In today’s ever-growing technological society, we have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to our parish appeals. The question now becomes, what should we use? In this latest blog, we cover four growing trends in the fundraising field and how to customize them for your next parish appeal.
1. Text-to-Give/Mobile Giving
When it comes to donating, we rely heavily on emotions that compel people to give in the moment. When we share a story on Facebook about a cause we’re passionate about, or show images of natural disasters that have affected people we oftentimes don’t even know, the goal is to appeal to people’s compassion so they feel moved to give. That is why having a text-to-give option for your parish is essential.
Text-to-give, also commonly known as mobile giving, is a fundraising technique that allows donors to give using their cell phones. This is a great option to have because in addition to becoming a cashless society, we are also becoming more dependent on debit and credit cards for our daily needs. Think about it — how often do you carry your checkbook these days?
At your next parish appeal, ask your pastor to have parishioners take out their cell phones and text to the parish-specific number. With WeShare, LPi’s online giving platform, this will bring them right to the parish donation page on your mobile responsive website so they can give right when the Holy Spirit compels them to. According to the 2018 Charitable Giving Statistics, the average donation size for text-to-donate fundraisers is $107, and the average donor is likely to be between 49 and 59 years old, female, married, and a college graduate.
2. Email Tokens
Used across multiple platforms, email tokens allow you to add elements to your email that are personalized based on information you already know about your donors. For example, you could address email recipients by name, or reference past purchases or other content unique to each recipient. Tokens allow you to compose and send a single email, while each individual recipient of the email receives different text, links, or images, which are automatically pulled from their record.
By the use of tokens, donors who receive an email don’t need to log in to give. Rather, their gift is tracked when they click a link within the email. The benefits to this can be found for both the donor and the organization asking for donations.
By not requiring someone to log in, you’re greatly enhancing the chances that they will give because it’s as effortless as possible. When you eliminate multiple steps, a donor is more likely to give “in the moment.”
By offering this more convenient option to give, organizations can still track donor information such as history and preferred method of giving, and gives the option to increase giving as the months (or year) progresses!
3. Tracking Your Donors Through Online Giving Tool
As a parish, it’s essential to keep track of your donors and how much they give so that you can establish giving patterns and develop major gifts programs, among other things. The ability to easily track your donors is essential to implementing these programs later down the road.
With online giving programs, it’s important to know which parishioner is giving to which collection, for how much, and how often. With WeShare, for example, admins can easily do all of this without having to bother their parishioners by keeping a donor profile for each one.
When you are able to go back and review past and present giving history, you can figure out which parishioners might be willing to donate just a little more each year. For example, if someone has consistently given $5,000 a year for the past couple of years, it wouldn’t hurt to send them an email or paper mailing from the pastor asking them to consider upping their amount by 5-10 percent. Or let them know that a new collection will be taking place in a couple weeks, and ask them to prayerfully think about donating to that cause.
4. Source and Appeal Codes
A huge battle when it comes to a successful appeal is figuring out which vehicles are working for which appeal. Typically, there are four to five aspects to an appeal: direct mailing, mass emailing, in-pew messaging (including pulpit announcements), social media, and phone calls. The earlier you can find out which aspect had the most success to reaching a donor, the better off you’ll be in order to save time and money. You can use source and appeal codes to track where solicitation individual gifts are coming from.
So in order to figure out what vehicles are working the best, you’ll want to track each donation using a code. For example, if you received a donation through the use of direct mailing, you should record that in the specific giver’s profile. If you had someone give online, make sure to also capture that. This is all valuable data that will come in handy the following year, when deciding which promotional pieces to invest in, and which ones to give up if the return wasn’t worth the effort.
There are so many ways that technology can help further your parish’s giving appeal. What worked for you?