One major aspect of any great church website is a church Giving page. Notice how we haven’t really talked much about giving on other church pages?
This is because you never want your church to sound greedy. By dedicating a page to giving, you make it clear that you’d love visitors to donate, but it’s not a requirement for using your church’s site.
While it’s a good idea to link to the page from other pages, you want your Giving page to be the go-to for any online tithing. Creating a welcoming page makes visitors far more likely to give.
Welcome Givers And Thank Them
The very first thing visitors should see is a welcoming message followed by a thank you. Even if someone doesn’t give, just thank them for at least considering it by visiting your Giving page.
You don’t have to have a lengthy message. A short paragraph or a few lines is all you really need. Place the message on your header image or directly below it. (More on imagery later). As long as it’s easy to see, you’re in good shape.
You always want a welcome message and a thank you before visitors even see your online giving options. Think of it as a fundraiser. You don’t just go up to people and say “give me money.” Instead, you say hello, tell them who you are and why you’re raising money. You always ask for money with a please and if they say “no,” you still say thank you.
While you can’t have an actual conversation with your site visitors, this simple greeting makes them feel valued.
Keep The Page Simple
Even if you go overboard with every other page on your church’s site, keep your church Giving page simple. The last thing you want to do is draw attention away from your online giving form.
Too much clutter makes it hard to see where you’re supposed to click to give. It may also give the impression of a spam or insecure site.
For instance, Lingscars.com is often listed on bad or ugly website lists and for good reason. Despite the tagline “I’m Ling, You Can Trust Me,” would you really trust someone with a site like that? The cluttered design instantly inspires distrust and confusion – not what you want on your Giving page. Lesson – don’t be Ling.
You want your Giving page to be one of the most professional looking pages on your site in order to inspire trust. Use white space to keep elements separated and guide the eye naturally down the page.
If you’re curious how people normally scan a page (which is also useful in knowing where to place the most important elements), take a look at the F-Pattern and Z-Pattern techniques, proven by eye-tracking studies.
Use Strong Images
Imagery is always important. You won’t need quite as many images on your church Giving page as you do on others. Mainly, this page won’t be quite as text heavy. Still, you need images to break things up and make certain points clear.
For instance, if you talk about a fundraiser for a community project or charity, add an image related to the cause to make it more relatable to those how may not have known anything about it before.
Explain Your Payment Options
Before anyone gives, they want to make sure they’re able to give using their preferred payment method. For instance, if they only ever use a Visa credit card, they want to ensure you have a secure way to process credit cards. If they only use PayPal, they want to know you accept PayPal before filling out an online giving form.
Just above your giving form, list the payment options available. Say something along the lines of “Thank you for generosity, we currently accept the following,” and list different types of cards and third-party payment processors.
It’s also a good idea to state that all payments are processed securely for their safety.
Have A Clear Giving Form In One Place
This is the most important part of your church Giving page – the actual online giving form. Whether you manage payments yourself or go through an online giving provider, always make sure you have a single giving form on your Giving page.
Having calls-to-action throughout your page or multiple forms is confusing. You don’t want this page to look like a marketing landing page. Put your form front and center with a simple button and as few things to fill out as possible.
The simpler it is to fill out the form, donate and be done, the more people who will give. Considering how much tithing has dropped since the 1990s, you don’t want to turn away those who are happy to give, just because your form is too complicated. Plus, a complex form makes people feel less safe as you ask for too much personal information.
It should go without saying that you should secure this form, and your entire church Giving page. Using an SSL certificate gives visitors peace of mind when donating.
Offer Multiple Ways To Give
One thing you should include with your giving form is multiple options for giving. For instance, you might offer:
- One-time donation
- Donation to a specific cause, such as helping a family after a fire
- Regular donations, such as weekly or monthly
For visitors who want to tithe regularly, offering a simple option that allows them to set it and forget it works well. You may find visitors who never attend your church love this option too, as they might be regular site visitors who attend church online thanks to your site.
Allow Givers To Manage Their Donations
In most cases, you’ll want to offer some sort of login to allow givers to manage their donations. They’ll be able to see what they’ve given and when. If they recurring donations, they can change the amount or suspend it.
This is also a great place to allow large donors to download receipts to use for tax purposes. Even if you don’t have a section for givers to login, you should always provide a detailed receipt for givers to download for their records.
Most online giving platforms, which you can integrate into your website or link to, offer logins for your givers to manage their donations.
Mention Giving Apps If You Have Them
Just below your form or within it, mention any giving apps if your church has them. Many online giving platforms provide you with multiple ways to accept donations. This can include church apps, a form that integrates onto your website or a link that leads back to a branded form on the giving platform’s site.
Some people prefer to give with an app. Mention which platforms your app is available on and link to where to download it. If there are any special instructions, list them. To save on space and avoid clutter, under the app link, say “Special instructions for use.” Let this link be an expandable text. When someone clicks it, the instructions appear below.
Thank Givers After Every Donation
No matter how people give to your church, thank them. No matter how much they give, thank them. Not only is it nice, but it also shows visitors that the transaction has processed.
A quick thank you with relevant scripture always works well. If you want to get more creative, offer a special Bible study with every donation. Change it out each week to keep people coming back.
Explain The Importance Of Tithing
Some people aren’t sure why tithing matters. This is a common reason why people don’t tithe, even those who are members of your church. Since this isn’t a text-heavy page, consider adding a brief explanation of why tithing is important.
Reference scripture, link to a sermon about it and even list testimonials of how tithing has helped others in the community. To keep the page cleaner, you may want to create a specific section called “Questions About Tithing,” or something similar.
List each question or headline and let visitors click to expand the answer. This looks nice and still gives visitors answers to their questions. Once they understand why it’s important, they can then scroll back up to give.
Show Where The Money Goes
Even if visitors know why tithing is important, they may fear that their money won’t be used for good. For instance, they may have attended a church in the past that only ever used the money for fancy upgrades versus using it for ministering to the community.
Be transparent and gain trust by showing them where the money goes. Have a breakdown that lists the different categories, charities and ministries. You can give actual dollar amounts or just use a percentage. Both work well and let visitors know exactly how donations are used so they feel more comfortable supporting your church.
Consider A Video Montage
You could write all the text you want and even include images, but sometimes, a video says so much more. A nice video montage welcomes visitors into your church, your ministries and your volunteer work throughout the community and/or world.
Some great things to add to your video include:
- Tour of your church
- Introducing ministry groups
- Showing your church in action in the community
- Showing volunteers in action
- Exploring ministry and charitable efforts outside the immediate community
- Talking with people who the church has helped
This gives visitors an inside look into what your church is about. If you’ve already created a similar video for your Home or About Us page, link to that page instead.
Place Fundraisers Separately
Do you have special fundraisers going outside of regular tithing? You can either list those as separate options in your online giving form or have a special section just for individual fundraisers.
With each fundraiser, give a little overview about it. Include why it’s important, who it’s for and if there’s a deadline on when to donate. For instance, your teen ministry group may be trying to raise money to go to a teen choir competition. You can even add a video of them singing or letting them explain why donations are so important.
If you have numerous fundraisers or groups, you may want to consider a sub-page just for these to avoid any clutter on your church Giving page. Either have a link that goes to Fundraisers or list an image for each fundraiser that links to its own individual page.
Remove Any Clutter For Easy Mobile Use
Remember that many of your visitors are likely to come from mobile devices. In 2017, 57% of search traffic came from mobile and that number is expected to grow.
You want your church Giving page to be easy to use on mobile devices, especially if you don’t have a dedicated giving app. Ensure there isn’t any clutter to get in the way of filling out the form and pressing your Donate button.
Using expandable text sections really helps to clean up the page for mobile users.
Add Social Sharing Options
When someone believes in your church, they want the world to know. Make this easy by adding social sharing options. Even if your church isn’t on every major platform, offer a sharing button to let givers share the fact that they just gave to your church or to encourage others to donate too.
At the very least, offer sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Offer An Option To Sign Up For Your Newsletter
Finally, end your church Giving page with the option to sign up for your church’s newsletter. You should never make this a default option when someone gives. Instead, make it a separate option.
Use the newsletter to also remind people to donate using your Giving page. For those who want to interact more with your church, this is the perfect solution to ensure they don’t forget to come back. Ideally, you’ll want a weekly newsletter, but if you have plenty to share, a twice weekly newsletter works too.
The perfect church Giving page needs the perfect church website to succeed. Let us help you create a church site your visitors will love.