A couple weeks ago, we went over the first 3 of the 6 most common mistakes you’ll find on church giving pages. As the previous post mentioned, with online giving, a church giving page can set the tone for congregants and inspire them to give. The page itself is a vital component in the online giving process, but all too often, simple mistakes can hinder the page’s effectiveness and inhibit online giving.
Mistakes 4-6 are as follows:
- The Page is Too Complicated
- Lack of an Online Strategy
- The Page is Not Mobile Friendly
4. Too Many Details Distract From Giving
Every Sunday, your congregation gives their tithes and offerings; it seems obvious that you would use that same language on your giving page. But devoting page space to long explanations of tithes and offerings can distract your supporters from the page’s primary purpose. Similarly, detailing every type of gift that your church accepts or defining terms can cause a negative effect.
Instead, frame the conversation around the essence of giving and what it means for your church and your congregation. Focus on the act of giving and how it is an important and meaningful extension of your congregants’ faith.
To be clear, you may still need to explain some of your giving processes and details in the text. Highlighting a recurring offering option, for example, makes sense because this is a unique feature of online giving. But trying to cram alternative giving options, financial resources, and complicated giving data onto your giving page can draw supporters’ away from the core of your page.
A garble of giving options is likely to confuse your visitors instead of inspiring them to give. Focus on something that everyone can understand: giving. Doing so will help inspire your page visitors.
Using testimonials can be powerful tools to show your page visitors about the importance of giving. You can also make use of Bible verses that talk about giving. Popular examples are Matthew 6:21, Luke 6:38, or Proverbs 3:9-10.
Most importantly, keep the design tips discussed in Mistake #1 in mind. Keep your page simple and clean to draw focus to giving itself, not a myriad of giving options. Remember that your visitors should want to give when they land on your page. Showing them the importance of giving will help put them in a generous mindset.
5. Ineffective Page Promotion
Promoting your giving page needs to be more than an offhand comment during your weekend service. It’s important to not only get the word out about your online giving efforts, but to encourage your congregation to visit the page and make use of its features and information.
Inconsistent or half-hearted promotion is unconvincing to your congregation. If you don’t explain how your giving page is an extension of your overall giving efforts, the page’s importance can easily be lost.
Walk your congregation through the giving page. Introduce and explain the page during your weekend services. Now would be a great time to encourage your congregation to take out their mobile devices and try the page out for themselves! Just remind them to silence their phones during the rest of the service. Explaining the page during a service shows support from church leaders, which will encourage and excite your congregation.
You’ll want to solidify your promotional efforts by directing your congregants to your giving page in other publications, such as bulletins, emails, and social media pages. Use direct links whenever applicable. You don’t want to spam your congregation, but you do want to make your page as accessible as possible.
Take the time to think about how you’ll approach your promotional efforts before you get started. Consider how you’ll ask for online gifts in your emails and your online communications. After all, you’ll want your promotions to sound natural and informative, not like an afterthought.
6. Ending Giving With the Page Itself
Giving is a part of faith and service to the church; it needs to be a continuing conversation that doesn’t end when a supporter clicks “submit.”
Letting the interaction end after a gift is made not only prevents you from further engaging with your congregation, but it also inhibits your ability to improve your giving page and grow your online giving efforts. The internet offers the chance to keep track of information and data that you can use intentionally. Take the resources available to you to update and improve your online giving efforts.
Once your supporters have confirmed their gifts, redirect them to a thank-you page. On the page, thank the giver for their contribution and provide a call to action for them to continue their engagement. For example, you can:
- Direct givers to a list of upcoming church events.
- Suggest service or leadership opportunities for further involvement.
- Encourage attendance at your next weekend service.
To further emphasize the importance of online giving, consider thanking your online supporters during the weekend services, perhaps after tithes and offerings have been collected. Keep communications about online giving open, and use your different church letters to integrate online giving into other aspects of your ministry.
Finally, be sure to track your data. Monitor your numbers to evaluate how well your giving page is meeting its goals. And of course, use what you learn to improve your page even further (even if you’re no longer making these top mistakes!).
If you have made any of these mistakes on your giving page, I hope that you’ve found these explanations and solutions helpful. As mentioned in the post with the first 3 mistakes, “mistakes are opportunities for improvement.” Utilizing these tips and making necessary changes, whether small or something more major, can help your church get the most out of online giving.
Abby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. Qgiv offers industry-leading online giving and peer to peer fundraising tools for nonprofit, faith-based, and political organizations of all sizes. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi shows on Netflix.