The Offering Is Not Dead; It’s Different Series

This is the third in a series of posts; all directed to help you improve your offering time!

COVID19 has shown us that the offering is not dead but different.   The accounting firm CapinCrouse recently released a study on the impact on church giving.  Here are a few of the interesting things they discovered,

  • 56% of churches have seen a decrease in giving, with 25% seeing no impact and 19% seeing an increase.
  • 90% of all churches polled had seen an increase in online giving.
  • 53% of that 90% saw online giving increase by over 20%.

Here is what we are finding.  Churches immediately saw declines in giving, but now giving appears to have stabilized.  We believe the number one reason for that stability is online giving’s growth.  The 24/7 offering plate is a major reason why.

For a church to survive through COVID19 and beyond, they need to implement what I call, “The 24/7 Offering Plate.”  The following are a few of the key steps you need to implement in building out your 24/7 offering plate strategy.

  1. It starts with a robust online giving platform.  If you don’t have the right systems in place, your story can’t get out, and people can’t give to support that story.  A robust online platform gives you a base for your 24/7 offering strategy.
  2. You must provide multiple paths towards giving leads to a multiplication of giving!  Your online platform needs to be more than just a portal on your website.  Online giving has morphed into multiple platforms and functions.  Americans love options, including options for how we give.  Now to fully connect with your people, you need options like text giving.  You need an App.  You need ways to instantly communicate with your donors so that they can support the story of life change you are telling.
  3. The easier you make it for people to give, the more likely they will give!  Make your site visible AND mobile friendly!  If it ain’t easy, I am not going to use it.  On some church websites, it is nearly impossible to find the giving button.  When the average person spends less than 10 seconds on a web page, you had better work on your design.
  4. Think mobile!  People use their smart devices to do just about everything, including commerce.  Your site needs to reflect this.  Run this simple test.  Look at your giving page on your smartphone.
  5. Move the offering beyond Sunday.  If there is one thing COVID19 should have taught us is that time and space does not define when and how we worship.  A friend of mine once said to me, “Churches have to think of giving 365 days a year.”  To achieve this, you need to,
  6. Drive people to your giving portals!  The #1 mistake churches make with online giving is forgetting about it!  From Social Media posts to directed emails to even snail-mail letters, you need to have the link to your giving page prominent.  If you never mention the option of giving online, don’t be surprised if people don’t use it.

We have to take the offering to where our people are, even if it is at the beach or their living room!  That’s why you need a 24/7 offering plate strategy!

But that’s not all!  The above is about the systems you need in place for a 24/7 offering strategy.  Systems don’t raise money.  A compelling vision does.  Consider another interesting fact from the recent CapinCrouse study,

57% of churches have increased their discussion around offerings during online services.  They state that these churches, “Emphasized that offerings are an act of worship, told stories of how the gifts are used, featured people or organizations that have benefitted from congregational giving, etc.”

Stay tuned for our next post, where we will focus on how to use your offering time to tell the story of what your church is doing!

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