Categories
Church Management church technology Growing Your Giving Base

Top Reasons to Accept Online Giving

LifeWay research revealed earlier this year that only 14% of U.S. Protestant churches offer online giving. That means that although 78% of churches have a Website, an even higher number–86%–of churches offer no method for online giving. It’s most commonly offered in larger churches, and usually has only been in place for one to two years.

While there are equally valid points on either side of the argument, it’s quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception for churches to offer online donations and electronic forms of payment.

Here are a few reasons to offer online giving in your church.

1. Make Giving Easy –

Let’s face it. Very few people are writing checks anymore. In fact, I’d contend that most people only write checks when paying their tithe at church. We are steadily heading towards a time where people don’t carry cash and using a debit card is just easier.

2. People Spend Money Online, Why not Give Online?

The boom of ecommerce sites in the late 90s wasn’t a fad. In fact, it was a glimpse of what the future had to hold for us. The days of a brick and morter store surviving on their inventory alone are gone. With the rise of online shopping, the consumer is now in charge. We are able to shop an available inventory of potentially thousands of products.

People are already spending money online, and comfortable with it. Make it easy for them to give to your ministry online.

3. Stay ahead of “slump” times of giving –

It’s a given that churches will go through seasons where giving slows down. This generally is around secular holidays and summer. People are on vacation, out of town or just get busy. Also, there are times throughout the year when weather makes it impossible to get to church. Chances are, there are only a few faithful givers that will make up the gifts they missed because they were unable to attend. Offering online giving options makes that simple.

4. It’s Easy to have the giving conversation –

We all know that money sermons are often ones that make us uncomfortable. Most pastors will avoid them, and even when they do approach the topic, they tread lightly. Online giving options make those talks non-confrontational. Write an article about the reasons to give, engage people online, send an email reminder or newsletter. Oh by the way, remember to include the link to your online giving link in that conversation. It’ll be a good ice-breaker.

5. Stamps are expensive –

Who knows how long the USPS will stay in business. With the cost of stamps going up, people are looking for alternatives to send documents and such. Can your out of town members, visitors, family members easily give to your ministry? Don’t you think they’d rather hop online and make an electronic gift instead of using a stamp?

6. It’s easier on your financial team –

Volunteers are great. Having a team available to count donations from your service is great. However, anytime people are involved, mistakes can be made. Counting cash, recording checks, counting envelopes, there are any number of ways that someone could make an error. Not to mention the threat of stealing.

7. It’s a hedge against embezzlement –

I know, I know, your church is immune. No one would steal from you, you have complete trust in your team. That’s the same thing most people said before they were the next victim in a long list. A transaction directly from the givers account into the churches account is the safest transaction that can happen to receive money. Now, use a good system to manage that money to keep it safe under your control.

8. You’re limiting the amount people will give –

This one is a small stretch, but studies have found that people will tend to give more when doing so electronically. Offering the ability to give online adds another option for giving and may increase the amount you will receive.

If you’d like to know more about how your church can get started offering online giving, we have tools to get you setup. It’s really simple and easy. Contact Us Here to find out more.

Categories
church technology

Our People Won’t Use That

That is a statement that I’ve heard over and over again.

Too many churches are neglecting to have a functional, attractive website because they have fallen victim to the allusion that their church doesn’t need one. This statement can also be a window into a deeper issue about their stance towards reaching new people.

For most churches, a website serves two purposes:

1. To provide information to prospective visitors about your website. 85% of visitors will look for your church’s website BEFORE they step foot in your door. Your website is your welcome committee that works 24/7/365.

[quote]Does your website give an accurate representation of your church or did you skimp for the CHEAP alternative.[/quote]

2. To keep your members and regular attenders informed. Notice I put this as secondary. Your website can be a very valuable tool for ministry if utilized effectively.

[quote]Are your members using the website as an outreach tool or are they embarrassed to provide the link?[/quote]

Now I realize that outreach is so much more than just a website, but technology has paved a way to simplify your efforts.

For our complimentary Church Website Analysis, Shoot us an email and we’ll take a look.

How does your church use your website?

Categories
church technology Church Website Wednesday Outreach Web

Open Your Doors to the Web World

Church Website Wednesday

[quote align=”center”]85% of first time visitors are looking for your website BEFORE they step foot in your doors.[/quote]

I use that statistic a lot, but only because it is one of the most valuable stats I have found to reveal the importance of a quality, well-designed church website.

If 85% of first time visitors are coming to your website, you can also assume that they are developing a perception of your church. They want to know more. They are used to going to websites and finding every answer they are looking for, without having to leave the comfort of their home.

Does your website explain who you are?

Categories
church technology Church Website Wednesday Outreach Web

Your Church Website as a Ministry Tool.

Church Website Wednesdays

After looking at hundreds of church websites, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I am going to attempt in a weekly series to provide tips, ideas and examples to help you better utilize your website as a ministry tool.

I’ve already written several posts about the necessity for a church to have a website. Some of those can be viewed at the links below.
Church Web Presence Checklist

Top 10 Reasons to Redesign your Church’s Website

What does your website say about your church?

Today, I am going to focus on what content should you put on the website. This is a huge topic and will take several posts, but I will start with an big picture overview.

Your website is one of the most valuable outreach tools available to you outside of the people in your church. Visitors who visit your website should be able to come away with a good idea of who you are, what they can expect from the church and know whether or not your church would be a good fit.

I’ll concede, we all want the people to visit our building before they make up their mind. Unfortunately, in our digital age, the perception is already decided BEFORE they step foot in your door.

[quote align=”center”]So what kind of content should you have on your website?[/quote]

Categories
church technology Communication Technology Tuesday Video

Video Conferencing – Getting Started

One of the things I have learned in building our business is how much I enjoy taking advantage of video conferencing with clients. For me, there is just something about getting to see that person’s face vs. just the audio of their voice on the phone. I also really find it useful to help our clients with computer and web issues. I like the ability to to share my screen and show them step by step how to do something. By sharing the same view, it makes our conversation flow much more smoothly and gives me the confidence that they are seeing exactly what I am explaining.

Technology can be daunting so I’ll talk briefly about how to get setup for your first video conference.

Categories
Assimilation church technology Outreach Social Media Technology Tuesday

Facebook for your Ministry

I get asked all the time by pastors and church leaders about Facebook. Most are at the point that they are seeing the need, but are having trouble taking the first step to get started. I repeatedly assure pastors that Facebook is one of the most effective means of communication available for ministry. Why? Because its based on “Permission Based Marketing”. When you ‘friend’ someone on Facebook, or ‘like’ an organizations page, you are giving them permission to market to you.

I’ll conceded that face-to-face is the best way to communicate, but what Facebook provides is a way to communicate in a non-invasive manner. This is what I’ll explain here.

Categories
church technology Communication Social Media Technology Tuesday Web

Church Social Media

I was talking with a new client over the weekend about their new website. Quickly, the conversation took an obvious shift to social media. We set their site up to utilize some blogging software so that they can update information and keep their site current. I was also able to provide a couple ideas in addition to their site on how to utilize social media for their ministry.

Categories
church technology Communication Technology Tuesday Web

What’s in an… email address?

I know there are many things about technology that seem intimidating.  I will attempt to explain the simplicity and reasoning behind having email addresses setup with your domain.  In general, I realize that most people go to gmail, yahoo or the others and just get an email for simplicity sake.  I’ll admit, it is very simple to get a gmail address with something like mychurch@gmail.com.

[quote]

But is that really the best way to set things up?

[/quote]

Email is beyond becoming a primary means of communication.  That matched with Facebook and it is just one of the many reasons our USPS can’t stay in business.  Most people are pretty savvy with email and I’ll attempt to offer several points on best practices for setting up email at your organization.

Categories
Accounting Church Management church technology

Church Financial Backup & Recovery Plan

Have you given thought to what would happen if your bookkeeper got sick or had to be away for an extended period of time?

 

What if heaven forbid something devastating happened to your facility?

 

Do you have sufficient backup & recovery plans in place for your church?

 

 

[quote]We have a seamless solution that will insure your church’s financial operation are always operational.[/quote]

Categories
Accounting Church Management church technology Time Management

A Remedy for Overworked Pastors

I read Thom Rainer’s blog this morning and he has a great post about depressed pastors. In the post, he mentions several potential reasons why the pastor may be depressed, or burned out. Each of his points are very valid, although I would add one additional point.

Many times, the pastor is the only employee of the church, and if not kept in check, he’ll often over-task himself and suffer from being overwhelmed with being responsible for keeping the organization afloat. We all have that tendency to want to do it ourselves and I’ll be the first one to admit my weakness in this area.