Our society is truly at a turning point with online giving. According to Nonprofits Source, at least 60% of parishioners are willing to giving digitally. Churches nationwide have discovered that using an online giving product like ParishSOFT Giving can increase their overall donations by as much as 32% in just their first year. While numerous factors can impact how much your overall giving increases at your parish, we have a few tips that will make getting up and running as easy as possible for the parish when you start using ParishSOFT Giving.
1. Get your leadership on board early
Meaningful and long-lasting change at any parish starts with your core leadership members. To successfully purchase and roll-out any online giving platform, you will need support from your leadership team. Make time to meet with them, discuss the top concerns and obstacles, how online giving could benefit your parish, and how you can further your parish’s ministry with the additional gifts you will receive through ParishSOFT Giving.
2. Create (and don’t be afraid to revise) an online giving communication plan
The ParishSOFT Giving marketing kit provides you with numerous templates and communication options that your parish can use to build an effective communication plan that meets the unique needs and concerns of your parishioners. Explore creative ways to launch your new online giving software in a meaningful way that engages and inspires your donors. Along the way, don’t be afraid to change your communication plan to meet with changing and evolving needs of your parishioners as they become more familiar and comfortable with ParishSOFT Giving.
3. Sign up for the ParishSOFT Success Program
We want to help ParishSOFT Giving customers make better use of their new software, so they can increase donations. As a ParishSOFT Giving customer, you have access to free training resources for your staff and volunteers, live support, and a free ParishSOFT Giving marketing kit with campaign templates. But if you are a new ParishSOFT Giving customer, or have purchased it on or after August 1, 2018, you can also enroll in ParishSOFT’s Giving Success Program, so you can get church staff and members using your new online software with ease and confidence. View our recent blog post on the ParishSOFT Giving Success Program to learn more.
4. Make donors aware of the benefits
When a parish makes the decision to purchase an online giving solution, it is a decision that is not made lightly. ParishSOFT Giving customers choose us because we solve several pain points for staff and parishioners. Communicate with your donors to inform them how the system will allow them to give anywhere (even when they are sick, busy, or on vacation), saves the parish time and money (with the help of our seamless integration with ParishSOFT Offering and Pledges), and helps the environment while reducing costs (due to less wasted paper). Discuss with your parishioners how the benefits of ParishSOFT Giving make it the preferring giving solution for your parish.
5. Emphasize system security
When discussing any concepts that involve your donors’ money, security is often a top concern and ParishSOFT always takes the security of your parishioner and donor data very seriously. As a PCI Certified solution, we have gone above and beyond to protect your data. ParishSOFT also meets all the strictest PCI/DSS security stands, including SSL Certificates and encryption, intrusion detection, and transaction security so your parishioners and members can give with confidence.
6. Make sure your ParishSOFT Giving link is easy to find on your website
It is not uncommon for some parishioners to be leery of signing up for online giving at first. So, your parish should make the link to sign up easy to find on the website for when they are ready. It has been proven that the longer someone spends on an online task, the less likely they are to complete it. So, review and test your ParishSOFT Giving web page to ensure it works correctly before you share it with your donors. And when it’s ready to launch, consider adding a web page to your parish website that discusses the benefits of ParishSOFT Giving and why they should enroll, and a button to your parish’s Facebook page to make online giving quick and easy.
7. Learn how to use ParishSOFT Giving’s custom form builder
ParishSOFT Giving has an online form builder that is not only customizable but is one that your parish can use in a variety of ways. The form builder in ParishSOFT Giving allows you to tailor your custom forms to meet the needs in your parish, such as special donations, mission trips or event registrations. You can also use forms to accept payments for t-shirts, DVDs, and other items your parish sells.
8. Build ParishSOFT Giving and stewardship into the fabric of your parish
This tip might be, perhaps, the most important. Moving your parishioners from giving by envelope to tithing online with ParishSOFT Giving will take time. However, your parish is more likely to be successful if online giving is part of the culture at your parish and not just another way to give.
Make announcements regularly from the pulpit, in the bulletin, on your parish’s website, and on your parish’s social media pages. Consistent and clear communication is a great way to showcase the benefits of ParishSOFT Giving or remind parishioners of a new or upcoming giving campaign. In your campaigns, remind parishioners that they can use ParishSOFT Giving to fulfill their commitment to the parish and the Catholic Church by ensuring their offering is made a top priority, even when they are too busy to attend mass.
9. Make giving about more than the just money
ParishSOFT Giving is a powerful online giving solution with the tools and resources to help your parish increase overall giving by as much as 32%. So, when you are introducing (or reintroducing) ParishSOFT Giving to your donors, it’s easy to be wrapped up in how much more money you can raise for your parish using our proven web-based giving software.
Take the time to prayerfully educate your parishioners how you can further your parish’s ministry when you increase donations. Then after money is donated, keep your parishioners updated on how much has been raised, how much still needs to be donated to reach your goal, and how the money donated is being used to help parishioners, those in the parish, and the surrounding community.
Additionally, people are more likely to give to any non-profit organization if there is transparency on how much was given and how it is being used. Taking the time to inform your donors at all stages of the donation process will make them more comfortable giving online. Plus, who doesn’t like being part of something positive making a long-lasting impact in the lives of others?!
Using these tips, we are confident that your parish will be successful with increasing online giving. ParishSOFT Giving is a proven and time-tested online giving solution and we are confident it will make a positive impact on your parish’s overall giving. Plus, we stand behind that with what we call our Giving Guarantee. Contact our Sales Team at 866-930-4774 x6 to learn more.
If your parish is not already using our next generation giving software, ParishSOFT would be privileged to discuss how our comprehensive online giving solution can improve donor communications and increase giving.
To get started, call our Sales Team at 866-930-4774 x6 or visit parishsoft.com/giving-info to submit your questions online. To register for a free, no-obligation product demonstration of ParishSOFT Giving, just visit parishsoft.com/giving-demo.
We look forward to helping you increase your overall giving and furthering the ministry of your parish.