Much of becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ involves removing obstacles. Our sin creates barriers between us and God. Our overflowing schedules create detours and blowouts on the road to Sabbath rest. Our financial priorities can develop massive hurdles on the path to generosity.
Part of the local church’s work is to help Christ-followers identify and eliminate these barriers on their transformational journey. And sometimes the church inadvertently creates these obstacles, many of them in the area of generosity.
Bank of America and other large banks have plans to implement new debit card use fees. These fees are a direct result of a new law passed last summer that went into effect October 1, limiting what banks can charge vendors for each debit card use.
Recently I had the opportunity to have lunch with Bryce Collman, President of Ardent Giving Solutions. Our conversation turned to those new changes in transaction fees regarding debit card transactions that I thought important to share with my readers. Here is that conversation:
There has been a lot of communication around the topic of online giving (OG) lately, some of it coming from my desk over the last few months. While the debate has been worthwhile, there is another angle to consider as you setup your online giving solution (if you already have online giving in place, congratulations – but this info is valid for you also).
Once you have OG in place, a strong “marketing” effort must exist to educate your people about the new technology, and to address the questions they will have about it’s use.
The more effectively this is accomplished, the more you will see new users taking advantage of this option as they give their tithes and offerings.
Last October I started a series to look at ways you can effectively compete and WIN the battle for contributions. Do you not think you are in a competition for charitable dollars? You might want to review these statistics. It is not simply a checklist of things you can work on for two weeks and move on. But instead, it will require a significant amount of time and energy. For many of you, this may mean a complete rework of how you currently approach stewardship and generosity in your church.
Part One was devoted to Mission
Part Two was devoted to Communication
Part Three considered “Donor Stewardship”
This issue looks at Options for Receiving Gifts…Making it Easy for your donors to give to your organization.
For every church, non-profit, and other organization who is wondering if they should offer online giving- Here are 11 reasons NOT to offer online giving:
1. You want to frustrate those who no longer use checks or carry cash. Many today, especially those under age 30, do not carry or use checks. Nor do they carry much cash. Their financial lives revolve around the use of debit and credit cards. So when offering time comes, they are frustrated, even embarrassed that they are unprepared to participate.
2. You do not want to link stories of life change to generosity. After watching a video you’ve uploaded that tells the story of a new life in Christ that occurred as a result of your church’s ministry, why not provide a link to your online giving page? Help your donors connect the dots between their generosity and the impact it is having through your ministry.
For many non-profits, one out of every two gifts comes in during the last three months of the year. Churches usually experience their largest monthly gift amounts in November and December. This makes online giving most important at the year’s end.
Approximately 40% of online gifts are made in December, and between 40-60% of those gifts are made during the last two days of the year. Online giving appeals to and creates givers that are wealthier, higher-dollar, and younger donors.
If online giving is already part of your strategy, great! If not, now is the time to implement an effective strategy for 2010.
There are many companies who offer online giving solutions for your ministry. Contact me today for a list of recommendations.