They say timing is everything; and when it comes to tithes and offering, we couldn’t agree more.
We hope your church members are excited about the idea of giving! As members of your church family and children of God, they are constantly on the lookout for more ways to spread your mission.
What can be frustrating, however, is when you’re inspired to help, but there is no easy opportunity for you to do so. You feel moved by God or inspired by a speaker––but there’s no convenient way to express that support for the church right away. This is when an online giving tool can help!
The key here is timing. Whether in person during a sermon or online, it’s vital to give clear, easy opportunities for your congregation to give when they are feeling most inspired and called.
Here are 4 ways to find the right timing for your church members to give
1. Identify website pages where visitors are already naturally inspired.
Pretend for a moment that you're an average website visitor clicking around your church website. Are there certain pages that inspire you? Maybe it’s a page that talks about a mission trip your church is going on.
For instance, Sally learns her church is sponsoring a mission trip to Honduras. She already knows she won't be able to get time off from work to go, but she would still love to support those who can go. She realizes the easiest thing would be to financially contribute to this trip. Unfortunately for Sally, she doesn't know how to do that. Sally’s competent, and her heart is clearly in the right place, but if it’s not easy, statistically, she’s going to give up. It's for people like Sally that it's vitally important to make it easy for someone to give, especially when they are raring to do so.
This would be a perfect opportunity to place a call to give on your missions page.
2. Add more “give now” buttons where appropriate.
While some church websites put a "give" link in the navigation menu, it can still get missed. Don't be afraid to take it one step further. You can easily do this by adding another button that will help direct the inspired website visitor to your online giving page. The average website visitor takes about 20 seconds to scan the page. You want to make sure the person who wishes to contribute doesn't miss your giving button as they scan.
When making this button, use a noticeable color (like red as opposed to grey) to make it even easier for visitors to see. Another tip would be to make it a different color that contrasts with the colors of your website scheme. Here are some other great tips you can use to optimize your giving button:
- Make the button big enough
- Make it lead directly to the donations landing page
- Make it so that the button is placed “above the fold” or at the top part of the webpage
- Make sure to test the button to ensure it works
When trying to decide where to strategically place your giving buttons, it's really all about using the space on your church website effectively to show them how and where they can give. One word of caution: be careful not to put too many “give” buttons on your site or you might come off as pushy. Walk the fine line between making it easy and convenient for donors to give, and making them feel pressured or uncomfortable.
3. Use your newsletter as an opportunity.
Did you know that using your church newsletter can actually increase contributions by 20%? One way to increase giving by using your newsletter is to include a story from your community. These stories might spur your members into action and inspire them to contribute to the church. Here are just a few examples of stories you might want to include in the newsletter:
- An upcoming church event
- A local family in need
- Your annual mission trip
- Relief for natural disaster victims
- A local fundraiser
If it's appropriate, give your reader an opportunity to give to your church by inserting a give button or a call to action (CTA) in the e-mail you use to send the newsletter. Reminding your members—in as many words—that they can give online is also something you will want to do in your newsletter. This allows those who are traveling or who didn't attend last week's service to give their tithes and offering online as they keep up with church updates.
4. Provide opportunities to give during sermons.
It's important not to limit the opportunity to give to your church website only. You can also provide opportunities to give during sermons and events. If your congregation wants to give during an inspiring sermon, your pastor can mention your church's text-to-give capabilities. And, your congregation can act right on the spot to pull out their phones and give. (After doing so, your pastor may want to remind them to turn their phones back off!)
It's important to note that “back in the day,” giving by text was capped at either $5 or $10. One survey in 2013 stated that 85% of donors who gave by text would give more if they could. The good news is that, in most cases, these caps no longer apply; donors can be as generous as they like.