As the way people engage with Church and our church buildings changes, being able to receive donations through digital and online giving has never been more crucial.
On this page we cover
Getting started with online giving
Running a virtual stewardship campaign
People carry much less cash than ever before, and increasingly payments for just about everything are made by card or online. You can use a card to pay for raffles or concert tickets and refreshments - why not a donation to church?
Card readers can in many forms and can be very versatile:
- People attending weddings or funerals, but who haven’t thought to bring any cash with them might be glad to make a donation by card
- You could have a unit secured in your church for visitors to donate.
- You can even pass it round during the offertory.
Most card readers will need either wifi or a good 4G phone signal to work, which can be problematic in some places, but there are some options where you have no wifi or phone signal.
Many of our parishes have been using card readers for quite a while, and along with online giving, the amount of money being is increasing all the time.
- More information about options for card readers can be found at Parish Buying: Giving and Payments
- Or visit our Card Readers page
Getting started with the online giving
So much of our lives involve going online. We are shopping online and surfing the internet. Providers like Zoom have enabled us to work virtually, meet one another and socialise and, of course, stream our church services.
We can also give online, and the evidence is there that churches that are enabling online donations are getting more money coming in.
- Giving mechanisms - a page from the Church of England exploring ways of giving and the benefits of having lots of ways for people to donate
Explore the themes below to uncover more resources to help you get started with online giving:
Online Giving (Church of England) - a dedicated page on the Church of England website exploring how to get started with online giving
Running an online stewardship campaign - we have created our own checklist of how to engage people with giving online.
Ecclesiastical Insurance - a comprehensive set of resources looking at online fundraising.
Run a virtual stewardship campaign
A giving campaign in your parish church can be a very effective way of increasing your income, and as we increasingly work online it is important to adapt our stewardship practices accordingly.
Here are the key steps:
Choose a Sunday to focus on generosity and giving in your online Service. If you are back in your church as well on a Sunday it would be good to co-ordinate the Services. There are plenty of hymns with a theme of generosity, and the Bible is full of passages that highlight money, possessions and generosity. Prayers and intercessions should also focus on God’s generosity to us.
The ‘sermon slot’ could have something which has the elements of standard stewardship presentation, but as you are doing a non-traditional Service you could do something different.
- You could have a sermon.
- You could have some PowerPoint slides.
- You might also produce short video clips of people saying how giving is important to them inserted at different points during the Service.
There are some important elements of the traditional campaign that shouldn’t be abandoned, however:
- Connect financial giving with mission and ministry outcomes – what difference do the donations make?
- Tell people what is needed, clearly and transparently.
- Ask people to review what they give, seriously and prayerfully.
- Ask them to consider an increase in what they give now, to set up a standing order, and to sign a gift aid declaration if they are taxpayers and don’t currently have one.
- Talk about giving in terms of priority – how much do they give now as a % of their income, and how much do they spend on other things.
- Template email for your congregation
- Template brochure - This template for an information document, can be adapted, saved as a PDF and uploaded to your website. You could also link through you social media pages.
For guidance on following up non-responders you can click here.
Generous June was developed in partnership between the Dioceses of Sheffield and Winchester. It has resources and ideas for online Services, and also individual reflection.
Generous Giving Adviser