I have the greatest job in the world. I get to walk along side amazing people and organizations doing great things around the globe. Every mission is different, every solution to a problem unique, every personality of their leaders is special. Yet, as much variation Faith Based Non-Profits have, they are all oddly similar. I see so many of the same mindsets and so many same problems with each and every one of you.
I have collected some of the top Myths and Mindsets I see and address why a SHIFT is needed in the thinking.
Number 1 – Best Practices don’t work for us… we are a unique faith based organization
I normally have the pleasure of hearing directly from the founder and/or executive directors at all organizations I work with. After I hear their story of why and how their mission started, I normally hear directly or insinuated “So here is our unique issue, so you can see why we called you.” Then I hear how they just don’t trust “outsiders” to understand their issues and need something out of the box.
I generally find a creative idea to help them in their online fundraising strategies… however, it is after I put the right best practices in the right order. Lining up Best Practices in a row for them to rollout and improve.
There are many simple “fixes” that a fresh set of eyes can easily see. Don’t be scared of some best practices.
Remember, you are unique just like everyone else!
Number 2 – The Accounting team needs to drive the online giving platform. It’s money, right?
Although I would NEVER force an organization to rollout an online solution that the accounting department didn’t sign off on, many organizations let the accounting department research, approve, and rollout the online donation platform. This is a HUGE mistake.
Yes, following the money and putting information in the right systems and buckets is extremely important, but make the wrong decisions will significantly limit the amount of money there is to track.
Many organizations don’t track their donation page abandonment rates (desktop and mobil). The rates can make you scratch your head. Accountants don’t make good marketers. Donation pages are NOT…”Build it and they will give.”
Donations pages are CRITICAL.. their layouts, their case for support. If you donation platform is not flexible and not able to track key data…. your organization will suffer with a lack of much needed online donor generosity.
Number 3 – Put a donation button in the top right of our website… All good, right?
The internet is a few decades old now, everyone knows where to click to give, right? There is always a top navigation and a footer on every webpage I have ever been to…. the donation opportunity is somewhere, right? I’ll scroll back up and look…
Not only is the placement, color, wording of your “donate button” critical on mobile and desktop, but assuming your visitors came to give and know where to look is very shortsighted. Don’t assume on this one. Follow my Facebook group where you can learn tricks to place donation opportunities on your websites.
Number 4 – Christians give to churches and to para-church non-profits for the same reason.
Many faith-based organizations leave the phycology of giving to the “world” and assume mature christians will give to them once they hear of the need. Oh, if it was just that simple.
Christian givers are people too. Unique people with various levels of passion, time, attention spans, various levels of technical skills, etc.
Their giving to their local church may be based on a few factors: Obedience, habit, missions (statistically, very few), guilt, etc
Para Church Ministries are based on: Propensity, passions, missions, empathy, etc
Churches and non-profits have a lot to learn when creating their case for supports and donation page wording. Break your assumptions and go back to the drawing board on speaking the same language as your potential donors.
Number 5 – We don’t need help. We know what to do, but we just don’t have time RIGHT now? Next budget season!
Have you ever known a person wanting to lose weight? “I’m going to start after the holiday season.” or “swimsuit season is right around the corner, I better do something quick.”
Successful people take the actions required for true change NOW!
The old saying, “The best time to plan a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time, is today!”
Don’t assuming your team will get to it next budget season. Don’t fall in the circular trap of “we know what to do, when we all get past this next “thing” we will get the help we need.”
Faith Based Non profits are normally lean and mean. Each member of leadership wear many hats. There is no shame getting your digital team help. Start with my FREE webinar.
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Todd Turner, aka Creative Digital Guide, has helped Christian organizations and churches expand their missions and ministries by using the power of stories and the internet to grow new names and increase ministry fundraising since 1996. For decades he has been collecting amazing stories of how God is using men and women around the globe as His hands and feet. Follow @CreativedigitalGuide to see Ministries and Missions in Action. Be encouraged and equipped as Todd shares inspirational stories and news from our brothers and sisters in Christ.