How Hard is it to Set Up Electronic Giving for My Church?
Is your church interested in exploring electronic giving? Electronic giving, or “digital giving,” comes in many forms. With the right software, setting up digital giving is extremely easy, but many churches find the process of understanding and choosing software to be quite daunting.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the notion of adding digital giving to your church, look no further. This guide will walk you through your options and help you understand the best way forward for your ministry.
Types of Electronic Giving
Before you start comparing software, it’s essential that your church understands its options. The fact is, there are many types of electronic giving methods out there. Your church may choose to adopt one or all of them, depending on your budget and your congregation’s preferences.
Most churches today have chosen to incorporate most or all of these methods into their giving strategy. After all, by offering congregants as many choices as you can, you’re helping to meet every potential donor halfway, making the giving process feel natural, comfortable and manageable for them. Breaking down the barriers to giving is definitely one of the biggest perks of electronic giving.
These Types Include…
- Online Donations: Easily the most popular and well-known method of electronic giving, online giving allows donors to submit money through your website or an online form that you link them to. They’re able to donate with a credit or debit card in any amount they choose.
- Text Donations: Two types of text donations exist. You can either use a service that will text your donors a link when they text a shortcode to your number or you can use a service that will directly bill their phone carrier when they do the same. The latter is often used for active fundraising campaigns as the donation is a pre-determined amount and not recurring.
- App Donations: Setting up a mobile app for your church is well worth it. A great mobile app will enable you to collect donations in a seamless manner, using your user’s pre-known information to fill in the form and make the donation as quick as possible, usually completed in about three taps.
- Kiosk Donations: Bridging the gap between electronic giving and in-person donations, kiosks allow donors to use their credit or debit card to submit a donation while at your church or another physical location. Kiosks are a great way to collect donations from those who want to give, but always forget cash for the offering plate.
Each one of these giving methods has its own pros and cons. So, which one is right for your church? To answer that question, you have to consider your church and its unique congregation.
What Types of Donations Should You Accept?
Should you add one or all forms of electronic donations to your church’s lineup? The answer is, it depends. While adding more options can’t hurt, it can be costly. Kiosks, for instance, often have initial hardware and set up fees associated with them, and there’s no use paying for one if you don’t foresee your congregation using one.
In order to decide what electronic giving methods are suitable for your church, you need to consider who your potential donors are. Aside from doing market research based on demographics and pulling from the information you already have in your database, it may be worthwhile to conduct a quick survey.
You can create a survey to put in the seat back at your next Sunday service and, ideally, include one on your online channels as well. Give your congregants time to respond and, after a week or two, look at the responses to understand what type of electronic giving options your congregants would most prefer.
You may find that those who answered in-person during their regular attendance may like a kiosk because it means they can give on Sunday when they want to give, but they don’t always have to remember cash. Meanwhile, you may find that those who respond to your Facebook poll would prefer a mobile app, because they’re likely using their mobile phones often anyway.
Choose The Right Software
Understanding your congregation and their preferences is crucial to making a smart investment in electronic giving software. However, your work doesn’t stop there.
Plenty of solutions exist to help your church collect donations online, through text, and in apps. Which one is best for your church? It comes down to pricing, ease of set up, and the features you’re looking for. In general, you should opt for a software that:
- Provides advanced branding and customization capabilities, so that you can provide a consistent experience for donors as they move from one platform to the next.
- Gives you many collection options so you can meet your congregation’s changing needs overtime.
- Offers a flexible, fair pricing model that isn’t going to eat away your donations in fees. You also won’t see huge costs from a monthly subscription price.
Ideally, you’ll choose a software provider who is familiar with the needs of nonprofits and faith-based organizations. At DonorWERX, we believe we meet all of these criteria.
Partner With Someone Who Knows Your Needs
Every day, DonorWERX helps countless churches set up online giving for the first-time. We also help them introduce their congregation to a new way of worship. We believe that digital platforms are the next best tool for spreading His message and continuing the mission. This is why we are devoted to helping organizations of faith like yours strategize, plan, and thrive.
Are you interested in learning more about DonorWERX and what we can do for your church? Reach out to us to schedule a Discovery Call and our team will walk you through all of the features, fees, and details of our donation software and coaching services. Together, we can help your church reach new people, engage old attendees, and consistently collect donations to charge your growth.