A general direction in which something is growing or changing is a trend. Some trends might be best left in the vault or not recalled often, especially as they relate to fashion (two words: parachute pants) or, on the other hand, they can drum up super charged childhood memories of fads like pet rocks, cabbage patch dolls, beanie babies or chasing around a virtual Pokémon character in the parks for hours with your children (hoping I touched several generations there!). As we slide our way into adulthood, we become keenly aware of economic trends in the stock and housing markets and become persuaded to be partakers instead of sideline observers. These investment trends help us. Another helpful financial trend that I don’t see fading out, and therefore don’t want to miss is how to receive church tithes online. Still with me?
Expert ministry resource, Gearing Up For Fall Giving, clues us into the following, “It seems like everywhere we turn we see new companies popping up that offer online giving services to churches. Numerous solutions in the marketplace must mean one thing: companies see online giving as a way to serve churches.” Why is that? Short answer: Church members want it, in fact, I’d go as far as saying they’re demanding it because, quite frankly, online giving is convenient:
- One-time gifts are quickly and easily accepted from members and guests alike.
- Recurring monthly tithes are not skipped and become “reliable.”
- It’s covid safe as online giving is contactless.
We stepped up in so many positive ways in 2020 because we needed to. We had plans A, B, C and then scrapped them as we quickly adapted and learned about more technology and even better ways to serve our people. Who knew we could stream church services or successfully pull off virtual VBS? I want to encourage us to take a breath and keep thinking in a forward and organized manner as it pertains to the importance of giving tithes and offerings and how we enable our members to consistently and cheerfully do so this fall, into the holidays and the New Year. Don’t be left behind or on the sidelines listening as your pastor friends talk about how online giving increased the donations to the building fund or enabled a much more tech-savvy group of church members like Generation Z’ers who consistently give. You can make this happen for your church, too, with a communication strategy to engage your members.
If you’re a baseball movie fan, you are probably familiar with this quote, “If you build it, they will come.” Introduce your members to online giving and then leverage both traditional print and digital media as a way of communicating online giving to your church with posters, pulpit announcements, videos, emails, and social media. Regardless of your church size, a communication plan similar to this one can be implemented to educate your members about online giving. The idea is to talk about it in order for them to be comfortable with this new tool.
We’ve spent the last eighteen-plus months learning and adapting and reconfiguring how we do church and why. How do we meet in the face of a pandemic? How do we connect and really establish relationships within the community? Now we are all wondering how will the church continue to change after covid-19 and looking immediately ahead, how can we stay connected with church members this fall? I believe that as we prayerfully and strategically move forward, online giving will be a foundational ally to help accomplish our budgetary goals, outreach missions, and more.
I urge you to start the conversations. Remember, people like options, and that’s what you’re giving them: options to be the best stewards with what they’ve been given to bless the church and others.
Donna is ACS Technologies’ Vice President of Client Experience. Her focus is on customer satisfaction and client retention. Donna started as a support representative in 1985 when the company was still called Computer Dimensions.
This blog references the new helpful Ministry Resource on proven best practices in Gearing Up For Fall Giving, which is part 4 of this 4 part Gearing Up For Fall Ministry Guide series. It is available now to you for free as an easy download to read and share. And, to make it even easier and so you don’t miss any of our Church Growth Resources, you can also receive our ministry blog posts straight to your inbox!