Eliminating Generosity Obstacles – Part Two

Communication // September 11, 2012

This is part two of the post on Eliminating Generosity Obstacles through effective online giving. Part of the local church’s work is to help Christ followers identify and eliminate barriers on their transformational journey.

And sometimes, the church inadvertently creates those obstacles, many of them in the area of generosity. Here are more obstacles to consider:

Obstacle: Hiding your online giving page.

Scott missed worship this past weekend, but he remembers hearing about your new online giving option. He heads to the church’s website and is confused when he can’t find anything about giving. As he’s searching through yet another menu, he gets a phone call and closes his computer.

It doesn’t do much good to have an online giving option, if people have difficulty finding it. Yes, you’re right: The church has a bad reputation for “just wanting my money,” so it may seem counterintuitive to include “give” on the homepage of your website.

But hiding your online giving area isn’t going to fix the bad reputation; it only frustrates people who want to use it!

Chances are that people who are checking out your church online will be curious enough to click on “give online.”

This allows you an opportunity to include some disarming language about the practice of generosity.

Check out New Spring’s approach for a great example.

Also, don’t relegate language about giving to just one page on your site. Rather, find logical areas to include giving as a “next step.” For example, the outreach/missions section of your site is a great place to include a “give now” button.

Obstacle: Poorly designed online giving area.

Sarah’s trying out your church’s online giving option for the first time. It was easy to find, and she was relieved that she didn’t have to create an account to try it the first time. But when she clicked “give now” a new tab opened up in her browser.

Although the new page has your church’s name at the top, everything looks very different from your church’s website. Sarah has heard so much about online scams that she decides that she better wait and write a check on Sunday.

It’s incredibly important to have an online giving area that is – or appears – completely integrated into your church’s website. Many people will feel uncomfortable typing in their bank/credit account information if they can’t be absolutely sure their information is secure.

Fortunately, there are several great online solutions available to churches. If you’re not sure where to start, contact me for some recommendations!

More obstacles to come…

Looking for more in-depth information about giving technology? Download your FREE copy of my e-book “Leveraging Technology to Accelerate Giving.”

About Rusty Lewis

As a church leader, there’s nothing more frustrating than not having the funding to do what God’s calling you to do. But when you think about trying to address that problem, you feel overwhelmed, you dread the potential pushback from your congregation, and you’re not sure where to turn for help. Over the last 18 years, I’ve helped more than 120 churches close the gap between their current financial reality and what they need to move forward in ministry.

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