Applying Marketing Strategies to Your Online Giving

July 29, 2021  •   LPi

hand giving a bag of money

Don’t just rely on the online giving button on your website to keep funding consistent. Find ways to keep recurring giving on the forefront of your members’ minds with strategy.

The term “recurring giving” is not meant to be a passive phrase. In fact, keeping your members giving on a consistent basis is one of the toughest jobs you’ll have as a parish. It’s not just adding an online giving button to your website or putting a message in your bulletin once a month — you need to be intentional when it comes to reminding your parishioners about the importance of supporting your church.

From consistent messaging to technology that makes giving as automatic as possible, read on for ways to utilize well-known marketing strategies when it comes to your online giving.

Utilize the Storybrand Framework

Have you heard of the Storybrand Framework? Storybrand, created by author Donald Miller, is designed to improve a business’ marketing strategy by clarifying its message using a specific formula — mainly, turning it into a story using a seven-part framework. Here is the framework being applied to your audience — parishioners!

  1. A Character: Joe Catholic
  2. With a Problem: Super busy — he and his family are always on the go!
  3. Meets a Guide: WeShare Online Giving
  4. That Gives Them a Plan: 1. Sign up; 2. Choose recurring giving; 3. Never worry about forgetting to give to your parish again!
  5. That Calls Them to Action: Support your parish today!
  6. That Results in Success: Joe Catholic automatically donates $25 per week/$100 per month, etc., without any additional work. Just a couple of clicks, and he’s a church “hero.”
  7. And Helps them Avoid Failure: God has called him to support his community through his parish, and with WeShare, he does it easily!

From these short touchpoints, you can create custom messages for your email, social media, website, bulletin, and pulpit announcements that will cohesively encourage your members to support your parish through recurring online giving. Like Joe Catholic, they, too, can be the hero!

Pro-tip: Rather than focusing on your parish and all the good things you are able to accomplish — feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless — your messaging should be framed as “this is what we can do because of you!”

The Rule of Seven

Now that you have a messaging theme, it’s time to start considering how you want to keep this in the forefront for your members. Are you familiar with the “Rule of 7”? It’s a marketing principle that states that prospects need to come across an offer at least seven times before they really notice it and begin to take action. In “church speak,” this means that your parishioners need to hear about the importance of giving numerous times, not just see it on a flyer in the main gathering space.

Make it a priority to preach about financially supporting your faith community at least once per month, and send out email and postal communications on a semi-regular basis (think once every three months), reminding them that their donation makes a huge difference when it comes to maintaining the strength of your church.

Pro-tip: Finding time to encourage parishioners to give can be a huge endeavor. If your staff is already stretched thin, know that LPi is here to help with the WeShare Engagement Campaign, FREE for WeShare customers. Sign up today!

Choose Your “Mode of Transportation”

Once you have your overall theme/message and are aware of the importance of repeating your message multiple times (seven, to be exact!), you should next decide how best to get your message out — and these days, there are a lot of vehicles to choose from!

  • Bulletin (weekly)
  • Email Newsletter (weekly)
  • Website — Giving button on the homepage (constantly)
  • Social Media — reminder about giving and how to give online (weekly)
  • Outside websites (diocesan, local community organization, community events, etc.) (as needed)
  • Printed materials (flyers, connection cards, signage) (as needed)
  • Church “swag” such as tote bags, water bottles, stickers, t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. (as needed)

You also need to keep in mind the “trap” of passive marketing. Simply put, it’s spreading the same message, but in a way that eventually gets ignored by your audience. An example of this is, again, the unassuming flyer in the back of church, or the same little ad in the church bulletin. Definitely have these, but be sure to switch up the design, the copy, or remind people through the pulpit that they can find information about giving in the bulletin, in back of church, etc.

There is so much that goes into effective parish marketing, but don’t worry — LPi is here to help! Check out “Are Your Church Communications Working?” and “How to Move From 1950s Giving to 21st Century Giving.”

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