The Offering Plate at Churches Turns Digital

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April 12, 2012

The Da Vinci Code took the world by storm in 2003 grossing $758 million worldwide at the box office. Also seeking higher numbers, churches are turning to QR Codes® in an effort to increase donations and tithing.

Do you see the irony in the movie’s star character Robert Langdon being a symbologist and the possible saving grace for churches today being a QR Code®? Perhaps history does repeat itself.

Recession Causes Churches to Adopt High Tech Donation Practices

According to the Religion News Service, the recession has caused church contributions to drop by $1.2 billion even though membership remains relatively the same.

Unity Temple on the Plaza is run by an old-school board that is willing to try new-school things when it comes to raising income for the church. The board at Unity knew that statistically donations tend to increase about 15% with churches that offer online donations to its congregations or parishioners (through QR links or direct web access).

Unity’s bulletin announcement below simply directed people after the service to its Tech Table to learn how they could make donations quickly and easily by swiping the QR Code® in the bulletin or posted in the temple.

If passing the plate is coming in light on funds, perhaps QR code® swipes will stimulate more generous giving because it’s quicker, easier, and perhaps an electronic way to amp up generosity.  And let’s face it more and more people live a credit or debit card life.

More Ways to Incorporate QR Codes into Your House of Worship (or business)

  1. Save space. Put a QR Code® next to each bulletin item to save space by directing members to links for more information.

  1. Provide a digital bulletin.Put the bulletin info on the website and place QR Codes® on signage leading into the service area. Allow parishioners to access information in the way they desire.
  2. Attract attendees. If your church building has different rooms for different ministries such as AA meetings, put QR Codes® on the signs outside the door that links to info about that ministry, meeting, or specific event schedule.
  3. Attract new members. Use QR or other 2d mobile barcodes on coffee mugs to give first-time visitors or on t-shirts for the youth group wear with text that says “Got God?”
  4. Reinforce the message. Savvy ministers and pastors are linking members and guests to the sermon notes through QR Codes® that lead to a podcast, video, or blog post.

Has your church or temple used integrated marketing, including QR Codes® in its communications or marketing materials? How about in its alternative methods to tithe?  Perhaps you can volunteer to assist them in this new terrain. It can be part of your pro bono contribution to help close the gap on diminishing returns in this recession.

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