Online Giving Best Practices
One of the greatest challenges a church has to face is making the tithing process as easy as possible.
Luckily, online giving can make the process simple. We’ll cover ten lessons that can help you optimize your online giving channels and encourage your congregation to give.
#1. Make The Online Tithing Process Simple.
The Current Problem
Church members need to be able to easily find and complete your donation forms, or else they could leave without giving.
The Top Solution
Direct church members to where they can give with large “Tithe Here” buttons or include a separate “Ways to get involved” tab on your site.
Takeaway: The most important lesson is that your online donation form should be the most easily accessible function on your church’s website.
#2. Keep Your Online Brand Consistent.
The Problem With an Inconsistent Brand
When church members are redirected to a third-party site that looks nothing like your brand, it can cause them to lose trust in your brand or make them hesitant about giving.
Why You Should Keep Branding Consistent
Having a consistent brand and employing it across your church’s website and tithing page will make your members feel more comfortable about submitting offerings online.
Takeaway: Be sure your congregation feels at home when they’re on your site and filling out your online tithing form.
#3. Encourage Mobile Tithing.
Why Mobile Giving is So Important
Church members don’t always have cash to give when the tithing plate is passed around. Mobile giving makes it easy for anyone to give wherever and whenever the mood strikes them.
Plus, offerings made on mobile devices are on the rise!
Make Your Forms Mobile Friendly
1. Buttons need to be larger and easy to click on.
2. There should be fewer steps to reach your tithing page.
3. Your website needs to be simple, clean, and easy to read.
If your church makes donating easy on mobile devices, you will likely see growth in gifts across all your online giving channels.
#4. Use Strong Imagery In Your Online Tithing Forms.
Quality Images Matter.
Additionally, your efforts will likely be shared on social media if there is a picture attached to your message.
The most effective images are 500 x 500 pixels. The more clearly you can see the subjects in the picture, the better.
Your church website’s landing page is a great place to feature pictures of:
Takeaway: Images leave a lasting impact on your church members, and it’s always a good idea to include them in your online giving correspondences.
#5. Be Thankful Throughout The Tithing Process.
Why You Should Thank Tithers
However, over two-thirds of churches and organizations don’t have a “next step” once a donor gives.
It’s a huge missed opportunity to cultivate relationships with your congregation. Having next steps could encourage tithers to give again.
How to Thank Tithers
On the “Thank You” page after tithers submit their offerings, include:
• Social sharing buttons.
• How their gift will be used.
• Ways to get involved in other church activities.
Your church members will appreciate being kept in the loop, thanked on social media, and invited to all of your latest events.
#6. Create A One-Step Online Tithing Form.
Why One Step is the Way
The vast majority of churches require online gift-givers to go through at least three steps to submit an offering.
Requiring your members to take multiple steps will cause some members to abandon the form without giving.
Make sure that your online tithing form involves the fewest number of steps possible.
Find the Right Solution
Snowball offers a solution with 2-click giving forms. Your church members only have to click on the donate button (and fill out their credit card information if it’s their first time giving).
They will be directed to a prewritten email where they just have to click send to confirm their order. It’s that easy!
Takeaway: By keeping the online tithing process as quick and easy as possible, your church is making it possible for anyone to give from anywhere.
#7. Remove The Clutter From Your Online Tithing Form.
Why Remove the Clutter
To encourage church members to stay on your website long enough to tithe, you’ll need to remove a lot of the excess wording and any images that don’t add meaning or value to your site.
How to Remove the Clutter
Of course, you’ll want to have events easily accessible, and your online giving page should be quick to find and simple to navigate.
A sleek, easy-to-navigate site will make it easier for donors to give.
Make your button stand out by making it a different color than the rest of your navigation. Place it in a prominent place and make it large enough to stand out.
Buttons On Every Page
Add several online giving buttons throughout your site, so members don’t have to search around too much to give.
These additional donation buttons can be more subtle than the one highlighted on the main page, but they should still attract attention.
#9. Accept Recurring Online Gifts.
Why Recurring Gifts Matter
Allowing your church’s members to set up recurring gifts means that your day-to-day projects will be more likely to receive funding because you have funds coming in regularly.
How to Allow Recurring Gifts
Plus, maintain consistent branding. It’s been proven impact on people’s decisions to become repeat gift-givers.
Takeaway: Recurring gifts are the gifts that just keep on giving…literally! That’s why it’s important to learn how to encourage your members to commit to them.
#10. Offer Different Levels of Online Tithing.
Why Offer Different Tithing Levels
Churches that suggested specific offering amounts on their websites rather than fill-in-the-blank amounts saw an astonishing increase in their gifts when they switched over.
Most people, when left to make their own choices, will not give quite as much as they would if they were provided with options for how much to tithe.
Offer the Right Options
That being said, you should also keep in mind the financial limitations of your congregation members. Always be sure to provide smaller offering options for those who would like to tithe but don’t have the means to contribute significantly.
Offer at least 3 options in order to provide a nice variety for your church members.
Takeaway: How much your church suggests is entirely up to you, but one of the most crucial elements to successful church fundraising is to offer various high and low giving amounts.