The Healthy Church Hub

Digital giving is here to stay. With the explosion of users adopting new technology in recent years, it’s time to think through how to nurture digital donors and continue using digital giving in ways that meet the needs of your church attendees.

A recent survey by Barna Group found that nearly half of Americans (44%) prefer giving digitally. And the number of people adopting new forms of technology continues to grow.

So, if we know digital giving is here for the long haul, and we know that most people — 69% according to Barna — are open to new things, then what can churches do to leverage new technologies and strategies to motivate giving?

First, we need to get acquainted with who our digital donors are.

What is a digital donor?

A digital donor is an individual who makes a financial contribution to a church or nonprofit organization through an online platform. Digital donors: 

  • Make donations through a variety of methods, including credit cards, payment apps and other online payment services. 
  • Are more likely to set up recurring donations.

Barna’s study found that digital donors are more likely to be younger, female, more affluent, and more open to new technology than traditional donors.

The ease of making a donation on their phone or their computer allows them to instantly support the cause they care so much about during the moment that inspiration takes hold of the giver. 

Digital Donors are Open to New Things

  • 69% of digital donors are open to trying new things; compared to 53% of analog donors.
  • 45% of digital donors are open to new technology; compared to 27% of analog donors.
  • 42% of digital donors are open to new services; compared to 25% of analog donors.

So what does that mean? Now is a great time to review your digital giving strategies, examine the technology you’re using to capture donations, and optimize content on apps, forms, and landing pages to compel donors to give differently or give more.

What comes to mind as you think about revamping your online and digital giving options? Are there additional online giving features you need to adopt in your church, like text-to-give, or giving kiosks? Have you incorporated QR codes into your giving messaging to provide direct access to a donation form or landing page?

Next Steps for Digital Donors

Given the predominant agreeableness of digital donors, here are a few ways to take action on these findings:

  1. Review wording in your giving app, landing page, and donation forms to make sure it captures the givers attention and compels generosity.
  2. Review the technology you use for digital giving. How many clicks does a donor have to make before submitting the payment form? Can this be reduced in any way?
  3. Review the design used for your payment pages. Does the design allow a user’s eyes to move freely through the information and directions? Is the donate button prominent and easy to find?
  4. Review your text giving strategy and promotion. Would your church benefit from offering text giving so that attendees can donate easily at the moment they are inspired by a testimony, upcoming event, baptism, or mission trip experience?

Digital Donors are Confident in Giving Online

Though many of us use online payment services, some of us aren’t always confident that our information is safe and secure, or that our money will get to the right place or to the right initiative. From Barna’s Survey, we learn that digital donors are confident giving online. It breaks down this way:

  • 61% of digital donors feel confident using tools and technology to digitally give.
  • 31% of analog donors feel an amount of confidence in online giving.
  • 50% of digital donors strongly agree they are confident their donations will reach the intended organization or cause.
  • 26% of analog donors say they are confident donations will reach the intended organization or cause.

In reviewing these data points, the 26% of analog users who regularly give by check or cash and who are confident in online giving might be persuaded to donate online if they know how. For those analog users, what could your church do to develop confidence in digital giving? 

  • Write a feature article for the church newsletter explaining on a high level the security in place to insure personal information is safe when giving to your church.
  • Create a brief video on how to use QR codes.
  • Include a section of a page on the church website that explains the security measures in place.
  • Share from the stage, during the giving moment perhaps, that ushers and the host team are available to help anyone navigate how to give online.
  • If information slides are displayed prior to services, consider adding a digital giving slide sharing the ways people can digitally donate.

The Future of Online Giving

As is the nature of technology, giving tools will become more streamlined and more secure. What now is an occasional use of digital giving will become even more seamlessly integrated into our lives. Confidence and accessibility in payment services and donating to organizations through their apps and their websites will continue to improve.

Apart from digital giving, you can use these survey results to inform decisions about other technologies your church uses to check-in attendees, disseminate training, schedule volunteers, and produce events. In what ways can you help people adapt the technologies used in your church? And in what ways can you help staff use more features of the technology your church uses?

If you’re ready to optimize your online giving strategies and technologies, we can guide you through your options. With our suite of tools, we can seamlessly integrate your church processes in a way that makes sense for your staff and your church attendees. Request a demo, and let’s get started.