If you are going to be fully funded you must know how to make giving easy.  Why?  Because the easier you make it for people to give the more likely it is they will give.

Commerce in America has changed drastically.  The Wall Street Journal recently stated, “American consumers used cash in 32% of all retail transactions in 2015, down from 40% in 2012, according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent survey of payment choices.”  Yet for many churches passing an offering plate or basket is the only way in which people can give.  Amazingly, we are using a tool devised centuries ago when people carried coins and cash.  Today few if anyone brings a checkbook to church with them and most have little to no cash on their person.

Build NOW 21st century platforms for giving if you want to be fully funded.  I have been working on a White Paper on end of year giving.  One section of the paper deals with building out the tools you need for an effective end of year strategy.  The key is to have multiple ways in which members can give.  Today people like to have chooses and options.  Our tools have to match how members live and interact.

So, let’s look at some of the tools you need in place so that you can make giving to your church easy.

Website – Your website is your base of information for not only members but guests.  The best sites are clean and crisp.  With regards to giving you need to make sure that finding your giving button is easy.  Studies show you have less than 10 seconds from the time someone lands on your site before they bail out.  While it shouldn’t be a flashing blue light the giving button should stand out.

Online giving – A few years ago only 14% of churches offered online giving.  Today that number has greatly increased.  Frankly if you don’t have online giving you are missing out on thousands of potential dollars.  You need to have this necessary piece in place.  If you need online giving or are not happy with what you have check out, Charis Giving Solutions

Text giving – 80% of Americans own a smart phone.  They do everything from check email, surf the web AND purchase stuff.  There is perhaps no better way to make giving easier than through text giving.  Again, check out Charis Giving Solutions

Envelopes – Snail mail is still the overwhelming best practice for non-profits.  One reason why is that with every letter they send to you they include an offering envelope in that letter.  I found out long ago that if you put an envelope in a letter people will send you money back!  I advise the use of postage paid envelopes that are already self-addressed.  Every letter should have an envelope inside so members can mail back donations.

Several years ago when I was staring an online giving company my 80 plus year old mom questioned whether anyone would give their offering online.  Then she stopped and thought and realized that she did almost all of her bill paying online.  About the only checks she wrote were to her church.  Commerce has changed in America and will never go back.  Isn’t it time we offer 21st century tools to our 21st century audience?  Doing so will make giving easier and the easier you make it the more likely you will be fully funded.

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach