Year-end giving is hard to prioritize. The holidays are a time when time is short, to-do lists are long, and the emphasis on spending is at an all-time high. In addition to shopping, 50 percent of all donations to churches and non-profits are made between October and December, with 10 percent happening the last three days of the year. But if we’re not adapting to the changing needs of givers, churches run the risk of missing out on major gifts.
Online shopping and on-the-go money management have sparked a demand for quicker and easier payment methods. Christmas shopping can be done in one click thanks to Amazon—and even have it delivered that week. Some of our purchases this season will be made without a card entirely as a result of ApplePay. In fact, unless we’re buying coffee at the corner cafe or tipping the barista, why carry cash at all?
These same online shoppers and one-click buyers are also sitting in our churches on Sunday mornings. Since money behaviors are quickly changing, the technology to capture it all is also changing faster than ever. A study done in January of 2014 revealed something incredibly alarming: The average attention span in 2013 was just 8 seconds. Not even long enough to pull out your credit card.
Taking these evolving needs into account, here are 5 ways you can maximize opportunities for your year-end giving campaign:
1. Giving should take less than 30 seconds
Many people will give more (or will begin to give) if they can do it from their phone and in 10 seconds. Studies show that 85 percent of users abandon mobile giving attempts if the process takes longer than 30 seconds. The average experience for e-giving can take up to three minutes or more. If a donation can be made in 10 seconds and on a phone, churches are able to capture spontaneous givers, many of which include millennials.
2. Security is most important
Security breaches should be reserved for Fortune 500’s, not your church. You want to ensure your congregation’s absolute confidentiality when they are offering you their financial information. Make sure credit card details are kept and stored securely and are encrypted.
3. Keep your admin team in mind
Many platforms can easily integrate into your existing church database. With features like automatic integration, every time someone gives their information it can be stored to their profile immediately. This will save your administration and finance teams tremendous headaches.
4. Provide multiple options to give
While mobile giving may be the answer for many of your attendees, make sure you offer other forms for gifts like kiosks or web-giving. You might even need to keep the quintessential offering plate or bag. Some churches have chosen to “kick the bucket” altogether by completely eliminating the offering plate, but you must decide what is best for your church.
5. Own year-end giving entirely
Any move to a new platform requires top-down support and promotion. Make sure you talk about the app regularly from the stage or pulpit because there may be new givers in the crowd. Use all of your digital communication channels to follow up with more information. This will help increase the adoption rate for givers, especially new givers in your church.
Above all, make sure you’re connecting your givers with the technology and mediums to help enable year-end giving. Just because we’re becoming a cashless and checkbook-less society doesn’t mean you need to feel deflated.