Friday, September 23, 2011

Remember Online Giving is a Change

This past week I was talking with a diocesan manager and also parishes about the rate of acceptance of Online Giving. Even though many people have become accustomed to electronic banking, this is still a change for how they conduct their parish contributions. It needs to be managed as a change and therefore "marketed" to parishioners.

I have experience with one parish who implemented an electronic giving tool, announced that it was available at one Mass and placed paper applications at the back of the church. Today no one is using the electronic option and the parish thinks it is not of interest to parishioners.

Parishes that treat the introduction of Online Giving as a change realize they must create a leadership team to be the first users, and they must announce the new offering in several ways and for several months. Those who have taken time to make sure their parishioners realize it is an acceptable and important option to the parish have significantly greater numbers of users than those who have made little effort.

Ideas that have been successful:
Hold receptions with food and beverages along with demonstrations to show people how to get started,
Assign a lay leader the project to roll out Online Giving
Send a letter announcing the new offering to parishioner homes
Include an insert in the mailed envelope packet.

Oh and don't forget to let them know that envelopes are valuable too. People like to use the envelope at Mass. Parishes can change their designs to add "gave electronically" to the envelope. This way parishioners stay connected at Mass and also have the convenience of a wonderful new option for giving.

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