Have you ever thought about how you could use online giving to start a conversation? Once people are on your website, ready to give, how are you communicating with them? How are you intentionally building relationships with them, so they don't just come, give, and leave?
Online initiatives always work best if they are being used in tandem with one another. Use your social media platforms to lead people to your online giving page. Use your online giving page to lead people to your social media platforms. If you’re linking to your giving page on other parts of your website, consider what other parts of your website you’re linking to on your giving page.
Many churches have a variety of ways to give, whether through text, online, in-app or even through time and talents. And while these may be listed somewhere on your websites, in your bulletins or even shared verbally in-service, what’s often missing is the conversation around giving. Creating these types of conversations is a great way to engage with your audience.
Here are 5 ways to use your online giving page to further engagement with your church as a whole:
1. Always connect giving back to your overall mission
Consider the part that online giving plays in the story of your church. If your mission is, for instance, “Love God. Love People.”, pay attention to how you’re using your online giving page in relation to that mission. Are you connecting online giving to loving God and loving people? Are you using language that creates engagement around becoming part of a community that is loving God and loving people? Sometimes it can be as simple as spelling that connection out.
2. Give people an opportunity to share their story
One of the most powerful ways to encourage giving is to create a community of givers within your church. Allow your congregation to engage with this community by giving them space to tell their story. Someone may have a story of how God worked in their life to give them a new perspective on giving or how they use your online giving platform as a way to say thank you.
Whatever the stories are, it’s important to create a place where people can share them. This can be done as a short-term campaign or as a long-term element of your website. Assign a staff member, or members, to collect and edit your congregation’s stories into social media posts, blog posts, or even record a video to post online or show in-service.
3. Show where the money's going and the impact it's creating
Monetary gifts are a way for your congregation to share and support your church’s mission to further the Kingdom. Give them a window to see this change. Whether that means consistent blog posts with updates on certain ministries and initiatives that are being impacted or strategically scheduled campaigns that explore where their money is going and the effect it’s having, use these updates to continue the conversation.
4. Thank your givers
Don’t forget one of the very first things you ever learned! When someone gives you something, it’s natural and polite to simply say thank you. Don’t skip this with your online givers. It’s an easy and a necessary step to continue the conversation and furthering engagement. It helps you stay conversational and provide a human connection.
5. Continue the conversation
As with any online initiative, it’s important to have a next step. Pay attention to where you’re sending people once they’ve completed their online giving form. Is there a circle back to your main web page? Links to sermons or blog posts about giving? A call to give to a special initiative (i.e., back-to-school, year end, missions)? You can also use your page to start a conversation about other ways in which your congregation can connect. That could be a link to a volunteer form, links to specific ministry pages, flyers for upcoming events, etc.
Fishhook's exploring how to communicate generosity with us over the next four months. If you enjoyed this post and want to see the rest, subscribe to the series below!