Two important options to offer on every digital communication tool your church you uses are:
(1) “Would you like to make this a monthly donation?”
(2) “Would you like to create an auto check or auto deduction for your giving?”
In the average church, when people miss a Sunday service, only about 2 percent will make up for having missed the offering plate. But 100 percent of the contributions from auto-givers are received, regardless of their presence at church on Sunday. This onetime decision has a positive impact on people’s giving for years to come. Including these two statements with every request for money will yield significant returns in the long run.
A large suburban church in the Southwest that routinely asked its members for money wanted my organization, The Provisum Group, to review its strategies and offer insights on how to improve them. We added the “auto-give” option to their Web site, then worked with their communications team members to integrate the option into every type of church literature and communication mode. In addition, we trained their staff to mention the option in their telephone conversations. The strategy was simply to ask, “Would you like to do your giving by auto check or auto deduct?” It wasn’t a hard push. There was one box to check on a form, one button to click on a Web site, or one simple question to answer.
With constant reminders of these options, over the course of two years, 20 percent of the congregants were giving via auto deduct or auto check. And from those who were already regular givers before they started using auto-deduct, donations spiked over 25 percent. And all this just from asking a couple simple questions.