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The Importance of Optimizing Mobile Giving

18 Jun. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Generosity

As more people choose to give online, Church Development covers the importance of optimizing your church website for viewing on a cellphone or tablet.

Last week, I covered the importance of minimizing the number of clicks to get to the online giving page on your church website.

Now that this key point is established, we can cover some of the other tips shared in the Chronicle of Philanthropy study as to why so many charities (and though they aren’t covered, churches) have failed to make the transition to online giving. Currently, online donors represent less than 10% of all charitable giving. However, the study noted that charities that were rated as giving users the best “online-giving experience” raised 25% more than their competitors.

So what’s the best online giving experience?

Okay, okay, that’s a big, nebulous phrase, one that can mean many things, but there were some commonalities. Today’s blog will cover the big one:

A Good Mobile Giving Experience

Go hang out in a busy American city and watch the crowds. What you’ll likely see is people—teenagers and adults both—on their smartphones. We live in a wired world, so it makes sense to connect our churches in there.

For many churches, the fact that you are able to look up their website on a phone or tablet at all is enough of a mobile experience for them, but the world is changing (even the phones I pictured above are largely outdated). Typically, churches are not on the cutting edge when it comes to technology. While there’s a level of grace extended to churches, we don’t have that much time to catch up, so I’ll be clear: You’re going to want your church site to be mobile-ready—as in: having it designed to automatically scale to phone and tablet screens—within the next couple of years.

If you don’t have this, I recommend a site redesign. This will also help with search engine optimization and allow you to fix any other problems we’ve addressed in this series.

You might not look up websites on your phone, but many people are. Some of them are the ones sitting in their cars looking for a nearby church on Sunday morning. They’re likely not going to pull out their laptop, look for free wifi, then Google what’s close. Odds are, it’ll be from their cell phone, and your church website has become the first impression people are seeking out.

In addition, have you tried navigating a non-optimized site from your phone? You have to increase the screen size then scroll around. It’s not easy to use, and you might inadvertently click links as you go. For many, a non-optimized mobile site is a reason to immediately leave, and that’s before we get to the ease needed for many to give online.

Giving needs to be easy, streamlined, and automatically repeatable. Get your church website ready to meet that need on mobile devices.  

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Denis Greene is the Founder and President of Church Development.  He is the author of The Stewardship SystemStewardship-Based Capital Campaigns, and How To Ask For Donations as well as numerous articles on stewardship. Denis has helped over 200 churches across the USA raise more than $200,000,000. 

A complete list of Church Development’s services (including capital campaign management and consultation, feasibility studies, and year-round stewardship ministry programming) is available here.