This is part 1 of 10 in a series called INSANITY: 10 Crazy Things Churches Do That Hinder Online Giving. When it comes to online giving, we’ve identified 10 ways your expectations don’t line up with most online giving vendors’ practices and platforms.
You can download a copy of the entire series for free and we’ll notify you as new information is published.
It’s crazy to think your church could continually be rude or dismissive to guests and expect them to return.
Likewise, when it comes to online giving, insanity is redirecting potential givers AWAY from your church website to a vendor’s site and expecting giving to increase.
Imagine if this happened in person. If your greeters told someone that the only way to make a donation was to drop it off at a building across town, you’d definitely lose some givers. And you’d be looking for some new greeters.
Online giving is already tentative for some givers. They’re cautious about sharing their data with organizations they don’t know. They’re reluctant to set up yet another account and remember yet another password. And some givers can be confused, or even offended, when they receive an impersonal “thank you” email from the payment processor’s Do-Not-Reply email address … rather than from your church. We hear stories about givers who have called their church when this happens, wondering if they’ve just been scammed.
While some givers may get used to this practice, that doesn’t mean it’s having a positive impact. When they shop their favorite online brands, they’re accustomed to completing their transaction right on the site.
If Amazon swept them away to a third-party payment processor they’ve never heard of, they’d think twice about completing the transaction. Instead, the retail giant makes checkout as fast, reassuring and convenient as possible. And Amazon doesn’t waste a single opportunity to connect further with helpful suggestions of other products the buyer might like.
But pushing your giver to another site isn’t the only problem… or the worst problem. It’s indicative of something much more troubling. What if one of your givers accidentally gives $1,500 to your church instead of the $150 they intended? In a panic, they call the church office to ask for a reversal of the transaction.
Unfortunately, that gift wasn’t made directly to the church so you’ll be unable to help resolve it. Your giver now has to wrangle with the vendor’s credit card company to get their gift refunded. And this is where they find out that by giving online to your church, they were implicitly agreeing to the payment processor’s terms and conditions.
Vision2 operates invisibly on the church’s website because of two investments we’ve made:
Your givers feel like they’re giving directly to the church; they never have to leave the church’s website. They never see the vendor’s logo or legalese, and never have to agree to the vendor’s terms and conditions. They receive a personalized thank you email from the church.
In the event of an accidental gift, givers simply contact the church. The staff member graciously assures them it will be resolved quickly and can initiate the reversal directly within Vision2’s system, which also automatically updates the church management system.
Now that’s SANITY! (And an easy way to grow givers’ confidence in your church.)
REMINDER: You can download a copy of this entire series for free. In the guide we show you how to easily fix each insane issue so you can dramatically improve your online giving returns.