I’ve been involved with online church for almost eight years now, and in the early days I learned that people wanted to get more involved than just watching the service. Today, it is common to see online churches offering different ways for people to engage besides the weekend streaming. This can happen in many different ways such as online groups, hang outs, house campuses, and even through giving financially. There is a big question that remains…how do you get your online audience to support the church financially?
If you are not yet seeing engagement through giving, here are few reasons why that may not be happening yet:
1. They don’t know why they should give.
After all, they don’t get to experience giving first hand as people who attend the physical church campus do, where they can literally see where the resources are being applied. Furthermore, most churches in America broadcast their offering time from the stage without addressing or recognizing the online audience. This gives them the assumption that the offering time is only for those in the room. Consider taking some time to address the online audience and engage with them directly during offering. Show them the why behind being called to give to the ministry. Invite them to make the investment and to support the global online ministry.
2. They don’t know how to give online.
Make online giving as easy as possible for your online audience. The “one click” Amazon experience is what they are looking for. For first time givers, allow one click, small amount options like: $5, $10, $15 and $20.
3. They have no idea where the money goes.
Remember, you are talking with a global audience. For that reason, online church givers expect to see the resources going further than the local church needs. Show them how much your church support global missions, what it takes to run online groups, and the resources needed to spread the word globally through the online church.
4. They don’t feel involved with the online church.
Give your audience more opportunities to get involved through the online campus. This might be by serving in the chatroom, running a house campus or even leading an online group. The more involved they get, the better the chance they will give as members of the online church.
I’ve seen great online churches focus on growing their giving, and being successful at it. It took a good dosage of intentionality, planning and practice and as a result, they have seen people who have never stepped foot into our physical campus give online. After only two years of exercising these principles, we are set to see over $100,000 come in from donations through our online church. This is an incredible way to measure the level of commitment and engagement within your online audience.