In 2015 for the first time, holiday sales the weekend after Thanksgiving saw more online purchases than at traditional brick and mortar stores. Consider these staggering facts…
- 103 million people shopped online over that weekend compared to 102 million who shopped in stores.
- Consumers spent an estimated $4.45 billion online with Black Friday sales rising 14% from a year ago.
- 57% of all online shopping was done on mobile devices up 15% from last year.
Clearly Americans are doing more commerce online from paying their bills, purchasing their coffee to now doing their Christmas shopping. So here is a question, does your church have online giving? 57% of all online purchases were done on mobile devices. Can those that attend your church take out their smartphone and make a donation to your ministry? Can they text in their gift? Here is what we are learning,
The easier you make it for people to give the more likely they will give!
So if you don’t have online giving you are missing out on a huge opportunity. If you do have online giving, the question is, are you using it effectively?
Here are six common mistakes churches make when it comes to online giving.
1. They don’t see the need to set up online giving. Perhaps the biggest struggle we have in working with churches is their tendency to continue to do business as usual. Times have changed, and a church must change its practices to meet those changes. Like it or not, commerce has changed.
2. They assume that online giving is only for large churches. This is a big mistake, and it misses the point of where our society is moving. Even people in small churches and small towns use online bill pay. If you give them that option at church, they will use it.
3. They think it is too expensive. Actually, online giving will pay for itself, and the cost is fractional compared to the potential increase in giving.
4. They think they have tried it in the past, and members did not respond. We hear this a lot. When we press churches on this, what they tell us is that they have offered to let members set up automatic withdrawals through their banks, and few—if any—took them up on it. That is not online giving. If members cannot go to your web page and sign up for electronic fund transfer OR give online, you have not tried online giving.
5. They set up PayPal. PayPal is not an effective tool for churches. We often hear from churches that they offer PayPal as an option. PayPal is good for some things, but it is one of the most expensive online tools out there.
6. They have online giving, but they are not effectively using it. You can have a lawn mower in your shed, but if you don’t use it, your lawn will not get mowed. One of the biggest mistakes churches make is not effectively using the tools they have. An online platform is just the start for increasing giving. You have to use the tool properly.
As one pastor said, “Online giving has evened out our giving, especially in the summer. This has taken the panic out of Monday mornings!” We can help this be your story! To find out more, read our blogs about online giving here.