A few years ago I wrote a blog post called “Eleven Reasons NOT to Offer Online Giving” – a rare tongue-in-cheek post meant to encourage the implementation of electronic giving solutions in churches across the country. It’s a quick and easy read if you want to revisit it. But little did I know then just how relevant that post would prove itself today.
This summer a Dunham+Company / Campbell Rinker study showed only 42% of churches in the US offer an electronic giving option. Less than half. While larger churches have an increased likelihood of having electronic giving solutions, that percentage drops to 29% in churches with fewer than 200 in attendance.
While the percentages themselves may not surprise you, another recent Campbell Rinker study showed that 70% of other (non-church) non-profit organizations offer online giving. Now there’s a discrepancy worth talking about!
What’s the difference? Non-profit organizations throughout the country (of which there are over 1.5 million currently, by the way) understand the importance of this technology. It’s really pretty simple: Non-profits employ giving technology because it works. Your people have a choice where they give, and these non-profits make it easy for the giver.
In a more recent blog post just this spring, I shared with you a few statistics I saw in a Zogby Analytics study on millennials… here’s a quick graphic of what I’m referring to.
Although these stats are specific to millennials (you know, those college kids and young new families wandering your church halls), electronic giving is being adopted by all generations. (So just because you find yourself in a church with a more mature age range, doesn’t get you off the hook!) Electronic giving is important because your givers expect it.
And I’m not just talking about the ability to give through your church’s website either, although that’s a start. People today are looking for mobile-friendly giving options so they can give online at any time and any place.
So, back to the original question at hand… Why is the church lagging behind in giving technology? Could it be misperception? Could it be lack of priority? Could it be that we’re just stuck in the we’ve-always-done-it-this-way mindset rut that prevents us from anything new?
You may relate to one of these obstacles, or you may have a different one entirely, but let me tell you this. Electronic giving solutions aren’t as complicated as we tend to make them. And you don’t have to have a fancy app or really expensive technology either. Most websites today provide some mobile-friendly options, and that’s a great start for many churches!
Just think of the ministry impact you could have from the generosity of new or additional givers if you offered or improved your online giving solutions. The church has the best story, the most important mission, and the greatest hope of any organization in existence. It shouldn’t lag behind the technological curve – it should be out front leading it!
In fact, I am a believer in the importance of giving technology so much that I wrote an entire e-book on it!
Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving is a resource that shares a bit more background and stats to help you understand where we’ve been and where we’re headed, but it also includes very practical step-by-step instructions to help you take the next step in your electronic giving solutions (and some additional offers for one-on-one help).
You can download your FREE copy today in just seconds, and soon be well on your way to improved online giving systems in no time.