This is part 4 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.
How disheartening would it be to give someone a thoughtful gift you’d spent a long time planning and never hear a word from them about it? How confusing would it then be to receive in the mail a terse thank you note for the gift from a total stranger who gave no return address? It would put a major damper on your future gift-giving, to say the least.
Likewise, when it comes to online giving, insanity is having another organization send your ‘thank you for your gift’ emails from their DO-NOT-REPLY address and expecting giving to the church to increase.
Online giving must be simple, personal and secure in order to create an opportunity for connection with the church, not just a financial transaction. This is especially true of your thank you emails.
Bob Holder of DonorExpress Software summarizes the reality for organizations that are dependent on donations to exist:
“Studies show that the number one reason nonprofits lose donors is due to donors feeling unappreciated. Too many times nonprofit organizations depend on the same old poorly worded response letters mailed long after the gift was received to express their gratitude. Acknowledging a donor should never be viewed as an IRS function. Donors expect and deserve a quick and meaningful expression of gratitude.
Organizations that build long term relationships with the donor will be rewarded with greater levels of giving and a better chance at a planned gift. The rule of gratitude for donors is to thank them, thank them, thank them and then thank them again.”
Did you catch the bolded phrase above: “same old poorly worded response letters.” Is your church guilty of that?
Or worse, do you allow your online giving vendor/payment processor to send YOUR givers the same standard boilerplate thank you message over and over … that they send to every other giver … from THEIR Do-Not-Reply email address … with THEIR legal language and logo … instead of hearing from their own church?
To establish and maintain a personal connection between the church and the online giver, thank you confirmation emails must come from the church.
Vision2 operates invisibly by allowing the church to write personalized confirmation emails. We even make it easy to add a video from the pastor to your thank you message. Churches can go into as much detail as they want about the impact of the gift and include links to other giving opportunities or resources.
Automation makes this scalable. It would be impossible for large churches to write a personal thank you email for every gift, but automation allows staff to craft a series of emails that are triggered within Vision2 by certain giver behaviors, such as a first-time gift, a specific consistency of gifts or a certain amount threshold that has been reached. It’s easy for staff to update and change content to keep the emails fresh.
This type of personalized communication is far more than a tax receipt.
Sanity is technology that allows churches to engage with givers in the same personal way they do in person.
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.