Your church website is the center of your online presence. It’s where your members go for content about your ministry and where search engines direct prospective members.
With all of this traffic and attention, it’s important that you prioritize online giving and implement digital payments. Online giving can save time, make the donation process more convenient, and attract gifts from people who do not normally give.
Here are a few tips to help you determine whether your church website is “giving friendly”:
Optimize Your Website Load Speed
The speed of your church website is the first impression you make. People visiting your website want specific information quickly, and if your website takes too long to load, you risk them abandoning your site.
Site speed is one of the signals used by Google to rank website on its first pages. Thereby, having a fast-loading website also makes your website easier to discover by prospective members, donors, and volunteers.
While improving your website’s speed is a fairly technical process, many tools like Google’s PageSpeed Tool can help you test and track your website’s load speed.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile Experience
Poor appearance and functionality of your mobile site can lead to missed opportunities.
Your church members may not always have cash to give when the tithing plate is passed around, so mobile giving makes it easier for people to donate at any time (and as often as they want).
Site traffic from mobile devices has increased rapidly over the past decade, with more and more people willing to give money over their smartphones. As fewer people carry cash or checkbooks with them, not offering a mobile solution may lead your ministry to a giving impasse. Providing your donors with the option to use a device they already have in their hands, and increase the chances of donation.
Your website needs to be flexible enough to adapt seamlessly on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, providing multiple options for donations, and creating a strong online giving experience for your congregation.
You can also use the Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to determine your visitors’ experience on their mobile devices. If you score poorly, it means that improving your mobile site should be a top priority.
Make Online Giving Secure
Digital giving is on the rise, and approximately 60% of church givers are willing to donate to their church digitally. In fact, of all donations, 49% are made with a card. It’s essential that people can safely and easily give to your church website.
Your system must comply with rigorous security standards. If your givers don’t feel secure giving their personal or credit card information, they simply will not donate. To create a positive online giving experience, show your parishioners that you take online privacy seriously.
All non-profit organizations which accept online gifts must comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI). PCI is a set of standards for any organization that accepts, processes, stores, or transmits credit card information. PCI-compliant organizations are usually audited annually to prove that they meet the latest standards.
Encourage Recurring Giving
One of the most significant benefits of giving online is the option for your congregants to set up automatic donations. Scheduled giving allows members to be consistent while helping you plan your church’s budget.
A well-positioned recurring giving option can help your ministry reach new members who otherwise may not give as often. Automated giving allows people to fit a monthly gift into their budget and potentially be more generous.
Keep It Simple
A giving-friendly church website should make the process easy for people who wish make a donation. After all, one of the major benefits of online giving is convenience and speed.
Most people who land on your site – whether via Google search or directly – will land on your homepage. Ensure that your church giving tool/form is easily accessible from there.
If you use a donation form, it must be mobile-friendly. Keep the form short and simple, and only ask for the information you absolutely need.
When it comes to giving friendly pages, we recommend telling a story. Don’t just let your givers know how they can donate: Tell them why they should give and how their donation will contribute to the ministry’s mission.
Ready to Build Your “Giving Friendly” Website?
With digital giving on the rise, it’s an exciting time for churches to grow and build stronger relationships with their community, as well as reach new prospective members and donors.