When a winter storm hits, it can put a freeze on a church’s financial stability.
Just ask Father Donald Fest, S.S.J, Pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Alexandria, VA, whose parish has had its share of winter storms and lost weekends over the years.
But thanks to a strong communications and outreach plan that has inspired 50% of donating households in his parish to use eGiving, Fr. Fest has been able to overcome cold weather woes.
Before St. Joseph started its eGiving program through Faith Direct, a cold snap could have a devastating impact on collections.
"I would say that during these weekend storms, the collection just bottomed out,” Fr. Fest recalls. “Offertory decreased by 80 percent.”
And it was virtually impossible to make up for that loss, he explains, “because everyone was giving by check or cash, and they did not think or make the conscious, intentional effort to make up for their missed weeks of offertory.”
Launching an eGiving program was the first step in addressing this problem – and working with Faith Direct to actively market the program, so that members would understand the importance of consistent, committed giving, has led to stronger stewardship for the parish.
"eGiving helps people budget their giving, and follow through on that budget," Fr. Fest notes. “If the member is a ‘one-check-per-week’ giver, their giving will be entirely dependent on their attendance, rather than their actual budgeted commitment. eGiving enables parishioners to follow through on their commitments.”
Remember: Having an eGiving program for your church is only half the battle – if it’s not backed with a powerful marketing message that inspires your members to be part of it, then your program won’t give you all the protection it can against weather disruptions.