The Internet has been many things over the past two decades. At first it was a novelty. Then it was a super highway, a boom, a bubble, a bust, and a new frontier. Along the way, it became wireless, social, lightning fast, and mobile. And now, as we start another year, it has become a few other things as well. Indispensable. Ubiquitous. Inescapable. As essential to our daily lives as automobiles and electricity.
And yet despite all of this, many churches continue to treat the Internet as if it is a fad or inessential luxury. This is especially true when it comes to engaging with online and mobile giving tools.
Despite the fact that less than 7% of transactions in the United States are conducted via cash and check, over 75% of American churches still do not offer any form of online giving. That’s right. Three out of every four churches in America are staking their financial health on the hope that their members will give consistently using payment methods they only use 7% of the time. In 2015!
If this describes your church – if you and your team have relegated digital giving to a “we’ll get to it one of these days” type of conversation – then I have a challenge for you. I challenge you to make 2015 “one of those days.” Make 2015 the year you take online and mobile stewardship seriously.
There are dozens of reasons why I’d like to see you do this.
Do it because 84% of Millennials (people born from 1979-1994) say they prefer to do their giving online. (Giving in person came in a distant second with 48%.)
Do it because 52% of those same Millennials (typically your least-engaged givers) say they would be interested in an automated, recurring giving option.
Do it because 59% of surveyed donors over the age of 60 gave a gift online in 2014.
Do it for all of the ways digital tools can make life easier – not just for your givers – but for your staff as well.
Do it because the financial future of your church absolutely depends on it. Still not convinced? Let me offer one more reason. Well, not me, exactly. Let me call in some “giving gurus” to offer one more reason.
A couple years back The Rocket Group, a church stewardship consultancy, surveyed 1,078 churches with questions about their finances. This survey found that 14% of churches were exceeding their annual budget for tithes and offerings.
The Rocket Group then analyzed these high-performing churches to identify the factors contributing to their financial success. They identified 5 key “giving practices” that these financially secure churches share. Number one and number two are below.
- The ability to accept automatic, recurring donations.
- Offer some kind of online giving.
Maybe you plan to preach about financial stewardship this year. Maybe you’re going to do better about including regular financial updates in your bulletin. Maybe you’ve been practicing a moving exhortation to give that you can’t wait to give before the offering next week. That’s all great. But if you don’t offer online giving, you’re missing out on the two biggest things you can be doing to improve the financial health of your ministry.
Which begs one final question: if you’re not ready in 2015, when will you be?
Don’t let another year pass you by. Make 2015 “The Year Of Online Giving.” Do that and you can make 2016 “The Year Our Church Didn’t Have To Stress About Money.”
(Author’s Note: I honestly don’t care which online giving platform you go with. I just want you to find one that works for YOUR church. But…if you’re looking for a great place to start, I’d encourage you to check out Mogiv. Mogiv’s simple and secure online giving form allows your attendees to create one-time and scheduled gifts right from your church’s website!
Not only that, Mogiv also offers the flexibility of an integrated text giving solution – allowing your members to respond in generosity anytime, anywhere, and in any amount! And best of all? Mogiv does not require ANY startup fees, subscription fees, or contracts. All you pay is a small processing fee. GO HERE to get started today for free!)