Embracing a Digital Giving Strategy for Growth and Sustainability

When it comes to creating and implementing a digital giving strategy, the “set it and forget it” approach doesn’t work for growing generosity in your church.

So, why is creating an intentional digital giving strategy important to your church’s growth and sustainability? Because being proactive is vital in ensuring your church’s financial stability in the long run.

What is digital giving?

Digital giving offers convenience and expanded outreach capabilities, but when implemented strategically with the right tool, it can provide transparency, reliable record-keeping, and the potential for scalability. Embracing new technologies and constantly seeking ways to improve your digital giving strategy will help future-proof your church and ensure long-term success.

The importance of security and other digital giving concerns

More digital giving tools means more emphasis on security. Donor security and privacy are essential to safeguarding the trust you’ve built with your congregants. It’s important to make sure all data is securely stored and encrypted, as well as compliant with applicable laws concerning data storage. Additionally, donors should have the ability to easily access and delete their data if desired. Your software provider should also have a monitoring system in place and a dedicated team of privacy and information security professionals working closely together to ensure best practices are employed and security requirements are met.

If you’re interested in learning more about digital giving security, Pushpay has a whole page dedicated to it. We guarantee that our app is about 2,000 times more secure than handing a waiter your credit card to go and swipe.

In addition to security, there are also a few other common concerns about digital giving that we hear often:

Is it less spiritual to give digitally?

When we give an offering, we put a physical item that represents value onto the plate. The act of giving something tangible makes it seem important. With digital giving, nothing physical is exchanged, so it feels different. And when you sign up for recurring giving, the money comes out automatically, so there’s no regular act of giving. Isn’t that less spiritual?

No. We’re called to sacrificially give to support God’s kingdom. Spirituality lies in the sacrifice of giving, not in how or even what we give. When the Old Testament was written, people gave grains, spices, and animals. In the New Testament, they gave currency (typically in the form of coins). Times change. Thankfully, we no longer have to bring sheep to church.

Is there the ability to cancel or change a recurring giving amount?

Recurring giving is fantastic for churches. People decide on an amount they want to give, plug it into the app, set a frequency, and let it run. When the time comes, the app transfers the money to the church. This gives churches a steady income they can rely on and mitigates problems that arise from people neglecting or forgetting to give.

But the power lies with the user. They can turn off recurring giving at any time or change the amount. That means next year they can decide to give more.

Will digital giving show up on an end-of-year giving statement?

Giving used to be a lot harder to track. If a church used giving envelopes, there was a good chance of getting an accurate giving statement (provided the info was entered regularly). But if people threw cash into the offering, there was no way that it was getting recorded.

A big plus of digital giving is that everything that’s given is meticulously tracked. Not only will end-of-year giving statements be more accurate, but anyone can easily check giving progress any time of the year.

Is digital giving appropriate for all ages?

Technology can feel overwhelming for older people. They’ll often focus their resistance on some imagined fault with the tech, but the truth is that they’re mostly overwhelmed by learning a new app—especially when it affects their finances. This is good news. You can teach them to use an app!

As you prioritize digital giving in your church, make an effort to come alongside this group and train them to use your app. This can be done from the pulpit or in a class dedicated to getting everyone on board. Once older people see how it’s done, their confidence will soar.

The elements of a successful digital giving strategy

Your digital giving strategy should consider the following:

User experience

It’s important that your online giving platform is both easy to use and accessible. Look for providers that offer intuitive and straightforward tools that are optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. This will ensure that your donor base, regardless of technical know-how, can easily contribute to your church.

Recurring donation options

Many of the tools available in the market today have easy-to-use digital and recurring giving capabilities that can help improve your donor’s experience and increase donations. But Pushpay takes today’s giving technology to the next level with the Everygift™ system of features that proactively prevents credit card gifts from failure, ensuring they have a chance to be recovered and processed.

What’s more, Everygift™ grows donations with features that are based on data-driven strategies to increase donation volume without administrative burden. It’s a win-win. And by offering recurring donation options with multiple giving schedules, churches have the potential to increase their donation consistency. Not only is this convenient for churchgoers who prefer to donate electronically, but it also helps churches plan their budget more effectively.

Multiple giving options

Donors expect a wide array of digital giving options. Mobile apps, online portals, text-to-give—all of these methods should be available and integrated into your church’s digital giving platform. This will provide donors with the flexibility to contribute in ways that fit their lifestyle.

How to successfully transition to a digital giving strategy

Transitioning to a digital giving strategy starts with looking for new giving software. When selecting a new software, your priorities should be:

1. your congregation’s user experience
2. how the new software can support the wonderful work your team is already doing

Rely on customer support

Your staff will use your church giving software in a completely different way than your congregants, so consider a software provider with a solid customer support team that’s available at any time you have questions or need extra support. For instance, Pushpay offers multiple support types for different roles and offers a whole help site dedicated to product education and support.

Leverage integrations

Your church might also benefit from integrating your Church Management Software with your new digital giving platform for ease-of-use, improved donor communication, and reporting. A seamless integration between the two ensures that you’re not missing out on opportunities to nurture donor relationships, disciple members, and capture your congregation’s complete picture of engagement.

Encourage adoption

Engagement will be essential to adoption and, more importantly, growth. This is where an integrated church app can help your church by serving as an interactive hub. Congregants can use the app to interact with their small groups, view and switch serving assignments, access sermons, receive updates, and give—all in one place. When you update your app or hub consistently, your members will be inspired to continue engaging, serving, and supporting your church.

Focus on change management

Once you’ve landed on a new digital giving platform that best suits your church, you’ll need to have a change management process in place. Focusing on change management strategies will help minimize issues around adoption and implementation. We recommend taking these steps when rolling out your new giving software:

1. Communicate changes with your staff and allow them to ask questions, use the software, and contribute to your communications plan.

2. Have your pastor personally invite a small group of church leaders to download your online mobile giving app and make a small gift. Ask them about their experience and if they would like to recommend ways that would make implementation to the rest of the congregation easier.

3. When creating your communication, from social media to bulletin inserts, use QR codes to make downloading your giving app easier.

4. On the Friday before rollout, send an email to your congregation introducing your new giving platform along with your QR code. It will help them plan ahead before your Sunday service.

5. On launch day, prepare altar announcements for your pastor to introduce the new tool and have a QR code on the screen during collection so that your members are ready to give.

At Pushpay, we know that moving donors to your new platform can be a long and drawn-out process. Our Recurring Migration feature is an automated templated email campaign with a dashboard that shows you real-time results to help you monitor the progress of your migration and follow-up with donors who haven’t moved their recurring gifts.

Evaluating and enhancing your digital giving strategy

Part of evaluating the success of a giving strategy means knowing what to measure. With the help of data and technology, churches can better track metrics, performance indicators, and trends to refine their strategy in order to have a better picture of engagement.

For example, if your system provides donor insights on new givers, this data allows your church to respond immediately with a personal thank you note from the pastor, a welcome gift that you’ve prepared ahead of time, and a planned path for discipleship that invites them to engage further with your church.

By taking the time to understand your donors and creating a giving experience tailored to their needs, your church can make the most of your digital giving and ensure donors have an enjoyable experience. With the right approach and dedication to donor-centric strategies, your church can not only increase donations but also cultivate meaningful relationships with your congregation.

That’s why it’s important to pay attention to digital trends and explore new technology solutions that can help improve your digital giving strategy, as well as track donor engagement metrics and performance indicators in order to continually optimize the digital giving experience.

How Celebration Church increased recurring givers

Celebration Church is an inspiring example of how diligently evaluating their digital toolkit multiplied generosity. Though nearly 70% of their giving was through online gifts, their platform had a complicated interface that prevented them from growing its number of recurring givers. Their staff also spent a significant amount of time and energy with the software.

Implementing Pushpay giving and app led Celebration Church to a six-fold increase in recurring giving in just one year. The overflowing expression of generosity has allowed them to not only reinforce the value of planned giving, but also fund their ministry in developing countries, meals for needy children, and improve care services for their congregants.

Which digital giving strategy will you start using today?

Digital giving offers churches a great opportunity for increased engagement and improved donation consistency. By frequently evaluating new digital giving trends and understanding the importance of user-friendly, accessible online digital giving platforms, incorporating recurring giving, offering diversified giving options, and ensuring donor security and privacy, your church can build a successful digital giving strategy.

Want to learn more about how Pushpay can help your church? Schedule a demo with our team to see how we can work for you.


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