Obviously, anything that brings in revenue helps to finance the activities of your ministry, enabling you to spread the word, grow your congregation and continue to do all of the wonderful things that you do in your community. Here are some of the most successful ways you can use eCommerce.
Online Donations Making an online donation is as easy as putting a bill in the collection plate these days, thanks to technology harnessed by the Obama campaign in 2008 to raise $125 million from an impressive army of small contributors. Paypal.com and kimbia.com both have free donation modules you can add to your website without much difficulty, which will allow your parishioners to donate via credit card.
For those who don't like to use credit cards, eChecks allow someone to make payment to your ministry directly from their bank account. For parishioners who tithe regularly, this is an exceptionally convenient way to do it.
Online Event Registration For events that require a ticket, you can get paid online in advance and allow participants to print a receipt. This saves time and money, negating the need to print tickets, handle cash, deal with bounced checks and other headaches. You can set a limit on attendance and stop selling when the tickets are sold out. Registrants can get information about the event at the same time, such as parking, directions, time and date and more.
Selling event tickets online also allows you to capture information about your attendees, such as name, address, email, phone number, age, marital status and gender, which you can use to market other events and services later on.
Online Store Add an online store to your website to sell DVDs, CDs, video and audio downloads of sermons and lectures, books, church tee shirts, calendars and more. Digital products, such as video and audio downloads and eBooks are the best source of revenue for your online store, as they are pure profit. The parishioner pays via credit card to download the product, receives it immediately, and you don't have to worry about shipping and handling or anything else of that nature.
Selling videos and audios of your sermons and major church events is also a great way to spread the word about your ministry, and can help you expand your congregation significantly. Consider posting some of your sermons on YouTube with a link to your store site to generate more interest.
For more information on this and other topics, get your copy of "The iChurch Method Volume 1: How to Advance Your Ministry Online." or The iChurch Method Volume 2: Changing the World When You Login or even sign up for the iChurch Method Online School.