All across the country and the world, local churches are doing what they can to help limit the spread of Coronavirus and provide help to families. For nearly everyone, the economic toll will be severe and for a comparative few, their very lives will be at stake.
Many churches have created special funds for accepting donations related to the pandemic. If you're planning on doing the same, here are a few pointers:
1. Keep the fund name short and simple.
It's tempting to create names like "Fight the Spread 2020!" and such. If you want to help your donors quickly and confidently identify where they should give, keep the fund name short and sweet. When it comes to the effectiveness of a design, clarity wins every time.
2. Describe how the money will be used.
- Does this money help the church itself get through this trying time?
- Is the church directing money to some other ministry or organization related to the pandemic?
- Is the church setting up a fund to assist impacted church members?
- Is it some mix of these?
It's important to be clear on this point. Remember, donor-facing funds are about tracking the donors intention for how their donation should be spent.
If your church is collecting money to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in some way or offering relief to the many who will be impacted, establishing a new fund is a great way to do this. Just be clear about where the money will go. If it's intended to be used to help church members themselves, consider adding a line about who makes those decisions. If you're collecting money for discretionary spending, consider asking people to give to the church's default discretionary fund and forgoing a special fund like this.
3. Distribute the link and text-to-give keyword.
If you decide to send an email to donors about donating to this special fund, consider including the fund-specific link. This link will automatically pull up the correct fund and associated description for your givers. Example: https://centerville.churchcenter.com/giving/to/covid-19-relief
Setting up a short keyword like "virus" or "covid" or "coronavirus" will be helpful for your text-to-give donors. Consider dropping the "19" in COVID-19 as spelling and auto-correct mistakes for text messages are quite common. For example, a donor's phone could autocorrect "co19" to simply "19" – bad news for someone who meant to send "$500 co19" but accidentally sent the message "$50019" (or $50,019 to the default fund).
If you have any questions, just hit that "?" button in the top right of Giving and we'll be here for you, ready to help.