Response to the South Asia tsunami disaster and a new system for receiving gifts on the Synod’s Web site have led to a dramatic increase in online giving to LCMS ministries, says the manager of online giving for the LCMS Foundation.
Rev. Earl Feddersen told Reporter that during the entire 2003-04 fiscal year that ended June 30, there were 354 online gifts totaling $91,275. But just since September, when a new online-giving system — Feddersen calls it the “Give Now” system — was introduced, there have been more than 1,200 gifts totaling nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
“While the highly publicized, heart-wrenching tsunami crisis in Asia is responsible for a large part of the increase, gifts to all ministries on the new system have at least doubled,” Feddersen said.
The new system places buttons labeled “give now” on specific LCMS ministry Web pages. When a visitor clicks on the button, a giving form pops up that is only for that ministry. If a gift is submitted, the giver is given the option to view additional giving opportunities.
Feddersen reported that 18 gifts averaging a little more than $100 each came in on the new “Give Now” system from September through November. In December, there were 506 gifts totaling $120,402.67 — nearly $238 per gift.
In just three days of giving, the tsunami disaster accounted for 381 of the 506 gifts received online in December, Feddersen added. The three-day total in December for the tsunami was $68,610.67.
By Jan. 25, LCMS World Relief/Human Care had received 1,132 online gifts for tsunami relief totaling $197,205.56, he said.
The “Give Now” system replaces the former online “Giving Catalog.”
“It’s made a tremendous difference,” Feddersen said of the new system. “We were getting many complaints with the older system,” which he said was often “broken.”
“Praise God with us for this new system,” Feddersen said. “But most of all, praise Him for the gracious generosity of His people.”
To view available giving opportunities, go on the Web to http://catalog.lcms.org.
Posted Jan. 27, 2005