Are You Following These 16 Online Giving Best Practices?
Churches are sometimes surprised to learn that simply pasting a “GIVE” button on their website with a giving form doesn’t mean people will automatically give, or give more. Following online giving best practices includes:
- Website and giving page design and content
- Choosing giving software that removes the top barriers to giving
- Promoting your online giving
Your giving experience starts the moment someone considers giving and follows on through the process of giving, the finalization of the gift and receiving your confirmation notice. Often, along the way, there are small irritants, called friction. If your giver faces enough of these, they may eventually abandon their gift. Studies show that 83% of charitable gifts started are not completed, so it’s important to follow online giving best practices to eliminate as many of these as possible.
What to Include In Your Giving Experience
Although your givers can enter the giving experience from anywhere — social media, a link in an email, your homepage — they all end up on your website’s giving page.
- Make sure there is continuity from the starting point to the giving page, in terms of branding, style and messaging. Givers should never feel like they’ve landed in the wrong place.
- Ensure that your homepage navigation includes a highly visible “GIVE” button that directs to the giving page.
- The giving page should include simple instructions for completing a gift, brief content about the church’s mission, and an easily seen GIVE button. Keep it simple. There should be no links other than to specific giving opportunities.
- Use high quality images or videos.
- When describing your ministry, it’s very important to talk about the impact your givers’ gifts will have, more than the needs of the church. Use language such as “your gift allows us to…,” focusing on the specific ways people will be helped.
- Maintain consistent branding across your entire website and giving page.
- Say thank you as often as possible.
What to Ask of Your Giving Software Provider
Research shows that the following features in a giving software have a significant impact on giving, so make sure you choose a vendor who understands the importance of these technical online giving best practices:
- Keeping your giver on your website to complete their gift (rather than redirecting them to a payment processor’s site to give their financial information)
- Having no giving limits of any kind, including gift amounts and number of gifts that can be processed at one time.
- Allowing guest checkout
- Allowing you to customize and personalize your thank you emails
- Ensuring giver information is secure
- Offering a recurring donation feature
- Short and easy giving form
- Mobile friendliness
- Matching your giving page to your website
Shout it from the Rooftops!
Of course, one of the most important online giving best practices is making sure people know about it!
Information about your online giving platform should be seen everywhere, including:
- Announcement slides
- Signage in your building
- All emails
- Annual giving statements
- Social media
- Event announcements
- Newsletters and bulletins
- Have the Pastor occasionally mention your church’s online giving option
Free Giving Experience Audit
Our team will review your church’s online giving experience against 20 of the most common obstacles that get in the way of a giver’s generosity.
We will then send you a detailed set of recommendations that will help you to reach your true giving potential.