Okolona Christian Church in Louisville, KY is a model church for utilizing both print and electronic tools to gain tithes, offerings and gifts to their church.
Okolona has been mailing their members offering envelopes since 2002 with AmericanChurch, Inc., and more recently added Online Giving – a combination that works well.
Business administrator, Elaine Duncan manages the contributions for the church. “When a member goes to online giving, we take them off of our envelope list. By offering both methods of giving, people can give in the way that works best for them,” Elaine comments.
The church has no plans to adjust their offering envelope program, as many members prefer that method of giving. Along with the weekly envelope, a mail back envelope is included in every packet to encourage sending in their gift when away.
Elaine says, “In most cases, our older members prefer to receive envelopes and younger people gravitate to the electronic option. Yet we have several older members who use Online Giving because it allows their gift to be automatically debited from their account like their utilities.”
When asked which method she prefers from an administration standpoint, Elaine would like to see more people online. She points out the money goes directly into the church’s account, that gifts are more regular due to the recurring option, and that Online Giving is easy to manage. Elaine is pleased that online givers have continued to grow. That’s partly because Okolona does an excellent job of promoting the electronic option.
“We always have a blurb in the bulletin about online giving. In addition, whenever we talk about stewardship, we make sure that it’s mentioned. It seems that as soon as we bring it up, more people sign up almost immediately.”
In that spirit of promotion, Okolona Christian Church has a web page dedicated to online giving. The page contains copy about the importance of online giving as a means of income to the church. A downloadable brochure that explains online giving and answers frequently asked questions is also featured on the page.
Okolona’s approach to gaining contributions works. By making it easy for people to give in the way they prefer, they experience sustained giving and support for their ministries.