For churches, tithing is the number one way to raise money, but passing the plate around during sermons isn't always the most efficient way to collect tithes. Some congregants don't always carrying cash or checks anymore, and your church could be missing out on these gifts.
To accommodate your entire congregation, you need to implement additional methods such as giving kiosks. That way, your church can also accept gifts made with a credit card.
For those of you who aren't familiar with this device, giving kiosks are portable card readers that allow churches (and other organizations!) to collect gifts onsite and during events.
If your church is interested in adding giving kiosks to your tithing tool box, we've got six proven strategies to help you raise more with your device:
- Brand your giving kiosk.
- Simplify the tithing process.
- Determine the ideal giving amount.
- Place your giving kiosk in a highly visible location.
- Pick a kiosk that makes the giving experience unique.
- Promote your kiosk to congregants.
With these six tips, you'll be able to optimize your kiosk and encourage your congregants to use your device. Ready to learn more? Let's jump right into the first tip!
1. Brand Your Giving Kiosk
It's unanimous that fundraising experts will harp on the importance of branding. Branding helps your church maintain a consistent appearancewhether that's online or in person.
Moreover, branding will make it easy for congregants to spot your kiosk no matter where it's placed, which will help establish trust. When your congregants are confident that they're giving to your church, they're more likely to give and give again in the future.
If you want your kiosk to be effective in raising money for your church,2 it needs to be branded. Afterall, your church is like no other; making your kiosk match your brand will complement your unique congregation.
But how can your church deviate from the devices that generally have a standard design?
The first step is to find a giving kiosk that has the capability to be customized. This will give you the flexibility you need to make your kiosk match your brand. Here are ideas to brand a kiosk:
- Changing the color to match your church's brand.
- Placing your church's name or logo on the front of the device.
- Including your mission statement in a prominent location.
- Adding stickers or other design elements on the device.
Designing your kiosk to be unique and consistent with your brand will help donors become more familiar with the device.
The bottom line: Just like you would brand your church's website or giving form, branding your physical giving kiosk will help congregants know who is receiving their gifts.
2. Simplify The Tithing Process
Imagine that you're buying a pair of shoes online, but the steps to confirm your purchase are confusing or just time-consuming. It's likely you'll start to reconsider your purchase and abandon the process if you can't figure it out in a few minutes.
The same can be said about tithing; your congregants won't give if the process is complicated or confusing.4 Plus, your parishioners are accustomed to the simplicity of a tithing plate.
Convenience is important if you want congregants to use your giving kiosks. As such, you should make your giving process simple.
Of course, this starts with choosing a kiosk that comes with a simple and intuitive process. But your church can also implement best practices to make giving quick and easy:
Limit the number of steps Your giving process shouldn't take more than three or four steps to complete. While it may be tempting to include additional steps to collect data from your congregants, it's more important to provide an efficient process.
Add suggested giving amounts By offering set giving amounts, you can cut down the giving process. Plus, congregants are likely to give more since they have fewer choices.
Have instructions beside the giving kiosk When you have a sign that illustrates the process, congregants can quickly learn how to give without needing a staff member or volunteer to guide them through the process.
The bottom line: Provide your congregants with a simple giving process so that they can easily understand how to use the device and give whenever the mood strikes them.
3. Determine The Ideal Giving Amount
In the last section we touched on including suggested giving amounts to speed up the giving process. To truly maximize your fundraising, you need to be strategic about the amounts you set.
First, you'll need to do a little research on your congregants and the type of fundraiser you're planning for your event. Having a kiosk that integrates with your other fundraising software5 will be a useful feature to have.
That way, when you accept gifts via credit card, you can track:
- Your congregants' names.
- The date and times they contributed.
- The kiosks used to make the gift.
You may find that different factorstime of day, location, event type, etc.influence how much congregants are willing to give.
For example, if you're using your giving kiosk to collect gifts at your church's game night, smaller gifts (think: $2-$5) could be more effective.
Alternatively, you may find that congregants give more right after service when the kiosk is placed in a visible location. As a result, you might want to set your gift amounts higher on Sundays.
Experiment with different gift amounts to see how much your congregants are comfortable contributing.
The bottom line: Gift size plays a huge role in how much you can raise with your giving kiosks. Test out different amounts and use data to pinpoint the ideal gift amount.
4. Place Your Giving Kiosk In a Highly Visible Location
Where you place your giving kiosk will have a huge impact on how many congregants use your device. One reason is because congregants will be more motivated to use your device if they see others doing the same thing.
Additionally, you'll want to choose a location that's easy to find so that congregants don't have to go searching for a way to give.
The ideal location will depend on the event and your church's floorplan. The best practice is to choose a location that gets a lot of foot traffic. Some examples of locations include:
- In the lobby of your church's facility.
- At your welcome desk.
- On a donation table during an event.
- On a podium or stand.
Your church can also use signs to draw your congregants' attention and make your device stand out even more.
The bottom line: Place your kiosk in a location that congregants will easily see and use signs and posters to draw attention to your device.
5. Pick A Kiosk That Makes The Giving Experience Unique
Most giving kiosks work in a similar way: the congregant swipes or dips his card, selects a gift amount, and confirms his contribution. Furthermore, the process is very similar to other transactions congregants would make to purchase items at a store.
When there's no difference between giving and buying, congregants are less likely to have a memorable or enjoyable experience, which will lead to fewer gifts for your church.
One of the biggest challenges that churches will face when collecting credit card contributions is that congregants are looking for a meaningful way to give.
In other words: congregants enjoy the ritual of placing cash into a tithing plate because it's a giving experience that can't be recreated or mistaken with other transactions.
Congregants will want a similar experience when giving with their credit cards.
If your church wants to separate giving from other credit card transactions, you need to make the experience fun. Something as a different sequence of blinking lights can help distinguish the giving experience.
The bottom line: When you have a giving experience that's unique in some way, congregants are more likely to continue using your kiosk as part of their tithing ritual.
6. Promote Your Kiosk To Congregants
It's likely that your congregants have never used a giving kiosk before. That's why it's important to educate your congregation so that they become familiar with your device and comfortable with the idea of giving with their credit cards.
Marketing your giving kiosk is a vital step if you want to maximize your fundraising, and there are plenty of ways you can get the word out to your congregation.
Use the following techniques to help you spread the word:
- Have the pastor make announcements during sermons that focus on the ease and convenience of using giving kiosks.
- Create a video demonstrating how to use your device and post it on social media and your website.
- Have staff members or volunteers show donors how to use the kiosk before and after services.
- Send information about your giving kiosk to congregants via your church’s e-newsletter.
- Promote your giving kiosks during your church's game night, gospel concert, or youth group meetings.
Giving kiosks are still new in the fundraising world, and your congregants might have questions on how the devices works. When promoting your kiosk, be sure to touch on topics like credit card security and the donor information your kiosk tracks so your congregation has no reservations about using your device.
The bottom line: Without educating your congregants on how to use the device, they might be hesitant about giving. Help ease your congregants concerns by answering their questions and showing them how easy it is to use.
You've made it to the end of our list of giving kiosk tips! These tips will help you find a powerful kiosk and use it to its full potential. Hopefully, you've learned valuable strategies you can implement in your own church.