One of the great expectations we have from our parish electronic giving is that we will see an increase in contributions for the parish. And it is true that parishes see an increase in contributions. But this number varies dramatically. Here are 4 points to consider:
1. Some individual gifts do increase dramatically. A gift online is a conscious choice which requires some level of thought and commitment. If your parish was not engaging in pledge renewals in the past, then using a tool like Online Giving can provide that motivation to give more. This increase has been demonstrated to be as much as 30%.
2. A few drops of rain don't raise the level of the water in the ocean. While you should expect individuals to give more, if you only have a small percentage of parishioners using your Online Giving, then the overall impact to contributions may be imperceptable. Don't expect a huge increase for the parish without encouraging people to use the system and helping them to get set up properly.
3. Memory is unreliable. Most of us have good intentions about our contributions to our parish. However, when we do miss Mass we don't always make up that contribution the way we think we do. Online Giving can help correct this through scheduled automatic deductions based on the preference of the parishioner.
4. If its not easy, people won't use it. If you are making parishioners search for your website URL, or where to find it on the website, or you don't have your Online Giving on your Facebook page... then you are missing opportunities for parishioners and even other community members to give. Be easy to find. Put the URL on your envelopes. Tweet about Online Giving and put the link on Facebook and keep it up at the top of the page. You want to attract your regular Mass attendees and also those who aren't as disciplined about their attendance. Remember students away at school, or people who travel a great deal.
With a little attention, your parish should see financial benefits to Online Giving. And you may hear about how much people like the convenience of the tool! Let us know your experience...