You may believe your church should only offer traditional giving — write a check and put it in a pledge envelope, or contribute cash to the collection plate — because that’s the way it’s always been done.
But your members probably feel differently. They’ve become more comfortable every day with online commerce, and electronic giving offers them the opportunity to give to the church like they pay for other things. They’ve told us they prefer a mix of options that allows them to give anytime, no matter where they are.
Credit or debit cards, mobile apps and text messages can make giving to the church similar to their online and in-person shopping experiences. Given the options, they may write a check to pay for a church school program, sign up online for an event, make their weekly pledge with a credit card at a kiosk, or respond to a special appeal through a mobile app or with a text. Most people don’t use only one payment or giving method when they have options that are easy and accessible.
As society changes, church traditions need to change too. When more people carry smartphones than cash or checkbooks, pay their bills online and use credit or debit cards to pay for purchases, more churches should explore the benefits of e-Giving.
There were two reasons that passing the collection plate at services came about in the 1800s. Churches had been funded by the British government, but that stopped when the colonies broke away. And, as more people moved from farms to cities for work in factories or shops, they weren’t growing their own food, but they were getting paid at their jobs. Giving money to the church was easier.
You may need to convince a number of key people, but no way of giving is better than another. The option to give electronically makes it easier for more people to respond more generously to appeals, and offers you the opportunity to benefit from their growing familiarity with e-Commerce.
When your congregation knows you value all gifts the same, the days that people thought it was ridiculous or wrong to give to a church through a smartphone will become a distant memory.
When it comes to raising money, church leaders can always count on two things: You’re going to need more than you thought you would, and it will take more time to raise it. Take advantage of every opportunity you have.
Download our video, Building Blocks of a Complete Giving Program, to learn more about finding the right mix of giving options for your church.