Now that your online giving is live on your website what is the next step? To ensure online giving becomes the valuable asset it can be there is a next step: getting the word out. Letting your supporters know they now have access to convenience is critical. Put yourself in their shoes when you prepare to communicate the options and features that make online giving a benefit to them. Make sure you are thinking from their perspective and highlight what makes sense to them. Address the common concerns that donors face when transitioning from a more traditional method of giving to donating online. Here are some best practices on how to shine the light on your new online giving program.
If you have any specific questions feel free to comment in the section below.
Any time you have your supporters’ ear make sure you remind them that online giving is available. Face to face or verbal announcements have the biggest impact. Take a moment to walk them through how to access it and point out some of the benefits – like recurring gifts and access to view their giving history. Let your donors know that supporting you through online giving helps your organization. Knowing that their decision to donate online will be mutually beneficial is a motivator. Fewer and fewer people carry cash and a check book is a relic to most under 35. Online giving is a huge convenience and time-saver – your donors will thank you.
Lead by Example
Church and ministry leaders are always in the spotlight. Having leadership members encourage, promote, and participate in the program demonstrates its relevancy. One of the most influential moves can come from the most influential person. If you’re a church, have your pastor or minister endorse the program in a special announcement saying how easy it was to make a personal contribution and how it benefited the church. If you’re a ministry, have your Director or CEO send out a letter highlighting the same aspects.
You probably already communicate news and events in a variety of written formats. Don’t reinvent the wheel, use these communication tools to highlight the program consistently in your newsletter, e-newsletter, e-mail blasts, and appeal letters. The more exposure the better. Write an article on the features and reasons to donate online or simply update your header or footer with: “Online Giving available at: www.yourwebsite.com” or “Setup a one-time or recurring donation at www.yourwebsite.com.” Or have a leader or board member provide a quote about their experience and use it in your publications.
Promote e-giving on your website, too. Feel free to use the same announcement you put in the newsletter. Seeing something twice (or three times!) will emphasize its importance.
Don’t bury your [Donate] button! One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is to have their donation button more than one-click away. When people come to your website the [Donate] button needs to be easy to find. Web placement in the upper-right corner is where our eye has been trained to look for items of importance, but don’t stop there. If you have success stories, pictures of a mission trip or anywhere on your webpage that is designated to compel your supporter towards the heart of the mission, place a button there as well. If a donor has to click around to locate where the giving option is located, you increase the chance they will be distracted/frustrated and the donation could be lost.
One suggestions is to build your [Donate] button into the main navigation of your website, or the upper-right of every page. This way, no matter where on your website, your visitor has the option to donate in a single click. You never know what will inspire a potential donor to give – capture that moment and make it easy to give.
If you’re not using Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platforms yet, that’s okay. But if you are, this is a great place to share information about online giving. It’s one of the easiest ways to connect to your donors as so many of them are using it regularly. Use social media to communicate specific needs and campaigns with a link to your giving page. Pictures and videos that highlight your successes are engaging; be sure to include an invitation to participate in the good work you are doing. You can compel people to give right on the spot and share the post with their circle of influence.
Events & Banquets
If you host any events or banquets, you can use this time to share the benefits of online giving. Events are generally met with excitement and emotional engagement. This is a great time to relay important messages that your guests will remember.
For Churches: Projection Screen, Information Hub, & Bulletin Boards
Churches have a few unique opportunities to promote online giving during a church service and in the church building itself. Introduce your congregation to online giving during your typical in-service announcements. The bulletin, bulletin inserts, and the projection screen are also viable spots to present e-giving information. You should include details about electronic giving anywhere you typically provide information or church resources such as the church information center or a bulletin board. You may also consider hanging signs throughout the building to catch people’s attention.
The important thing is to find ways to communicate that online giving is available to your donor base in a way that resonates with them. Online giving is a convenient and secure way for your donors to give anytime from anywhere.
Our goal is to allow you to focus less on payment processing and more on what really matters: Your Mission. The DonateQ software makes it easy for you to accept donations online. DonateQ offers multiple giving pages, the ability to set recurring donations, store donor accounts and more.