by Mark Jones
Does your ministry allow donors to give online? Research shows that there is a growing usage of technology by donors to support ministries they love. What are some of the key findings and what does it mean for your ministry?
According to research done at the Pew Research Center:
- One in five U.S adults (20%) have made online contributions.
- Almost two-thirds of adults (64%) now use text messaging.
- 9% have texted a charitable donation from their mobile phone.
- With 83% of American adults now owning cell phones, the way donors connect and give to ministries will continue to change.
At my church, where I oversee the financial affairs, we have allowed online giving for a number of years. In 2011, we received 19% of our total general-fund giving through our online application—with little push and basically just making it available as an option to our congregation.
Smart phones are changing rapidly as well—and changing the way donors can give electronically. With Internet access available nearly anytime and anywhere, online giving is easier today than it was in the world of desktop-only Internet. And what’s on the horizon? Mobile wallets, for one. In the future, rather than taking out a card or checkbook, donors may simply waive their phone next to a reader authorizing payment from their account or credit card.
While we’ll need to wait and see how donors respond to these new devices, we do know that providing online giving is increasingly critical to keep your ministry connected with stakeholders.
If you allow online donations, what impact does it have on your ministry? What percentage of your donations comes from online? If your ministry doesn’t provide online giving as an option, what is holding you back?