Digital giving (COVID-19)
As the Church of England temporarily suspends public worship and social distancing measures are introduced, now more than ever is a time to reflect on how well placed your church is to receive digital donations.
Online giving is where a donations platform is linked to your website, Facebook page, and other social media channels. The platform allows individuals to donate using a variety of payment methods. A good donations platform provider will embed a “donate now” button on your website, automatically reclaim your Gift Aid and will often allow you to seek donations for a number of separate projects.
Before choosing a provider, you should carefully research the costs involved. These can include set up fees, monthly subscriptions and transaction charges.
Give.net is the platform used by the Diocese. Scroll on our home page to see how we signpost it. If you would like specific support completing their “Church Recipient Application Form,” please contact Joanne.
iKnowChurch is also available now as a free resource until 30th September, to support churches through the Coronavirus. The iKnow Church finance module allows churches to create an online giving page. For further details of their offer click here.
This type of digital giving is particularly useful for one-off fundraising events, for churches in areas where tourists drop in, and for events with lots of young people present. In the current climate, text giving can also work well for those parishioners who don’t have internet access. With a text giving facility, people can text a donation amount to your church account and the donation is either added to the donor’s phone bill, or debited from their credit balance if they use pay as you go.
Click here to view the providers currently recommended by the Church of England’s National Stewardship and Resources team.
Promoting Digital Giving During COVID-19
- If your church is streaming services online, don’t forget to make a request for a virtual offertory and direct people to the relevant section on your website or social media channels. If you’re running a Facebook live service it’s even easier, as you have the advantage of people being on your site already.
- Parish Resources have created a new page called Encouraging Giving Online, which gives lots of practical tips for churches. It also includes a video that can be used in virtual services, on social media, church websites and anywhere else your church has an online presence. The video can be customised so you can add information about your own church and online/ text giving options.
- Promote any digital platforms on your A Church Near You page in a separate “Giving” or “Donate “ section. Click here for instructions how to do this.
- Consider sending out some encouragement to those who make their regular gifts by cash, to make an online donation instead, even if only on a temporary basis. Online communication is of course the most effective way to do this as potential donors need only click on a link to “donate here.”
- If your church is sending out eNewsletters, you could include a message asking people to think about their giving during this time. Suggested wording could be as follows:
“It is important to remember that our gifts to our churches are as valuable now as ever. Although we are not able to gather in worship for some time, our mission remains constant, and necessary to that mission is resource. We may need to re-imagine the ways in which we give to our churches in the coming weeks, whether that be continuing with standing orders, offering our cash giving by setting it aside prayerfully at home, or considering transferring to a digital form of giving. If you would like to make your donation online or by text, here are the details you will need…”