I have visited several churches throughout the country over the past few months. Although each church is different in size and scope, there was a recurring discussion worth repeating.
As electronic giving continues to increase across generations, some church leaders tend to equate that increase with a decrease in the demand for printed offering envelopes. “How do we decide which to use? Can we eliminate envelopes?” is a common comment. We respond with a resounding “CAUTION”.
The thought is appropriate, but the caution lies in placing the giving habits of your members and guests into one bucket, and limiting the vehicles by which they prefer to give. Printed offering envelopes and online giving are not competition, but rather, complimentary vehicles for communication and contributions. Unless your congregational make up is of a single generation, your church will benefit from both print and electronic giving vehicles – especially if used in concert with each other.
Does your offering envelope include the URL to Online Giving? Is there an “I gave online” check box on your offering envelope that allows the electronic giver to participate in the act of worship during service?
Does your website reinforce the message of prayerful giving? Are you reminding your congregation that they can set up recurring gifts or one time gifts easily online?
There are countless ways that you can promote engagement and contributions through the use of printed and web communications together. Considering the cost of printed offering envelopes is just a couple dollars per year per member, it only wise to continue this traditional form of giving in your communication mix along with online giving.
Let’s hear from you. How do you use offering envelopes and online giving to communicate to members and guests?