Online Giving – Upgrading the collection basket for Churches

Online Giving – Upgrading the collection basket for Churches

From the perspective of the gospel, fund-raising is not a response to crisis. Fund-raising is, first and foremost, a form of ministry.

– Henri Nouwen

Do you remember the last time you made a trip to the post office or the video rental store? It could be a long time ago. We are now living in a world that has given up a lot of old ways of doing things and has moved to newer ways that are faster, safer and easier. Churches are no different. Historically, they have been among the slowest to embrace technology, however with the increase in online giving tools, many churches are opting for new measures to fundraise in their strategies.

Yet, the Church giving numbers are decreasing. Today, members give an average of 2.4 percent of their income to the church—and according to ChurchMag, 33–50 percent of members reported giving nothing at all. This is because the significant opportunity for members to give is during the service. And reports show that people are attending the services less frequently over time. As fewer members attend the service, fewer are the donations. Moreover, in the non-faith-based charity sector, about 70 percent organizations allow online giving as compared to only 42 percent in the faith-based charity sector. This could be another reason why most people tend to donate to nonprofits rather than churches due to the greater convenience of donating online.

Not supporting online giving could be because of lack of information or being skeptical about adopting technology in their measures. If you are a church leader, here are a few ways in which you can make a responsible decision. 

  • Understand why online giving is becoming popular.
  • Understand the security concerns.
  • Think about the possible gain/loss from this change.

As an online fundraising platform, we would like to suggest you a few reasons why churches should prioritize online giving:

  • People do not carry much cash anymore.
  • Checks are becoming less popular.
  • Churches lose a lot of time by passing the offering plate; online giving is much faster.
  • Physical money is much more difficult to handle as compared to transferring directly to the church’s account.
  • There are so many options with online giving to connect with donors on a device they prefer to use – Text-to-Give, Crowdfunding pages, Swipers, etc.
  • People have their smartphones everywhere. So they can donate any time as per their convenience. Even when they are at the church, they might be reading a sermon from it. It is a great opportunity to ask them to donate with their phones at their fingertips.
  • Not just the younger generation but everyone uses the internet. According to research, 67% of seniors say they go online. As more tech-savvy generation grows older, the number of older people having smartphones and using the internet is going to increase.
  • A 2016 State of the Plate report claimed that people in their twenties and thirties are
    • 51% more likely to miss church because they’re sick
    • 32% more likely to miss church because of work
    • 24% more likely to miss church because of social commitments
    • 21% more likely to miss church “just because”

So it is a great possibility that not keeping the option of online giving might mean losing the opportunity to turn the younger generation into your donors.

  • Online giving helps integrate multiple platforms like church management tools, donations software, online donor management software, etc. and the best online donation platforms are such comprehensive systems. GiveCentral, is one such online donation platform that is a digital tool which helps you organize your donors, map their preferences, run relevant campaigns, manage your donations, while also tracking where your money is coming from and where it’s going all year long.
  • A common hesitation in churches or nonprofits with online giving is that a small percentage of what your congregation gives to you goes to your provider. But this should not stop you from providing people with the option to give online. By offering online giving, churches often tap into new, previously unreached donors and see increased giving from their members. So despite the fees, these resources help raise more funds and enhance your congregation.

If you are still confused about online fundraising tools, you can contact us anytime.

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