Friday, February 24, 2012

Tips from Parish Visits

This past week we talked with several parishes who are using Online Giving. One in particular just started in January 2012 and has 84 parishioners using Online Giving as of the third week of February. I heard a great idea from the business manager at this parish.

This parish had people participating in a jog-a-thon for the parish and added a donation category to support the jog-a-thon. They had sponsorship from both parishioners and other community members. The result was a tremendous success for the event and also greater awareness about the parish for the community as people visited the web site to donate. People can participate using the "QuickGive" feature in Online Giving.

At another parish nearby, the staff have included Online Giving information in their communications, in their bulletin and in their increased offertory and stewardship renewal materials. As a result of making giving online a standard option they have over 10% of their parishioners using the system.

We noticed at another parish that Online Giving was prominently displayed in one of the parish bulletins. The space allocated was as large as most of the significant advertisements so it was easy to spot. They made the invitation to Online Giving a bold announcement.

These techniques served these parishes well. They are excited about the acceptance of Online Giving and they are experiencing the improvements to cash flow as a result.

What is your parish doing to make it easy to give online?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Online Giving acceptance growing rapidly

We just updated the OLG indicator on our web site: Over the past month the average percentage of parishioners who are using Online Giving at their parishes has increased to over 13%. The range is fairly wide, from single digit percentages up to almost 50% of parishioners, depending on the size and demographics of the parish. Over the past two years we have seen the average move from 6-7% to the current 13%.

Parishes that have developed a communication plan and engaged lay personnel as champions for Online Giving have had greater acceptance from parishioners. But usage has generally grown across all parishes that have implemented Online Giving. Parishioners have found that Online Giving is a convenient way to make contributions to the parish, so they can concentrate on their participation at Mass.

Its also interesting to note the frequency of gifts. OSV Online Giving provides flexibility for gift frequencies and the system processes the gift on the day specified. Since 2009 almost 30% of the total dollar volume has been processed as WEEKLY donations. Those who give bi-weekly are contributing the largest annual totals, followed by weekly donors annual totals. Monthly gifts are about 40% of total dollar volume. On an annualized basis, monthly givers are contributing about 29% less than weekly and 50% less than bi-weekly givers. To summarize, there is good reason to offer parishioners options for when to contribute to the parish!

Make Online Giving part of your annual plan for Offertory. It is also important to provide offering envelopes so that everyone can present their gifts during Mass. These are tools for our use and we can create excitement about them at our parishes by using them effectively and reporting results.

Is your parish part of the Online Giving wave?