This is part 1 of 5 in a series called The Deadly Sins of Online Giving. We discuss the most common obstacles to online giving that LIMIT your givers’ generosity and how to easily fix them.
You can download a copy of the entire series for free and we’ll notify you as new information is published.
Most church giving experiences break down trust by taking givers away from the online donation page to complete their gift, leading to an astonishing 83% incompletion rate for online charitable gifts.
Trust is the most important component of every relationship. Sometimes it seems like the hardest thing to grow and the easiest thing to break.
You know how true this is in person, so you do everything you can to engage members and guests authentically in every interaction, even in the way you approach the weekly offering.
You’re sensitive to attendees’ potential discomfort so you make giving easy and unobtrusive. The offering plate is passed to givers—they don’t have to jump through any hoops to get to it. You point out the boxes near the back and your online giving on the church website. If someone trusted you enough to personally hand you a large check, you’d be delighted to accept it. You wouldn’t give it back and require them to take it off-site to have another organization accept it for you.
Or would you?
Incredibly, that’s what it’s like when your online donation platform takes givers away from your website—as most churches do, forcing them to finalize their gift on another organization’s website. This unnecessary online giving practice scares givers away and damages the trust you worked so hard to establish.
When we think of branding, we tend to think of a logo or a style. Those things are very important, but they are simply the external components—the face, so to speak—of your church’s overall identity.
Your brand is essentially your church’s reputation, what it’s known for. Many things influence your brand, everything from your worship music to your website, your missions, the way your receptionist answers the phone and even your members’ friendliness—or lack thereof.
Online, churches sometimes fail to gain the same trust they’ve earned in person. An effective brand (or reputation) ensures that your online experience invokes the same positive memories that members and newcomers have experienced with your church in person. It also helps those who discover you online before they meet you in real life.
Commercial brands can teach churches a lot about what influences consumers’ trust and behavior.
Think about your Amazon.com experiences. Amazon is known for its patented one-click checkout, which has shaped us to expect that handling online interactions should be easy, fast and safe. To convey that, the retailer completes your checkout process right on the product page. If you were suddenly taken to another site, your excitement about the purchase would be interrupted by your confusion and immediate concerns about security. You’d reconsider how badly you want to go through with your transaction.
So, when your online donation software literally pushes givers away at the last moment from your church website to another site they don’t recognize, the distrust they feel damages your brand.
But that’s not the only damage this needless online giving practice causes…
Parting words and actions are powerful. In fact, marketing experts teach that the “P.S.” on an email is the thing readers remember most. That’s the principle of “recency” at work. The most recent thing we read, see or hear tends to stick.
Do you really want the last interaction in your giver’s experience to be someone else’s website, logo and messaging?
Or would you rather their gift served as a pleasant reminder of what they love about your church? Imagine inspiring them with vivid imagery of your missions at the beginning of their visit and a personalized message after checkout that helps them feel known. Positive online experiences like these help to grow your brand.
In ministry, every dollar helps. Think about how capturing more of the 83% of abandoned gifts could increase your church’s impact!
It’s more than missing dollars. Each of those unfinished gifts represents a giver who started a donation on your website then, for some reason, simply stopped and walked away. There are personal factors you can’t control behind that decision, but with the heightened concerns about online security today, why would you want to limit generosity with a giving experience you can control?
Fortunately, it’s easy to fix this online giving obstacle. Keeping givers on your website for their entire gift is key to building the trust that grows generosity.
Vision2 is the ONLY online giving platform for churches that overcomes this trust-eroding obstacle by allowing givers to complete their gifts right there on your website.
Sign up for a demonstration today to see Vision2 in action!