Is Your Website's Giving Page Ready for the Holidays?


Is Your Website’s Giving Page Ready for the Holidays?

               A great thank you photo! Credit: Lonnie & Kim Thurston

You’ve heard it before, but here it is again:

31% to 33% of all annual giving happens in the month of December.

12% happens in the last three days of the year. Merry Christmas! I’m ready to haul out my classic “Christmas with the Chipmunks” album to get me in the mood. Ah, I’m already humming “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.”
As the tinsel comes out, the stats are in. On-line giving continues to increase.
7.6% of non-profits' total revenue came from on-line donations. Overall on-line donations increased from 7.9% in 2016 to 12.1% in 2017. On-line donations to faith-based groups increased by 18.1%. Wow.
That 7.6% revenue is not a ton of money but every year the percentage keeps creeping up. Are you able to ignore almost a 10% potential source of your donations?
If your answer is “no,” then what kind of experience is your donor having when they land on your website’s giving page?
Here’s a way to find out.
1.  Ask four people to make a modest (or heck, a huge) donation via your website. Have two of them give by using a computer and have the other two give using their phone. Guaranteed, the giving experience between the two will be different.
2.  At each step of the way, have your fabulous donors document what the experience is like. Is it easy to navigate your page? Are the questions too burdensome? Is there a place to leave a tribute gift in memory or in honor of someone? 41% of Boomers who gave on-line gave tribute gifts. Super-important: Do you have a way to let the person being honored know that someone has honored them in this way?
3.  What happens when the “submit” button is pushed? Is an automatic receipt sent? The Pentacle Theatre in Salem sends out an initial email receipt documenting the amount received. That receipt immediately triggers another email from the Executive Director with this delightful photo (posted up in the corner) with the headline, “Thank you for your contribution!” Does your on-line "thank you" delight?
4.  Do you have a process in place to send a paper thank you letter? It’s important because…you can never say “thank you” too much.
You want your people to have a terrific on-line experience so that they feel confident returning to your website and making additional contributions. You want them to have a good experience because you have pride in your church or organization. You want them to have a good experience because you want them to love who you are and what you stand for. So start getting ready for the Christmas season by getting your website’s online giving details right. Why - and let this soak in -
The Chipmunks might even break out their version of “Silent Night” to motivate you.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She thinks Alvin, by far, is the cutest Chipmunk. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.