What is the Best Church Giving App?
Stepping into the digital era can be a taboo and challenging topic for many churches, but it shouldn’t be. Here at DonorWerx, we coach church leaders every day on the importance of having a digital presence in today’s tech-driven era, and we help guide them through the many obstacles they’ll face as they work to bring their church to life online.
While there are many hurdles along the way, one common area that raises questions (and eyebrows) is the topic of church giving apps. Depending on how schooled you are on the trends and preferences of today’s congregants, you may or may not be familiar with them, but there’s good reason to set one up for your church.
What Is A Church Giving App?
If you’re like 81% of Americans, you probably have a smartphone in your pocket, and that means you’re definitely familiar with the apps you can find it the App Store or Google Play Store. What if your church could be found there, too?
A church giving app can bring that idea to life, and there are plenty of reasons why you should do it. Many churches initially brush off this idea because they consider themselves to have a “small” congregation and don’t think the interest would be worthwhile. Others shrug it off because of the perceived cost.
In reality, there are plenty of platforms out there that will enable your church to create a customized giving app while saving you the headache of actually developing and getting one approved. Instead, the software you choose should give you an easy online interface where you can customize the branding of a template, adding your logo, colors, and more.
That means congregants will see your brand and, once in the app, they can give directly to you — no need to fill out a clunky online form or memorize your text-to-give number and keyword. App giving puts the ability to give at their fingertips while taking out all of the legwork that holds donors back.
Why Do You Need A Church Giving App?
Still on the fence about a church giving app? Here are the primary benefits.
- It’s easy to create. A few clicks and you’re done! Most giving software includes a church giving app or offers it for just a small fee, so they’re well worth the investment.
- Simple procedure. No extra clicks, forms, or fields. They can use Apple Pay or Google Pay to autofill their info the first time and, every time after that, it just takes a few taps to give directly to your church.
- Promote recurring gifts. The right church giving app will make turning a one-time gift into a recurring gift as simple as checking a box.
- Smart giving alerts. Push notifications (the little dropdown notification that displays on a user’s phone screen when an app has an announcement) have an open rate of over 90%. That means notifying your users of new funds and giving reminders is highly impactful and able to increase donations instantly.
What To Look For In A Church Giving App
Now that you know what makes a church giving app so powerful, it’s time to consider what you need to look for to find the right church giving app for your organization. Here are the top points to keep in mind.
Regardless of whether you’re setting up a church giving app or getting into online donations for the first-time, any type of digital giving software you choose has to have the right security in place. After all, donors are trusting you with their most sensitive financial information.
While it should be obvious, never hesitate to ask about a platform’s security standards and encryption procedures. They should be quick to answer with lots of details. They do handle your donations, after all! In general, look for a 256 Bit SSL certificate and make sure they follow PCI DSS Level 1 to store credit and debit card info.
You wouldn’t want to get a church giving app all setup only to find that half (or more) of your congregants can’t use it. Instead, you need to be certain that any church giving app you use is found on both the Google Play Store (for Android devices) and the Apple App Store (for iOS devices).
Additionally, it shouldn’t just work for smartphones. Tablets should also be able to download and use the app because many households without smartphones still have tablets, like Apple iPads.
When it comes to the backend setup of your church giving app, you’ll ideally have the option to show your congregants why you’re fundraising. Some apps will even allow you to setup multiple funds at any given time. This allows your donors to give to one or more causes they care about.
That means your next mission trip could have one fund going alongside a regular “tithing” fund. You can even throw a fundraiser for an upcoming event into the mix. By having multiple funds, you’re putting donors in control of where their money goes. This helps them realize the impact of the donations they make.
Have you ever purchased something online and waited anxiously for the emailed receipt? You just want to breathe a sigh of relief knowing it went through successfully. It’s important to realize that your donors are truly no different. As a society, we have become accustomed to email confirmations letting us know “everything is good. That feeling is essential after spending (or giving) our money.
This confirmation may seem like a small detail as a church, but put yourself in the donor’s shoes. This will help you empathize with their needs. This is especially important if they’ve chosen to setup a recurring gift. If that’s the case, they should get a confirmation every month. Moreover, the confirmation email should be branded with your church’s logo, name, and colors.
Remember how push notifications have an extremely high open rate? Phone notifications, in general, are quick to grab out attention, and that’s one of the reasons why a giving app is so powerful. It gives you a way to tap your donors on the shoulder and let them know when you reach a fundraising goal, start a new fund, or want to ask if they’re interested in giving again.
These notifications, when used correctly, will engage your congregants rather than pester them. In fact, requests mixed with happy announcements will help them realize their impact and keep them coming back. Imagine a message about the mission trip being funded ahead of schedule. They’ll be ecstatic! Make sure your church giving app can send such notifications wisely.
The Best Church Giving Apps
With all of the details out of the way, let’s dive into a list of the best church giving apps.
#4 Faithlife Giving
The parent company of Faithlife Giving began 25 years ago under the name Logos Bible Software. Today, they have branched out to offer many different solutions for churches that are trying to step into the digital era head-first. Faithlife Giving is a suite of those solutions.
On the surface, Faithlife Giving looks feature-rich, promising all the most popular giving methods — including app, online, text, and kiosk giving. However, the Faithlife brand goes beyond that. They’re best known for Faithlife Proclaim, which is a presentation software made for churches. They also launched Faithlife Sites to help tech-challenged churches get online and Faithlife Sermons, which is a database for preachers.
All in all, Faithlife is one of those companies that’s trying to do it all, and the few user reviews you can find have no complaints. In fact, Faithlife Giving has a 5 out of 5 rating on Capterra — but only 2 reviews.
A much more widely known software, Givelify is popular in many circles because they serve so many audiences. While most applications on this list focus specifically on faith-based organizations, Givelify is a bit different. It markets itself as an all-around solution for all nonprofits and fundraising efforts.
With that said, their mobile giving app is nicely built-out with a “three-tap” giving experience for donors. Pre-defined amounts allow for custom offerings. And with an easy online interface, you can change the branding of the app to better fit your church.
What’s more, Givelify attempts to offer a closer look at your church’s mobile app performance. It does this through its online dashboard that shows you data regarding who donates and what they give. Unique to Givelify, they also offer “Givelithons.” This offers a live donation amount counter to help encourage giving as you round out your goals.
In total, Givelify has a 4.6 out of 5 rating on Capterra, averaged from 38 reviews.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a list of giving apps or giving software that didn’t include Tithe.ly. In fact, it’s a solution we’ve talked about many times here on the DonorWerx blog due to its sheer popularity amongst churches. With their promises of quick sign-ups and easy setups, they say you can have your church giving app up-and-running in just five minutes. And, it’s free.
The catch? Setting up the app costs nothing, but they do charge processing fees. These come out of each and every donation you receive. However, Tithe.ly does offer a “cover the fees” option. This enables donors to pay for the fees so they don’t cut into your donations. You’ll also benefit from their QuickGive design, which allows repeat donors to give in just two taps.
By taking away all the fuss that many platforms add to the donation process, Tithe.ly does prove to be an impactful giving platform. Don’t be so quick to jump on board, though, if you’re looking for a solution that goes beyond app giving. Users complain about Tithe.ly’s inability to integrate seamlessly with pre-existing websites. They also suggest that iframe embedding and other solutions for giving forms just don’t cut it.
Some also said customer service could be difficult to reach and even unresponsive. And, if you’re migrating from an existing platform, importing all that data could be a bear. With that said, Tithe.ly remains one of the highest-rated and best known solutions around, with 165 reviews on Capterra.
Looking to bring digital giving to your church? DonorWerx is one of the only solutions out there that takes a truly all-in-one approach to getting your church online. With online giving forms, text-to-donate, giving kiosks, and in-person hardware, DonorWerx helps you bring your church’s finances together. This means you can do more than manage them. You can master them.
With DonorWerx, you also get hands-on coaching that’s fully customized to address your unique needs. We focus on what’s special about your church and congregation. After all, we believe that software on its own isn’t a solution. Only with the right guidance can you and your donors use digital giving to grow your church. In the end, this will make a bigger impact on your community.