The Ultimate Guide to Online Giving for Churches
A Complete Online Giving Platform
Most church leaders know God calls His people to live a life of generosity, and thus, understand the importance of giving in the church.
Because churches are non-profits and rely on the donations of the congregation, generosity is crucial in helping churches expand God’s kingdom here on earth.
Even though pastors and leaders do their best to encourage people to give, and many church goers know it’s a good thing, they don’t always participate in giving tithes and offerings. Why? Well, for some, they’re concerned about how their money will be used. For others, they don’t understand the blessings that come with generosity.
If you want to help ease the concern around giving in church, spend time really searching what the Scriptures say about money, tithes and offerings, giving, and generosity. The Bible discusses these topics extensively. Then, share what you find with your church family. Don’t forget to mention the various ways they can give because for some, the roadblock is the simple fact that they don’t carry cash, or they may have forgotten their checkbook that Sunday.
That’s why online giving for churches is crucial.
Sixty percent of donors are willing to give to their church digitally. That’s more than half! Imagine missing out on the generosity of those who are only giving via the web, especially the younger generations. In fact, churches that accept online tithes and offerings can see a 32% percent increase in their overall donations.
In this post, we will explain what online giving is, the different types of digital giving options, why your church should use online giving, and how to effectively utilize these platforms to grow your church and expand the Kingdom of God.
What is an online giving platform?
Online giving platforms help streamline the way churches collect and manage money. It is a type of church software that allows members to give their tithes online and contribute to specific giving campaigns electronically. It is a paperless transaction allowing contributions to be transferred directly from a donor’s bank account or debit/credit cards directly to the church.
It’s convenient for donors because there are multiple ways to give outside of dropping cash or check into an offering plate as it passes by. They can also give from anywhere at any time right from their fingertips.
Most often, an online giving platform will integrate smoothly into a church’s general church management software (ChMS), making it even easier to track finances and view trends in giving.
Types of Digital Giving
Provide and easy-to-find giving page directly on your website. Create custom payment forms within your church giving web page. These forms allow donors to easily input their information to make their donation. It includes things like their name, contact info, and the amount of money they desire to donate. They can also sign up for recurring giving and select how frequently they want their donation to be taken out automatically. There can even be a dropdown for fund management—where the giver can choose which ministry or campus they would like their gift to be designated.
A mobile app is a great way for members to be able to send donations, schedule recurring giving, or contribute to a giving campaign. They can manage giving on the go and contribute at any time that is convenient for them—during the offering moment at church, during the week, or in the middle of the night. Make all of your content easy for your whole church community to access.
Text to Give
People always have their phone, so texting to give is a hassle-free way for church members to donate right from their fingertips. Text giving meets donors where they are and enables spontaneous giving. They simply text a specific word, like GIVE, to a designated 10-digit number. Then they will be prompted to fill out a giving form to submit their payment in only a few seconds.
Attendees have the ability to give on-site in a cash-free way with their debit/credit cards using a touch screen kiosk. Church attendees can donate or even register for events from these easy-to-use kiosk touch screens. They can be moved and placed in the lobby, sanctuary, or even classrooms to make giving, registration, and child check-in a breeze.
Why Churches Should Use Online Giving
Giving electronically, or eGiving, via websites, apps, texting, or kiosks, can help lessen the administrative load, increase generosity, and promote church growth.
When people have easy access and multiple options to give, they’ll be more likely to contribute even more to the Kingdom work your church is doing. Below are some of the reasons why your church should use an online giving platform.
The majority of people aren’t really carrying cash/checks
In this digital age, few people have cash on them and even fewer write checks. In fact, in a recent study, fewer than 16% of people that were polled carried cash on their person. Because of this, many churches that don’t utilize online giving will probably see a dip in giving trends, if they haven’t already.
Some people still utilize the envelope and drop their tithe in the offering bucket, but if churches aren’t using online giving, they are missing out on the vast majority of people who prefer to pay electronically.
Easy for donors to use
Giving online is convenient. Having various options to give helps members donate in the way they prefer, whether through your church website, by texting an amount, or submitting payments through a church app. And since these methods accept debit cards, credit cards, or bank transfers, the giver can choose how they want their money transferred. It’s also easy because they can create an account that will remember their information for the future.
Easier for church staff to manage
Using an online donation platform greatly improves organization and management when it comes to church finances. Administration is simpler because the entire giving process is automated. All contributions are viewable from one system and can be managed in real-time, which will significantly reduce the administrative burden that comes with tracking tithes and offerings.
Members can even manage their own giving accounts, lessening the workload for church staff. Being able to view personal contribution statements online will also save the church money because you won’t have to spend extra for printing and mailing.
Online giving is easy and convenient to use, so more people are willing to give. This is why most churches who have implemented online giving have seen an increase in overall donations.
Setting up recurring giving (more about this below) also encourages consistent donations because it automates what people would give anyway but might forget otherwise. Many people desire to give consistently, and recurring giving is a simple way for people to do just that.
Give from anywhere at anytime
As we mentioned before, having the ability to give whenever people feel led, regardless of where they are, can really benefit the church. It sparks spontaneous giving whether they are at church or not.
Even if somebody cannot attend on Sundays, they can still give from the comfort of their home, the park, or wherever generosity strikes them. It encourages giving even if people miss church. Especially with the lockdowns from the pandemic, churches who utilized online giving were able to continue to receive funds although their congregation was no longer sitting in the pews.
Integrations with other software
Having an online giving program that integrates well with other church software can save time and effort. That’s because all the software programs are working as a team and sync with one another. One of the most desired features for churches who use online giving is that it integrates with their other systems.
With integrations, you can streamline event registration and accept payments from the same software. Export transaction data for use in your accounting software. Connect with and manage donors with integrated church management software.
Monitor and stabilize giving trends with recurring giving. Churches often see giving decrease during slower seasons like summer, so having automatic giving set up will help reduce seasonal slumps and keep giving more consistent.
It’s easy for donors to use, and it’s especially beneficial for the church. It makes budgeting easier, too, because your team can have a better idea of how to anticipate increases or declines in giving.
Recurring giving resources
Encourage people to give to something specific through various fund categories. Specify ministries, goals, projects, campaigns, or campuses that you might be raising money for.
People often desire to support a certain project or ministry that they’re passionate about. This can inspire even more people to give because there is a designated fund, so they know what their money is going to be a benefit.
Create valuable giving reports for church leadership and track data to help predict progression and fluctuations. Pull charitable giving reports to view who is donating, how much, to which fund, and when they’re giving.
Graph monthly trends, recurring giving, and forecasting. Generate reports by person, date range, funds, or transactions. This reporting will help your team and board members better manage donations all around.
How to Inspire Online Giving
Share the heart of why we give
To inspire your people to get on board with giving, whichever way they choose to do it, you’ll want them to understand the heart behind why we give. Opposite of popular belief, the Church isn’t only about taking people’s money.
Giving is biblical, so share with your congregation how we are created in His image, and being generous means we are being more like God because He is generous. Let your congregation know that through their financial contributions, they can help create an eternal impact on those around them. Below are some Bible verses to help share God’s perspective on this topic.
Scriptures about Giving
So, what does the Bible say about giving? There are literally hundreds of verses that talk about money.
When people understand the why behind giving, and that it is more of a heart matter than a money matter, they’ll be further committed to giving. As a church leader or pastor, you are probably very familiar with these verses. But maybe consider reteaching or expounding on these topics in your sermons, in emails, or devotionals to help spark a generous heart.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given to You. 1 Chronicles 29:14
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. Proverbs 3:9
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. "Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." Malachi 3:10
Talk about online giving
In order for your congregation to know about giving, specifically that you have an online giving solution, they need to hear about it. How will they know they have multiple options to give if they’re never talked about? Share from the pulpit about why we give and how to do it. Mention the giving opportunities on your webpage or in email campaigns that you send. The more you talk about it, the more people will know that they have the option to give online, and the more likely they will participate.
Leadership as an example
If you want your members to give consistently, encourage your staff and volunteers to set the example. When they see all of the blessing that comes from being a blessing, others who aren’t yet consistent with their giving will be inspired to join in. Plus, when your congregation knows that it’s important in the lives of leadership, it may become more of a priority to them, too. Perhaps have a pastor demonstrate from the pulpit how to give online to show how easy it is.
Make it easily accessible
Be sure that people can easily access your online giving platform. That’s one benefit of having the church app and text features. Highlight your giving page on your website’s homepage with tabs and buttons that are clearly defined. Include links from your church social media posts and email blasts that direct them to your giving forms. Use clear calls to action that direct donors in how to give. People shouldn’t have to search high and low to figure out how to contribute; otherwise, they may not.
Donors won’t have to constantly be reminded to give if they have recurring giving set up because it will happen automatically. Encourage your congregation to automate the important. Recurring giving is one way your people can help the overall vision of the church because consistent donations helps the church accomplish its goals. Contributors can continue to give even when they are on vacation or traveling.
More Recurring Gifts Resources:
One beneficial feature of online giving is having a variety of funds for people to give to. With fund management, participants can choose which ministry, project, campus, or campaign they want to support. Have a dropdown list in your giving form to make it even easier. Host a giving campaign during seasonal slumps or to fund special projects, like a new building or an upcoming mission trip. Campaigns help inspire donations because it’s not quite so general.
Share giving testimonies
People are moved by stories. Share testimonies from people who have given financially and how it made an impact, not only on the people it served but on the giver’s life as well. Tell stories about the community influence a certain giving campaign funded. Publish testimonies on your church blog or send updates in donor emails. When people hear these stories, they’ll be inspired to give (or to give more consistently).
Thank your donors
Being able to track who has donated what is another great feature of online giving for churches. Because of this, you can send emails and letters to thank donors for their contributions and update them about how their gift is expanding God’s Kingdom here on earth. Send customized thank you and receipt emails. This will help inspire more giving, thus furthering your church’s mission and honoring God in the process.
Help your congregation walk in faith and obedience when it comes to giving. Elexio Giving wants to partner with your church to inspire your people to give cheerfully and demonstrate a life of generosity with our robust, integrated digital giving platform.
To learn more about the integrated online giving platform with Elexio, contact us today.
Table of Contents
- Fewer people carrying cash/checks
- Easy for donors to use
- Easy for church staff to manage
- Often increases giving
- Give from anywhere/anytime
- Integrations w/ other software
- Recurring giving
- Fund management
- Share the heart behind giving
- Talk about it
- Leadership as an example
- Make it easily accessible
- Recurring giving
- Giving campaigns
- Stories/testimonies about giving
- Thank your donors