By Gina Calvert

3 Must-Have Features of a Good Giving Experience

Whether you realize it or not, your online giving experience (how the process of giving a gift looks and feels to givers) can connect givers more deeply to their church. OR it can cause them to press pause on their gift.

There are at least 5 common features you definitely don’t want in your gift experience. But what are the must-haves you do want? What does it take to make an online giving experience feel rich and inviting? What leaves givers feeling connected to their church, and not like they’ve just paid a bill?

1. A Good Giving Experience Demonstrates Gift Impact with Visual Ministry Designations


The #1 reason people don’t give is that they don’t know the impact of their gift.

Some giving platforms provide a drop-down menu listing two or more designations so givers can choose where their gift will be applied. That’s better than nothing. But it presumes that the giver already knows what each of these designations is.

On the other hand, a good giving experience leverages givers’ familiarity and preference for imagery, descriptions and choice, such as when they shop or make reservations online. It let them similarly explore and understand different ministries your church is involved in.

Saddleback Church’s giving page (created by Vision2) is a great example of a good giving experience that shows gift impact:

  • First, it distinguishes between and encourages both tithes and offerings. Saddleback’s Give page is configured to educate givers on tithing first, with a quick and easy giving form and easy navigation to other giving opportunities.
  • Secondly, on their Beyond the Tithe page, they illustrate the impact of gifts with dynamic images and descriptions in a user-friendly format for searching, browsing, going deeper, and giving. Below are just a few of Saddleback’s 100+ offerings. This is the online experience your givers are accustomed to on their favorite brands (think Amazon and Netflix).

2. It Puts the Focus on Ministry and the Giver, Not on the Giving Software

Giving software should operate invisibly, which means using an unbranded giving form that keeps givers on your website throughout the entire gift transaction. Most platforms take givers from the church’s website to a branded third-party website to complete their gift, thus breaking the fragile trust and security of the online giving experience.

Thank you emails should come from the church, not the giving software’s DO-NOT-REPLY address. They should be easily customized and personalized by the church, continuing the connected experience right down to the last word.

3. It Makes Giving a Personal, Positive Experience

Most platforms provide multiple giving methods and recurring gifts, but a giving experience that engages givers lets them:

  • Feel secure that they are giving to the church (via exact look and feel as the church website)
  • Avoid sign-in hassles
  • Checkout as a guest
  • Choose multiple designations within one gift, even within recurring gifts

Vision2’s visual ministry designations and overall giving experience contribute to the average 23% lift in donations our clients see. Schedule a demo today.