By Matt Crane
There are several methods that church members like to use when they give.
Statistics show that giving online is increasing year over year. In addition, other up-and-coming methods for giving are continuing to gain momentum, such as giving via text message and via mobile phone.
Is one method better than another?
Personally, I think it’s best for a church to provide as many options as possible and let the members decide their preferred method of giving.
3 simple strategies
Here are a 3 simple strategies that simplifying electronic giving for church members:
#1: Forget the login. Well, don’t completely forget the login — just don’t require it in order to give. It can be a deterrent, causing up to 10% of people to abandon the gift. If your system is good, it will save the tax reporting information for the donor regardless of whether or not they create an account.
#2: Include multiple buttons for the same designations. Try placing multiple “give” buttons on different pages in your website. Different places on a specific webpage can even help. One place that can get better results — better than the giving homepage — is above the year-to-date (YTD) stats on an individual’s account. Try different button locations, and track which button for the same designation gets better results.
#3: Don’t make it just a transaction. Give the member a thorough description and visual imagery of what he or she is giving to on each designation. One drop-down box of different designations does not give the member a clear understanding of what they are giving to and can make the experience feel cold and disconnected, especially if it’s also contained on a third-party vendor’s website.
These suggestions might seem simple, but don’t confuse simple with insignificant. These three changes can increase your existing online giving up to 20 percent — and your current system should be able to handle these changes.
If it doesn’t, it’s time for an upgrade.
Matt Crane has spent the last 13 years working on technology initiatives for the church and is currently the Relationship Manager for Vision2 Systems, a leading provider of giving software for the church. You can find more about Vision2 at Vision2systems.com.