31 Jan Best Online Giving Tools for Small Churches + Why You Need One Today
With the rise of the digital age came the decline in people carrying cash and checkbooks, many churches struggle because they are no longer receiving gifts in the same way they were in the past. Today we’re digging into the best online giving tools to help combat this shift in how people are giving.
Online giving is essential for every non-profit. And churches specifically have found that online giving helps them to maintain a consistent level of giving to accommodate the change in how people prefer to give.
When looking for online giving tools, it’s crucial to consider and understand what your needs are. The many different giving platforms may be a good fit for some and not others. So know what you need out of software.
Let’s dive in!
What is a Giving Tool?
In case you don’t know and to ensure that we’re all on the same page, we need to ask the question of what is an online giving tool? One way to think of it might be like a digital offering plate or basket that you ask your organization to use.
When we’re referring to online giving tools, we’re going to be looking at software programs that help you save time, money, and become more efficient in the ways that you receive donations.
Online giving tools also give donors the ability to give from home or to continue giving if they are gone on vacation. This helps your church to be relevant in the digital age and allows people to consistently give no matter where life is taking them.
How People are Donating today
Some of the best tools on the market can easily fill one church’s needs and not fill another’s at all. For this reason, it’s especially important to know the people you’re serving. Recent studies have shown that 49% of all church giving transactions are made with a card. Optimizing your strategy for receiving these gifts is going to be crucial.
In another recent study—this one by Bankrate—we see that 2 out of 5 consumers are carrying less than $20 in cash. Many do this to keep from spending or just because cash isn’t always convenient in our increasingly digital world. While cash may never be entirely obsolete, offering the ability for donors to be able to take out their phones instead of their wallets to give can drastically increase giving.
What Do You Need in a Giving Tool?
Here are some of the key features to think about as you start to consider different online giving tools:
Online Giving – this one is obvious, and of course, you know what it is. But you might not have thought through the different options involved within online giving such as forms, landing pages, credit, debit, ACH or automated clearing house (a way to move money between banks), and recurring gifts. Because there are so many options offered, make sure that the tool you choose covers everything that you’re going to need as your organization continues to grow.
Mobile App – if your organization doesn’t have it’s own mobile app, then it might be a good time to think about how you can help make giving mobile-friendly. Some giving software platforms offer a mobile app giving feature. The benefits of a mobile app include consistent branding and a place where donors can view their giving history and edit details of their profile.
Text – giving through text is another efficient way to have people consistently giving. This feature often costs more, so be sure to know whether or not it’s going to be a good investment for your organization. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of text giving, check out this recent blog post.
The Best Online Giving Tools
Convinced online giving is right for you? We’re here to lay out some of the best values for small churches that need online giving tools.
While you may have used Paypal before, you may not have used it to donate to a church or organization. This company has positioned itself to be a giving platform for organizations within any industry who need help raising money.
Prices for PayPal are slightly less expensive than big competitors for qualifying non-profits. But the downside of PayPal is that it takes a lot of set up on the administrator’s end and doesn’t offer charts or reports. PayPal also isn’t able to offer text giving.
This software tool is perfect for smaller organizations or organizations that need a more customizable option. With the ability to provide both online and text giving, this platform is also very diverse and can fit the needs of any church.
What makes mobileAxept stand out is their customer service for both the organization’s staff and the person giving. Because every church is different and they have individual goals, mobileAxept creates custom plans with pricing that fits within their customer’s budgets and needs. If mobileAxept interests you, reach out to receive a quote or get questions answered here.
This tool is almost all-encompassing and can cover a variety of needs, including a database of information from those who have given in the past.
Because this is a premium tool it comes at a premium price and their plans do not include the $5 a month for text giving and $19 a month for kiosks. For this reason, it isn’t always the greatest for small organizations, but it can be perfect for medium to large size organizations.
Questions To Ask
When looking for an online giving solution, asking yourself these questions will help you find the right tool for you and help minimize the time you spend looking.
What is the average age of those who give to your organization?
While 60% of those who give are willing to give to their church digitally, there are still those that prefer to give through cash or check. You’re never going to want to move away from cash and check completely, but having other options is becoming more critical.
What is most comfortable to manage and maintain?
Some software tools are going to take some maintenance from a staff side, and without good customer service and support from the company you use, the service could become more challenging to operate.
Will you use all the bells and whistles offered?
Another thing that should be considered before totally diving into a new software is whether or not you’re going to be able to take full advantage of everything that the software offers. In some cases, you may end up paying for more than will be utilized well and in that case, having a more flexible plan or something that can be customized to fit your organization’s unique needs.
If you’re looking for an online giving solution for your small to medium size church, then we’d love to connect. At mobileAxept, we work hard to fit each and every one of our customer’s needs and pride ourselves on having excellent customer service.
Send us your questions, and we’ll help you get started with one of the best online giving tools on the market!