Your church website is one of your most effective tools for connecting with congregation members online. As a result, it can also be a powerful fundraising tool for gathering donations remotely.
Church fundraising statistics reveal time and time again that online giving is the most popular option for church donors. But how can you be sure that your church’s online fundraising strategy is as successful as possible?
Start by gathering online fundraising metrics. Fundraising metrics will reveal your online fundraising successes and challenges, allowing you to adjust your strategy as needed.
In this guide, we’ll review seven impactful online fundraising metrics to track:
- Website page views
- Online donation rate
- Average online gift size
- Online donor retention rate
- Giving patterns
- Donor demographics
- Giving method
Use Google Analytics and other tools like your online fundraising platform to track these metrics. Also, if your church uses donor management software to track donor information, you can view these metrics in a centralized database, simplifying the analysis process.
1. Website page views
The first step in gathering more online donations is getting church community members to visit your website. When congregants can easily find and explore your website, they’ll be much more likely to make an online donation.
Track website page views for important pages such as your:
- Livestream page (the landing page you use to host your weekly virtual church feed)
- Online donation page
If you notice a drop in website page views, you can take a few specific steps to boost online engagement, such as adding more impactful visuals, strengthening the copy on your page, or optimizing your site for mobile devices. Neglecting to incorporate a mobile-friendly design is one of the most common church website mistakes. Ensure mobile friendliness by assessing your church website in the mobile view to check for formatting issues.
2. Online donation rate
Your online donation rate is the percentage of total donations that are contributed online. This metric can tell you how well you’re engaging with donors online compared to other donation methods, such as offering-plate contributions.
Compare your online donation page views to your online donation rate to understand your conversion rate. This lets you see if there is a significant difference between how many visitors check out your online giving form and how many actually donate.
3. Average online gift size
By measuring your average online gift size, you can get a better sense of how much online donors are willing to give.
You can also use your average online gift size to choose suggested donation amounts for your online giving form. For example, let’s say you discover that your average online gift size is $30. You can offer suggested giving amounts like $30, $50, and $70 to encourage greater giving.
4. Online donor retention rate
Your online donor retention rate measures the number of donors who continue giving to your church online after submitting their first donation.
Tracking your online donor retention rate can help you understand if you’re successfully building long-term donor relationships.
To improve your donor retention rate, DonorSearch recommends reviewing your donor stewardship practices. Consider these questions:
- Do you thank donors promptly after they submit online donations?
- Do you highlight the impact of donors’ gifts by sharing ongoing updates about how you’re using their donations?
- Do you provide multiple ways for donors to stay in touch, such as via email or social media?
Bloomerang’s donor management guide suggests using donor management software to personalize your outreach. You can use this software tool to track donor information such as their preferred names, donation and volunteer history, and preferred communication platform. Then, you can send tailored messages that speak to donors’ preferences and personal involvement in your church.
5. Giving patterns
Knowing your donors’ giving patterns can provide valuable insight into when your donors are most inclined to give. For example, you can analyze time-based giving patterns such as the most popular time of day, day of the week, or month of the year for donations.
With this information, you might discover your donors are most likely to give on Sundays after attending a church service, or at the end of the year when feeling the charitable Christmas spirit. You can schedule email or text messages to go out to congregation members at these times to remind them to give when they feel most inspired.
6. Donor demographics
The best church websites are inclusive and welcoming of all church community members. By learning more about your website visitors’ demographics, you can design your site to appeal to each unique demographic within your congregation.
Use Google Analytics to track audience demographics such as:
For example, you might find that your donor audience is 60% female and 40% male. Or, you might discover that the majority of your donors are aged 45-65. This information can help you understand your audience better and choose online communication strategies that appeal to them.
7. Giving method
According to recent online fundraising statistics, 49% of all church donations are made with a card. However, you may also offer other online giving methods such as Venmo, PayPal, Apple Pay, or Stripe.
It can be valuable to track donors’ preferred giving methods to understand whether or not you should highlight certain giving methods more prominently on your giving page. You could also send a survey to congregants to ask if they’d be interested in using additional payment methods that your online giving form doesn’t yet offer. Adding these additional methods will make the online giving process more convenient and intuitive for donors.
If your church offers more than one online giving portal, it can also be helpful to track donations coming in through different locations. For example, you might host additional online fundraising options, like peer-to-peer fundraising pages, along with your primary online giving form. Using your online giving software, you’ll be able to track where donations are coming from to understand the effectiveness of your various online giving campaigns.
Tracking these online fundraising metrics will give you a well-rounded view of your church community. Set up recurring reports so your marketing team can assess how these metrics change over time. Then, identify patterns and adjust your online fundraising strategy to reach a wider audience, allowing you to maximize support.