How to Start an Online Giving Email Program for Your Parish

April 22, 2021  •   LPi

person donating money on a computer

Whether you have been actively encouraging financial stewardship for years in your parish, or it’s a passive annual task, encouraging your parishioners to become regular donors is essential to the health and wellbeing of your church. An easy way to get started on creating a giving program for your parish is to automate it with an email program to increase your online giving presence.

From audience considerations, targeted messaging, and email platforms that might work for you, check out some easy-to-implement ways to work an essential email campaign into your list of tasks.

Consider Your Audience

Are you aware that you have two sets of audiences to consider when starting an online giving email program? Donors and non-donors. So, you’ll want to keep these two “personas” in mind when creating content for them. An example to consider:

Regular Donor Rachel: Gives regularly to your church at least a few times a month using a parish envelope or online. You have all her donor information kept on file, meaning that you can provide her with an end-of-year giving statement for tax time.

Non-Donor Nick: A consistent Mass attendee who either doesn’t give at all or gives sometimes during the offertory with cash when he has some. You don’t have a way to track his giving pattern because of his sporadic generosity. Although he’s attended your parish for years, he has yet to become an official member.

Now that you know who your audience is, you’ll want to curate your messaging towards them in a way that will compel them to give.

Solidify Your Call to Action

Obviously, the end goal for your giving campaign should be that parishioners become consistent givers to your parish using your online giving platform. However, with two different audiences, this end goal will need to change slightly for each group. While it may appear unnecessary, you definitely don’t want to exclude regular donors from your campaign!

It’s no secret that members need to be reminded multiple times about the importance of continuing their contributions, also tell them how their giving makes a difference in the parish. In addition to an update of what your parish is doing (both inside the building and outside in the community), you’ll also want to include a call to action for them to look at their current giving, and whether that should be adjusted. Can they afford to give 10% more? Or sign up for recurring online giving to automate the process? It’s well-known that for the most part, our members are not hesitant to give — they just need to be reminded as to how and why.

Put it into Action

You have your audience and you have your messaging. The only thing left to do (right now!) is to put it all into action. Check out two types of messaging that can be used for email, or as a bulletin or pulpit announcement if an email address is not available. If your parish has yet to implement a broadcast email platform, check out our blog “Why Your Parish Needs an Email Marketing Platform.”

Email to Non-Donor Nick

Dear Nick,
Thank you so much for attending Mass at St. Andrew Parish. Your presence each weekend is an incredible testimony to the strong faith of our community and how much we can accomplish in the name of Jesus Christ.

We’d love to have you join our faith community as a member. When you become an official parishioner, it not only allows us to mutually turn to each other for support and guidance — it also makes the process so much easier when the time comes for infant baptism, religious education, weddings or funerals.

Simply visit our website to sign up in less than five minutes or connect with an usher after Mass for a printed form. You will also have the opportunity to sign up for online giving, which gives you the ability to give to our parish whether you’re in the pews or not. It’s fast, easy, and convenient, and makes a world of difference to all that we are able to accomplish in the community we serve. Thank you for considering!

In His Name,

Fr. Daniel

Regular Donor Rachel

Dear Rachel,

I would like to take a minute to personally thank you for your consistent commitment to our parish. Your presence here is a testimony to the strong faith of our community and how much we can accomplish in the name of Jesus Christ. We are strong because of you!

This year, we have made the decision to make giving automatic by offering our parishioners a recurring online giving option. This not only helps us project what to expect for our budget for the year — it also allows you to give whether you are in the pews or not. Please consider making your next donation (and beyond!) through our online giving platform. Click here to sign up in minutes!

In Christ,

Fr. Daniel

No matter where you are with your giving initiatives, there are always ways to keep the momentum going. When you devote creativity, resources, and time to stabilizing your financial bottom line, so many people receive the fruits of your labor.

Finding ways for parishioners to give is a huge yet important task. 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!

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