This article appears in the Ministry Magazine Summer 2020 issue. Read and download free here.
We’ve all heard the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You see a form of insanity every time a church trusts a vendor to slap a GIVE button on their website and then assumes it will automatically grow generosity. Sure, some traditional givers move online, but often the promise of overall giving growth fails to materialize. Until now, no one has really questioned the effectiveness of that old GIVE button.
We studied the world’s most successful nonprofit organizations and found that 83% of the people who began a charitable gift left without making a donation. Collectively, churches are missing out on millions of dollars in potential gifts because of simple barriers in the giving experience.
We dug deeper and found five key reasons givers abandon their gifts.
THE INSANITY OF PUSHING GIVERS AWAY
The most common reason for gift abandonment? The practice of sending givers away from the church’s website to a third-party site to complete their gift, which accounts for 29% of abandoned gifts.
This trust-eroding practice may be common with church giving software but it’s certainly not for Amazon or any other successful online shopping experience your givers are accustomed to.
Sanity is looking for an online giving solution whose giving experience is fully, and securely, embedded within your church’s website. This builds trust with your givers, especially your newest members.
THE INSANITY OF REQUIRING ACCOUNTS
Requiring a potential giver to create an account before they make their first donation can be frustrating. As new givers, they may not be ready to share their personal information until they fully trust your church website.
Sanity is offering guest checkout so that givers can donate to your church at their own comfort level. As givers gain trust with your online giving solution, they will naturally create an account and recurring gift schedules.
THE INSANITY OF GENERIC GIVING OPTIONS
Images and detailed descriptions are essential to every online decision, whether you’re buying a product from Amazon or making a hotel reservation on Expedia. It’s no longer enough to offer a simple drop-down list with a few generic ministry funds and expect givers to be inspired to donate.
Sanity is bringing your ministry opportunities to life right in your giving form with emotional imagery and a detailed blurb about the impact of each one. This helps to motivate givers into deeper participation with your work in the community.
THE INSANITY OF USING VENDOR COMMUNICATIONS
Giving is a very personal act and online giving inherently runs the risk of feeling impersonal. Does the gift confirmation email your givers receive from your vendor’s DO-NOT-REPLY address convey trustworthiness and help them feel ‘known’ by the church?
Sanity is being able to personalize, customize and automate gift confirmation emails from the church, so you can connect in the same engaging way you do in person: By expressing your sincere gratitude, offering more ways to get involved, or perhaps including a video from the Pastor.
THE INSANITY OF GIVING LIMITS
Many online giving tools place limits on your givers’ generosity by setting an upper limit on the size of their online gift. It doesn’t make sense to bring givers to a screeching halt by telling them they’re being too generous and could they please give less.Sanity is being able to accept gifts of any size, at any volume or velocity, without scaring off your givers or paying higher fees.
AN EXCITING NEW APPROACH TO ONLINE GIVING
Vision2 Systems‘ deep experience with the church and leading nonprofits fueled its desire to stop the insanity of doing things the same way and expecting different results. We explored all the obstacles behind the high rate of gift abandonment and developed a whole new approach to online giving. To learn more about these common barriers and the innovative ways Vision2 has solved them, download our white paper, The 5 Deadly Sins of Online Giving. You’ll learn how to stop the insanity and begin to reach your true giving potential.