Leading a powerful digital giving response is both science and art. After watching hours of online services here are some best practices that church leaders need to consider. You want to provide multiple touches with repeated communication to be successful. Be mindful that you have no idea how many distractions you may be battling on the other side of the screen. Not everyone is listening all the time.
- Early in the service craft a welcome and impact update time. Be sure to address all your guests from wherever they are watching. Encourage them to mention their local neighborhood or city, state. You might even have some people logging in from other countries. This newly discovered expansive reach will encourage your people that ministry impact is now bigger than ever. You addressing them individually makes them feel important and connected to the vision.
- As a part of this welcome time share a story of ministry impact during COVID-19. This will be so inspiring to your members and guests. Then share a simple callout to your online giving experience so people can participate in the vision. Place the link in the feed for easy access.
- At the beginning of your message provide a financial and ministry update. Everyone expects giving to be down because you are not meeting together. This will come as no surprise to them. However, what may be a surprise is your strong financial position due to the many leadership decisions you have been making. Also, people will be unaware of all the ways you are flexing to create new ministries serving inside and outside the church. Be honest about giving, but also positive.
- Pin your text to give number or link to download your giving app to the top of your feed. You can do this at the beginning of the message while you are providing the financial and ministry update. At this point you have provided two unique giving opportunities very easily online and mobile. You have also reached two different types of givers based on the channel they prefer.
- Conclude your service with a generosity reminder and link to your online giving page. Redesign your online giving opportunity to be more of a ministry engagement experience. Remove login screens and resist the temptation to just collect money via a transactional credit card form. Rather utilize this page to engage in a transformational giving experience that is fun, easy, and rewarding. Help givers feel a part of something bigger than themselves. This page can also contain instructions on how to give multiple ways both digitally and non-digitally. Remember to provide a phone number so someone can receive confidential financial help with their generosity.
If you have followed these five steps you have actually communicated multiple ways to give during this season without overwhelming your people with information. All have been engaged in personally meaningful ways.
Church leaders are signing up for digital giving platforms in massive amounts. Others have had digital giving for a long time. Both groups have very high expectations of the results. The truth is you will reap what you lead. Simply making digital giving available is not the silver bullet. Leading a giving experience that is easy, fun, and rewarding is the key. Then repeat, repeat, repeat.