Encouragingly one in five people have attended a virtual service and this growth offers new ways to enable and encourage giving within our churches.
Our communities have already shown a remarkable grasp of technology and willingness to adapt and learn. Our challenge is to meet this moment and allow the people of our parishes and faith communities to turn virtual presence into real giving. Here are some ideas.
Encourage online giving
Christmas is a time when we would normally see more people attending our church services, perhaps for the first time. Whist we will aim to celebrate where we can together in one place, we also need to embrace a wider community that wants to join in the celebration but may not be physically able – or emotionally ready to do so. The same applies to giving, and online giving enables people to give to your church without having to physically visit the building.
If you haven’t set up online giving for your church yet, Parish Buying offers an affordable and simple online giving service called Give A Little. There’s a plenty of guidance and step-by-step videos on Parish Buying to help you get set up. Once you’ve set up your online giving page, make sure you share the link to the page widely, including in your virtual Christmas services. With Give A Little there's also the option for recurring payments for those who wish to make regular gifts to your church. Find out more about getting started with online giving.
Share your online giving page with a QR Code
You may have noticed more and more QR codes being used in our shops and restaurants. QR codes are images that, when scanned on a phone or tablet, take a person directly to a specific website page. They are easy to use and people are likely to become more comfortable using them as more and more places require you to scan a QR code for a range of reasons, including Test and Trace. QR codes are also an excellent and truly contactless way to share your online giving page. If you have a Give A Little online giving page, you can create a QR code that sends givers to your giving page.
Once you have created your QR code you can add it to anything you print such as a pew card, an order of service, Christmas cards – in fact anything printable – or even display it on a screen. Make sure you include your QR code on a PowerPoint slide to encourage giving during virtual Christmas services. Have a look at our guidance on getting started with QR codes.
Whilst there may be fewer people visiting our church buildings this Christmas, we should provide a safe way to give for those that do. Furthermore with many businesses only accepting contactless payments, fewer people are carrying cash with them. Contactless units enable people to give to your church with a simple tap on the card reader.
There are a range of contactless units available on Parish Buying to suit the different requirements of churches. View our guidance on the benefits of contactless giving and finding the right solution for your church.
Call to Action
With any of these three giving mechanisms, make sure you have a strong call-to-action that asks people to give and explains why their gifts are important. Unless you tell people how they can give, your giving page will receive few visits and your contactless unit will gather dust. Finally and most importantly, don’t forget to thank people for the gifts they give and acknowledge the difference they will make to the life of your church.