Online Giving Fresh
One creative way to attract new e-giving users is to offer different ways to get them started. With a number of different features included in your e-giving plan there are multiple options available to increase interest. Posting an event online through Event Manager, taking fundraising orders through Checkout or launching a Mobile App are great ways to introduce your members to e-giving without forcing them to make a commitment. Each feature provides a different way your members can explore our services without needing to create an account or change their giving routine. Having unique options available generates interest, increases familiarity and keeps online giving in front of your members without being redundant or overly aggressive.