If you work in ministry you know one item on the summer vacation to-do list often gets forgotten: sending off the church offering. Even families that are usually faithful givers regularly forget to mail a check before they leave town. That is why most churches see a significant dip in giving over the summer months. Fortunately, many churches are discovering one major way to battle the summer giving slump: Offering your congregants online giving.
“One huge positive (of online giving) is how it flattens out giving from month to month,” said Scott Moore of Village Baptist Church in Beaverton, Ore. “We used to go up and down from month to month … but the more people we have giving online on a regular basis, the more that has started to level out,” Scott said in the ministry guide Five Sundays: The Power of Online Giving.
Many churches are ready to make the leap, but they’re not sure what it will take to get there. The sample timeline below can help your organization plan for implementing online giving in your church – which would mean you could kiss your summer giving slump goodbye!
ONLINE GIVING IMPLEMENTATION SAMPLE TIMELINE
6 Months Before Launch
- Form your online giving launch team
- Set a target date for online giving
3 Months Before Launch
- Schedule key campaign dates
- Choose accepted payment methods
1 Month Before Launch
- Begin promoting the online giving ministry
- Send out emails
- Begin worship announcements
- Train staff members on posting contributions
- Order the list of published fund codes
- Test launch the system with a technology-savvy group
- Link online giving web page across the church website
- Continue educating members on online giving
- Provide “getting started with online giving” instructions
- Create FAQs based on feedback from your test launch team
- Encourage members to start consistently using online giving
- Supplement with a strong financial stewardship message
- Continue encouraging congregants to give online
- Update and keep emails and funds current
- Inform people about what their donations have helped accomplish
- Have they helped a missionary to stay longer in the field?
- Have you assisted families after a natural disaster?
- Publish online giving testimonies on your church website
The above is a sample timeline – the individual needs of your church will dictate the best approach. Regardless of the timeline, implementing online giving is increasingly becoming a “must” for ministry.