We live in a generation where the average American spends 23 hours a week online, and as much as 40 minutes a day on Facebook (Social media accounts for 18.8% time spent online). It is probably similar if not more for Australians and anyone in mobile centred countries.

As we all spend more time ‘on the line’ (Thanks Internship) we have to understand that people checking us out for the first time, or even members of our communities or cause, are interacting with our website and social media ever hour of every single day.

One of the most common trends I see is a lack of investment in online platforms. Some leaders just don’t understand what their online platform is really worth to them. Some will readily spend money on ‘real’ stuff like furniture but fail to grasp the value of the opportunities their website can provide. I’ve written about making a great first impression before, but this time I want to look at another perspective why you may need to give your website a makeover or complete rebuild from the ground up. This time I’m looking at it from a financial perspective. Here are five financial incentives to get you thinking:

1. Giving doubles on responsive devices

As the shift to a mobile-first world continues, people are now giving on their mobile phones, phablets and tablets more readily. The trust economy is getting higher for people to give with confidence. That confidence means that churches and non-profits must have simple and secure giving solution on their website that works brilliantly on smaller screens. Check out your giving page on a mobile. Is it easy to use? Is it simple and easy to give? (Source: DonorDrive)

2. 59% of Facebook Users Donate Money After Interacting With a Cause On Facebook

Whoa. This one really caught my attention. I haven’t used social media as an opportunity for our community to give. Why I love this is that you get to reach people outside of your community who may be inspired to give. You would never get word-of-mouth giving via even your best every email marketing campaign. The rise of socially-driven giving is inevitable as people watch videos, read stories and want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. (Source: Waggeneredstrom)

How is your storytelling and are you sharing that in your social channels?

3. Online Giving Grew By 18.5% In 2013

If I turned up at your office today and said I could increase your giving by over ten percent you’d ask, ‘where do I sign?’ In 2013 overall giving to charities increased by 4.9% which isn’t bad. But 18.5% for faith based organisations! Again, how easy is it for your community to contribute online? (Source: Blackbaud)

4. Ten percent of giving is done in the last few days of the financial year

You can imagine the scene – he or she has a five minute lunch break and wants to give to your end of financial year campaign because of what they saw or heard at church on Sunday. They are out in the park enjoying a rare bit of sunshine before they rush back into the maelstrom of the afternoon. They search your church name and giving. The link pops up in the search results. (Can they contribute simply and easily within that time? Or is it too complicated and easy to see on their phone because it isn’t designed for their smart phone?) They make a promise to themselves to do it when they get back to work, but the amount of work in their afternoon crowds out the opportunity. They then remember the next week after any tax benefit is not available. Opportunity lost. (Source: Network For Good Giving)

5. Custom branded pages raise six times more money

This one got me thinking. So what they are saying is giving around a specific cause raises more money. So if you have a campaign to raise money for a specific purpose tell your story on that branded giving page. For churches on their standard online giving portal should be telling/showing stories of the life transformation. (Source: Network For Good Giving)

Your turn

What have been your experiences with giving and more specifically online giving? Have you seen any trends, or do you have any questions? Comment below.