While we know recurring giving is beneficial for the financial stability in your church, you may be wondering, “How do I encourage my church to establish a recurring gift?”
First, let’s define “recurring givers”. Recurring givers are donors who give a specific amount that is charged on a regular increment to their bank account, debit, or credit card.
If you want to increase recurring giving, it’s important to be intentional and make a plan. If you want people to embrace recurring giving through an online platform, communicate with them everything they need to know. Like any initiative in your church, the level of success hinges on how well you communicate it.
We’ve created a 3 part checklist so you can find simple success in encouraging and growing your base of recurring givers.
1. Share Why to Give on a Recurring Basis
Recurring giving provides both practical and spiritual benefits. This is obviously true for the ministry of your church in terms of financial security, budget planning, and implementing ministry that reaches your community. But practical and spiritual benefits also apply to the individual giver. Sharing those benefits with your church can create a compelling reason that encourages occasional givers to become recurring givers.
First, let’s look at some practical benefits to recurring giving:
• Easy and convenient: In a few, simple steps you can set up your online giving account and all future giving transactions.
• Purposeful: Givers can plan and wisely budget their gifts. Breaking amounts down to 12 times per year also empowers growing in your giving.
• Paperless: Giving monthly online helps the environment and removes extra processing steps for churches that are associated with cash/check. It also means givers don’t have to manually track for their own records.
Second, let’s look at some spiritual benefits to recurring giving:
• “First fruits” principle: Empower people to give to the church first and offer their best financially, whatever that may be (Proverbs 3:9.).
• Contentment: Whether in plenty or in need, recurring giving teaches us to be consistently content with what we have and are able to give (Philippians 4:11-13.)
• Faithfulness: Encourage people to be loyal, steadfast, and disciplined in their giving to God. God is faithful to us and we are called to be faithful to Him (1 Cor. 4:2.)
2. Share How to Give a Recurring Gift
When the church communicates the giving process, it is more likely that people will set up their account and establish a recurring gift. In other words, if people don’t know how to do it, they won’t do it. There’s always a little fear of doing something differently. While it’s incredibly easy to create a recurring gift with SecureGive, when you provide extra clarity and specific guidance, you’ll successfully remove more barriers that prevent giving. As you setup your church’s giving pages, here are some things to consider:
• Have a button in the top menu that clearly says “Give” or “Give Now.” Your donors should never hunt for where to give on your website.
• On your “Give Now” page, write out simple steps or add an instructional video for people on how to set up their giving account. Make every step of the process as easy as possible for your donors.
• If possible, produce a video that highlights the “why” of biblical generosity. This will help cultivate a culture of generosity within your organization that will encourage donors to give consistently.
• Tell your givers what your church’s plans are for their gifts. Outline your vision. Let them know their gifts matter.
• If you are offering multiple methods of giving (i.e. online, mobile, text to give, and kiosk), give an explanation and instructions for each option. Remember there is no “one size fits all” approach to electronic giving. Explain each method. Don’t assume people just “know” what something is or does. It’s always better to risk over-explaining than under-explaining.
If you’d like to see all the suggestions above practically demonstrated, we’ve built a sample page as a resource for you. Check it out here.
3. Follow Up with New Givers
Every new giver to your church is a reason to celebrate. While explaining the “why” and the “how” of recurring giving is important to communicate to the whole church, it’s an especially important message for new givers. A new giver has just taken a step forward in both obedience to God’s instruction to give and investment in the ministry of your church. It’s your responsibility to help them continue to take steps forward.
So then, how do you move a new giver to being a recurring giver? It starts with communication targeted specifically to this group.
In each communication, inform the donor about recurring giving and ask them to do it. It may sound obvious or overly simple, but it works. Too often we shy away from making the “ask”, but remember, you’re inviting givers into biblical obedience and ministry investment. It’s just as much to their benefit as it is the church’s.
Here are some guidelines on when to communicate and examples of how to do it:
• Immediately after they give (within 1-3 days), send a thank you message.
Ex. “Thanks so much for your gift! You make ministry possible. For convenient and consistent giving, did you know you can set up recurring giving with an online giving account? It just takes two minutes. CLICK HERE”
If you use SecureGive, you can automatically send the message above with ease and convenience through the platform. If you have any questions about how to set it up, visit the help center or contact our team. We’re always happy to help.
• After the thank you message (within 2-3 weeks), send a follow up opportunity. Invite the donor an event or ministry opportunity. For example, invite them to attend a worship night, join a small group, attend a men’s or women’s event, or volunteer or participate in a food drive.
Encouraging recurring givers is beneficial both for the financial stability of your ministry and for giving a practical way for your donors to practice biblical stewardship.
Sharing the why behind recurring giving, how to create a recurring gift, and following up with new givers are all important factors contributing to growth. Share this information frequently and clearly with your church. Our motto is: when you feel like you’re over communicating, you’re probably communicating just enough.
With a clear plan and practical steps, you can encourage and grow recurring giving in your church.