Religious organizations – when faced with plummeting financial support from their members because of COVID-19 – flocked to provide a platform for online giving. What often took parishes and congregations months to convert turned into a transition of days by necessity, Jared Fritz, Pushpay’s marketing manager, told forum participants that focused on “Eliminating the Envelope.” The forum was hosted by the Steier Group.
Fritz shared statistics with participants that reinforced the value of providing donors with a platform for online giving:
- 74% of churches offer some type of online giving.
- Less than 15 percent donate by using checks.
- More than 20 percent of all millennials have never written a check.
Fritz’s advice: Embrace online in the culture of your parish or congregation. In doing so, he said, be sure not to discard those who remain committed to giving by check and use envelopes.
Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Chatham, New Jersey, started the transition to online giving in December and now has 25 percent of its members using this approach, said Dominic Ambrosio, communications director. To do so, the parish had to shift the paradigm from envelope to online giving, focusing on the ease and accessibility, he said.
Giving at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church in San Diego began the transition about four years ago and reports that giving is actually up in 2020 compared to the previous year, said the Rev. Karla Shaw, senior pastor. “The hardest part was breaking habits,” she said. “Communication was the key.”