Cell phone with the word 'donate' on the screen

7 Ways to Increase Online Giving: Get the Most Out of Digital Donations

By Mary Carder, Integrated Marketing Specialist on July 8, 2021

Protect your house of worship and its members while increasing donations.

 

If there is one change to the way worship centers operate post-2020 that has real lasting-power, it’s the utilization of online giving. Houses of worship have found that the option to donate online is mutually beneficial for them and their members. Donors appreciate the ease and convenience of digital donations, while many worship centers have enjoyed increased giving, flexibility, built-in automation and protection from internal fraud.

  • Increased Giving Potential – Some worship centers may see an increase in overall giving by offering an online option. “Churches that accept tithing online increase overall donations by 32%,” according to NonProfitSource.com.
  • Flexibility – With the ability to accept donations and payments online, worship centers can receive funds from anyone at any time. Whether it’s at the bake sale, the community yard sale or the annual fair, a digital payment system can help increase sales by allowing those who don’t carry cash to participate. It also helps during unexpected events that may prevent traditional forms of fundraising. For example, if in-person services are interrupted by severe weather or property damage.
  • Built-In Automation – Besides automated receipts for the donor and organization, several apps offer integration with other software platforms, like Quickbooks, so bookkeeping becomes a breeze.
  • Fraud Prevention – By providing automated deposits with paper trails, online giving can help prevent fraud committed by employees or volunteers.

7 Ways to Increase Your Worship Center’s Online Donations

After your house of worship has committed to accepting digital donations, there are some great ways to help boost giving.

 

1. Keep it branded

If possible, opt for a branded landing page or app that integrates with your online giving platform. This allows you to control the messaging, as well as boost trust signals for potential donors.

 

2. Promote online giving

If you build it, they will come, right? Not if you don’t spread the word! Let your congregation know that your organization has taken the digital leap. Remind members during services, in the weekly newsletter, on your website and on your social media channels. Encourage donors to share your donation page on their social platforms as well.

 

3. Use video

Use storytelling and video to help motivate donors. According to NonProfitSource.com, “crowdfunding campaigns with personal videos raise 150% more than those that don’t have videos.” You don’t have to have expensive or high-tech equipment, but your video should be compelling and let donors know why they should support your organization’s mission.

 

4. Suggest donation amounts

People tend to donate more when asked to give a specific amount, according to DonorBox.com. A best practice is to include multiple levels of donation options so donors can choose the one that best fits their budget.

 

5. Encourage recurring gifts

Encourage donors to ‘set it and forget it’ by opting for automatic, recurring donations. Allow donors to choose weekly, monthly or annual amounts to simplify the process. Donors may be less likely to commit if they feel “trapped” into giving for an indefinite time, so make it clear that they can cancel whenever they choose.

 

6. Give thanks

Let your donors know how much their contribution is appreciated. The more personalized the thank you the better. Even if you can’t handwrite a card to each donor, an automated text or email can work just as well to show your gratitude.

 

7. Keep your donors informed

Did you just hit a milestone in your fundraising? Is the groundbreaking on the new wing or playground taking place? What was your organization able to purchase thanks to the generosity of your donors? Be transparent on how and where donors’ money will go—and get them excited about it!

 

Protect your digital donations

Now that you have the tools to help increase online giving, your organization needs to help protect these funds, as well as the privacy of your donors. Risks of data breaches and other cyberattacks are inherent with any exchange of digital information, and donations are no exception.

Ideally, the online giving platform your worship center chooses will have their own set of cybersecurity measures, but even with third-party apps, your organization isn’t off the hook. One of the most effective defensive maneuvers is to invest in cybersecurity training and anti-viral software.

When your organizations’ funds increase, its ability to give back grows as well. By implementing these strategies, you can help further your worship center’s mission while protecting its members.

 

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Mary Carder, Integrated Marketing Specialist

DISCLAIMER

The information contained in this blog post is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace expert advice in connection with the topics presented. Glatfelter specifically disclaims any liability for any act or omission by any person or entity in connection with the preparation, use or implementation of plans, principles, concepts or information contained in this publication.

Glatfelter does not make any representation or warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the results obtained by the use, adherence or implementation of the material contained in this publication. The implementation of the plans, principles, concepts or materials contained in this publication is not a guarantee that you will achieve a certain desired result. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a professional advisor, architect or other expert prior to the implementation of plans, principles, concepts or materials contained in this publication.

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