Mobile Giving and Online Giving for Churches
Question> I help oversee our finances at our church and we’re considering online giving as an option. I know–getting into the 21st century finally!
I recognize there are transaction fees associated with credit card donations, and one of our worries is that existing donors (by check) will move their donations to credit card, and the church would get hit with the fees and we would end up with less donations. Of course the ideal situation is that having the online giving option increases overall giving so that the transaction fees are worth it.
I was just curious what you know about other churches’ experiences w/ online giving has been so far, whether you think it’s worth it, whether you’ve seen an increase in giving because of it.
@djchuang> In short, yes, it’s worth providing online giving, as I’ve heard numbers in the range of 10%-50% increase in overall giving when churches make online donations available. If you’re not sure, your church could try it out for free. (Though there are transaction fees with electronic giving, would your church rather have 0% or 97% of people’s donation?) It’s also possible to find an online donation processor that has an option for the donor to pay for the transaction fee in addition to the donation amount.
There are so many electronic giving solutions and/or platforms out there, it’s quite dizzying to select one that’s just right for your church, plus the ever-changing development of new technologies too. What I can share with you is these mobile and online donation services that I’ve met people from, and this can be a good starting point to find one that fits your church’s current and future needs:
- faithstreet.com #text #mobile #web
- givemodo.com #mobileapp (Giving App for iPhone and Android)
- kindrid.com #text #mobile (in partnership with Lifechurch.tv and OneHope)
- aplos.com #web
- fivetwo.org #web
- egiveusa.com #website #text #kiosk
Some features/issues for your church leaders to consider:
- Which options do you want to have: online giving via website? is website mobile-friendly or responsive-design? giving by text? giving via app? all of these?
- Which credit cards does it accept? Other forms of payment (checking, EFT, ACH, recurring)?
- Is there a setup fee? monthly fee? any monthly minimum? contract terms?
- What is the transaction fee? option for donor to pay for transaction fee? service charges?
- What reports are provided for accounting? Does it sync with your church’s accounting software, if applicable?
- How is their customer support? (when it comes to tech and money, issues will arise)
- Designated giving (for funds or campaigns)?
Articles + statistics about online giving in churches:
- As of 2012, 42% of churches offered online giving. That’s a jump from 11% in 2011.
- 7 Reasons Churches Should Offer Electronic Giving Options (Church Law & Tax, 2010)
- “When churches featured a branded donation page on their websites, they saw a five- or six-fold increase in donation dollars over the more generic experience” (RSI Stewardship)
- “60% of people on the U.S. (and the percentage has been growing every year) handle at least part of their financial lives through electronic transactions” (kluth.org)
- “Our partner churches see a 10-30% increase in overall giving” (FaithStreet)
- New Innovations in Online Giving by Warren Bird (Leadership Network blog)
- Digital Giving Strategies for the Church by Scott Pearson (eChurchGiving)