Mark Brooks

The Text Giving Handbook

To increase giving you have to make it fun, fast and easy.  That is my new revised Brooks mantra.  For your church to avoid a future financial crisis you need to adapt this mantra!

Remember that mantra used to read only…fun and easy.  But given the trends in how Americans are now doing commerce, on smart devices, we in the Church must adapt and consider fast and easy.

Why? Here are some points to prove my point from various resources…

  • Roughly one-third of Gen Z (35%) and Millennial (32%) practicing Christians characterizes their recent giving as completely spontaneous.”  Barna Research
  • 1/3 of the future giving of your church could be left up to the spontaneous!  Brooks quote
  • 81% of Americans have a smartphone.  Pew Research
  • 60% of all giving at Mega Church Relentless Church of Greenville, SC comes via text giving! 
    https://www.onlinegiving.org/
  • The age group now that most use text giving at Relentless is between 35 and 45.

The point is, huge segments of your church give spontaneously which means you need a spontaneous approach.  Do I hear someone calling my name?  I think I hear, “Tell me what to do Coach,” coming from somewhere.  Here goes…

Systems and stories has been one of my themes for my clients this year.  Stories are the testimonies of how God is working and how generosity helps fuel that.  Systems is providing for you the right tools so that once that story penetrates the heart, you have a fast and easy multi optional way to give to support that story.  I am telling all my clients that…

Text giving is currently in my view the fastest and easiest way to give. Before you email me to disagree let me also say that giving through an App can be fast and easy as well.  I’ll save that for another post.  For now, let’s focus on text giving.

Here is the thing.  Like with all tools you have to first know how to use it and then next, most importantly, use it!  In this post I want to help you make text giving one of your key means of taking in the offering.  This edition is entitled, “The Text Giving Handbook.”  First you need to…

Set it up.  If you don’t have text giving please see my friends at https://www.onlinegiving.org/ 

Then, you need to use it.  You can’t promote what you don’t know.  Everyone on staff should be comfortable not simply using text giving but able to show someone else how to use it.

Shout it out.  This is the biggest mistake I find that most churches make when they set up any online tool.  They set it up and leave it.  You have to drive people to your sites before they can use it.  Once they see how fast and easy it is the process will do the work for you.  But you have to get them there. 

So here are some ideas on how to do that…

  • Make sure your text to give number is prominently display on your website.
  • Post the number and a short description of how to use text giving on all social media channels, newsletters, bulletins and other forms of communications.  During the month of the kickoff I like to do this for four weeks.  After the kickoff I try and post at least once a week on one of my major platforms.  For other platforms I might advertise text giving once a quarter.
  • Consider sending out an announcement email blast about text giving when you first provide the service.  Then periodically send out blasts a couple of times a year.  I like to schedule email blasts like this on three day holiday weekends. 
  • Utilize your announcement time to focus upon text giving.  If you use sliding screens shots before and after your services consider a slide encouraging text giving.
  • Text for donations!  Use SMS to make strategic appeals for things like crisis giving to support crisis relief.
  • Put the text to give number under your signature on every email and snail mail letter you send.

Simplify it.  Remember, our goal is to make it easy.  Consider using what is called a shortcode.  A shortcode is a simple string of letters or numbers that allow the donation to be sent to the right fund.  For instance you might want to text “Missions2019” to 555-555-5555.  Most providers will help you with this.  If not call my friends at, https://www.onlinegiving.org/

Finally,

Say thank you and follow up.  First, treat it like you treat every donation.  Hopefully you do by now recognize first time donors etc.  So, let’s do the same with text givers by…

  • Sending a quick tweet of thanks back to the donor.
  • Confirm that the gift was received.
  • Add that donor to your mailing and contact list designating that they gave via text.
  • Reach out to them a few months later with a similar appeal like what brought their first gift in.

These simply steps can help you see not just an increase in text giving but I believe and increase in giving AND a better way to connect with the younger generations, your future givers.

Mark Brooks – America’s Stewardship Coach

Hit the Red Button for more information about how I can help you increase giving and givers at your church!