Doing a church online giving comparison and thinking of using Tithe.ly over the PayPal donate button or making the switch to Tithe.ly from PayPal?
We want to make the decision as easy as possible, so we’ve put together some info that’ll help you decide which option is best for you.
Below, you’ll find information to help you compare Tithe.ly’s church giving suite of tools and PayPal donate now button, including features, customer experiences, pricing and thoughts from current Tithe.ly customers who have made the switch.
We hope this helps…
PayPal is a well established and popular way to send and receive payments online. The company pioneered digital payments and was the first of it’s kind in online donations for churches and nonprofits.
The most popular feature for churches is their Donate Now button that is easily (so they say) embedded on your church website so that members and others who want to support your work can do so quickly.
While a very compelling option in the early days of PayPal, now days there are a handful of red flags you should be aware of when it comes to using PayPal for your church website and online giving needs.
Be sure to consider the below 10 PayPal red flags when evaluating and deciding upon your primary church giving solution.
If you go to the setup page for a PayPal donate button you’ll quickly realize that there are quite a few steps — 11 steps to be exact. [Tweet This Now!]
Those 11 steps only get you their standard donate button … that doesn’t include fund designations, recurring giving capabilities or any other bells and whistles. If you want more (albeit not much) you’ll have to add quite a few more steps to the mix.
Although possible (I think), the out-of-the-box, 11 step setup, PayPal donate button does not include the ability for givers to designate donations to a specific fund (eg. missions, weekly tithe, love offering, youth camp, etc). And if you want to give your church members the ability to make one gift of say $500 and designate $100 to their weekly tithe, $300 to missions, and the final $100 to youth camp … well, you’re out of luck. PayPal doesn’t allow you to do this at all.
Automated recurring giving is such a critical element of online giving and should be highlighted on your website. A successful recurring giving program helps smooth out the revenue dips so many churches go through during summer months, vacations, etc — Helping to stabilize the budget and ensure expenses are covered.
Doing this with PayPal … well … that’s 27 step setup process and you better have someone who knows how to modify HTML code.
It’s not that it’s difficult for someone who has these technical skills, but it’s far from simple and if you don’t have the skills on staff or a volunteer who is willing to help, you’re out of luck.
Want to allow givers to set their recurring schedule? (eg. 16th of every month) Too bad. PayPal doesn’t support that.
At the end of the day, doing recurring giving with PayPal is just hard.
Let’s have a look at the standard donation process that a church goer / donor using PayPal would experience vs. that of Tithe.ly.
We’ll start with Paypal:
Alternatively, with Tithe.ly:
As you can quickly tell just based on the numbers of steps (5 for PayPal vs. 3 for Tithe.ly), it’s a much better experience for the giving using Tithe.ly vs. PayPal. Additionally, being redirected off your churches website to a third-party site can cause trust issues for givers. Especially if they are not familiar with PayPal already.
According to the Digital Giving Index, branded giving pages convert (eg. get people to complete their gift) seven times (yes, I said 7X) more than non-branded pages and have an average gift size 33% greater!
But PayPal doesn’t allow you to own the branding or user experience.
First off, even if you use a custom button to trigger a donation from you website, once clicked your members will be taken to a PayPal shopping cart like experience that gives you very little ability to add your church brand. You essentially have no control over any of it other than being able to add your logo or church name.
Second, the shopping cart donation experience may confuse church members who do not understand why they are going through a “purchase” experience on the PayPal website as compared to a giving experience on your church’s website.
Ultimately, these two things give off the wrong impression to members and individuals who are eager to support the work of your church financially. This type of experience can results in a frustrated member who abandons the online process altogether — the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish.
On the other hand, Tithe.ly offers a branded, streamlined and giver-centric experience that simplifies the process for donors while making a clear connection for reasons to give.
PayPal gives people the option to give without a PayPal account, but it’s somewhat hard to locate. You have to look for the small text link on the ecommerce looking giving page that says “continue”.
Offering a simple (and obvious) way to give without an account is important because not everyone who supports your church will be a regular giver who wants to setup an account for frequent use. Some folks will simply want to make a one time donation for a specific program or to support your missions work.
If you make this hard to do, I guarantee people will start to make that online gift only to quickly abandon because they couldn’t figure out how to do it.
Using PayPal’s donate now button feature does get you a responsive donation form, but I’d argue that it’s a very poor experience for all the reasons stated above. In fact, because it’s happening on a mobile device where real estate comes at a premium, the experience for the giver is even worse.
PayPal’s online donation button is a single feature. It’s been in it’s current state for years without any major advancements. But with a system likeTithe.ly you get:
With today’s proliferation of mobile devices and advances in responsive design, an online donation feature for your church that allows donors to give from their smartphones via a responsive web form, a mobile giving app, text-to-give, and more improves engagement and encourages future donation activity for your church.
Organizations that make it as easy as possible to donate will increase donations and build stronger relationships with donors.
Paypal has never been famed for good customer service. Droves of people have seen their funds frozen with little or no explanation, such as some indie videogame companies during their crowdfunding campaigns.
PayPal is an enormous business whose model is setup to be as hands off as possible. Especially for churches and nonprofits using their donate now button. It’s not that they’re doing it on purpose, it’s that their business isn’t setup to support the needs of the church specifically.
Your giving data is important for many reasons. From being able to send yearly giving statements for individual tax purposes to understanding your memberships giving tendencies, the more data you have and the better you leverage it, the more effective you will be.
But with PayPal you’re stuck with exporting your data from their admin tools and importing it into your church management system (ChMS). Of course, this isn’t the end of the world, but it does add administrative time to your overall giving and data management efforts.
Time that could be spent on more valuable efforts if the data automatically synced with your ChMS.
At the end of the day PayPal is a great product and has helped to revolutionize the digital payments industry. If you’re in a pinch and have to do something quick, PayPal may be a decent option. But I can’t think of any other reason you’d choose PayPal as your church’s lead website and online giving option. Ten years ago you didn’t have many options, but today there are companies like Tithe.ly delivering much more value and better features at competitive prices.
Be sure your church is evaluating those options and making the right choice for your congregation! Check out one of the ways to give below!
Get started with Tithe.ly in minutes.$0 setup or upfront fees, no long term contracts, and no hidden fees.. Built by ministry minded people to serve the Church. We want to help you increase giving so you can fund your ministry! We’d love to hear from you.
"We have been using Tithe.ly for quite a while now and have been very pleased by the ease with which we can integrate the giving platform into our website and church management software. Their rates are extremely competitive and their customer service is outstanding. We are also about to begin utilizing their Church Engagement App and have been blown away by how easy the process has been. We are so excited to begin taking advantage of the many features that the app has. Overall, Tithe.ly has given us a first-class experience through every interaction with them."
"Tithe.ly has great support, a clean interface, and lower fees than the competition. I also like the iOS/Android app and have been pleasantly surprised at how many folks from our church have started using the APP. We are forecasting at least a $3k annual savings compared to Moonclerk. Highly recommended."
"It's been an amazing experience for us at West Church. We would recommend using tithe.ly for you church app needs, as having a church app helped connect our members as well as connect us to our community in new ways."
"We've used Tithe.ly for over a year as our mobile and online giving platform and had a great experience with the company as well as the product. Customer service has been excellent. To top it off, we've seen automated recurring giving increase to nearly 30% of the total since we introduced our church to mobile giving."
"The support we've received has been great and the change to Tithe.ly from our previous giving provider was "easy-peasy" as the Tithe.ly team did most of the work! Beyond having a great mobile giving solution, the church certainly appreciates the fact that there is an option for the giver to cover the credit card fees!"
"My church had been looking for an all in one solution for online and text giving. We didn't have tons of gold bricks in our safe, so Tithe.ly hit the spot. It's easy to use, reliable and most importantly affordable for churches of all sizes! Our online and text giving has dramatically increased since we launched Tithe.ly at our church!"
"I wanted an easy to use mobile giving app for my church, but also wanted to ensure the administrative tools were easy to use as we do not have a huge staff. Tithe.ly did just this for Wintonbury Church! Integrating our website was a snap and the connection to CCB has been seamless. After launching, things have been self-sustaining!"
"Our church has been with Tithe.ly since early 2016. We've seen online giving increase every month since we launched! Once someone see how easy it is to give with Tithe.ly, they continue giving that way."
"Digital giving made easy .. all in one platform. Web giving? Check! Giving KIOSK? Check! Mobile giving app? Check! Text to give? Check! Tithe.ly is easy to use and backed by top notch support and service. From the first meeting through launch Tithe.ly to our church, I'd recommend this company without hesitation!"
"Our giving has increased over 10% as a result of using Tithe.ly! It helps the younger generation connect and has even been warmly received by "older" generation, many of whom have given the "traditional" way for a long time. The mobile giving app is easy to use and the customer service has been excellent."
"The speed to which we were able to role out text-2-give, mobile giving, and an online option was lightning fast. We had the early adopters jump in and after just 8 weeks have seen over 50% of our giving switch over to online and recurring giving through Tithe.ly which has been a game changer. "
"We love Tithely! The best thing about it, apart from affordability, is the fact that it's an all-in-one service for online, text and app giving which makes accounting a breeze. Our giving has increased since using Tithely and we encourage anyone who isn't yet providing a text option for their church to give Tithely a try!"
"Simply put, Tithe.ly has all of the features we needed from an online giving provider. The fact that they don't have a monthly fee or minimum donation requirements is icing on the cake. It took us all of 15 minutes to sign-up, register our church, set up our preferences, and add their built-in widget to our website. We were able to theme our church to fit the rest of our branding very easily."
"Tithe.ly's zero setups and zero monthly giving platform cost with 5-minute church sign-up make it easy! We are seeing 25%+ increase in giving including receiving donations every day of the week. FIVE STARS!"
"I confidently signed our church up with Tithe.ly knowing they had the foundation and infrastructure to do what needs to be done and now have only praise to give. I have not heard of a single complaint since we started using them."
"Our church has benefited greatly from the Tithe.ly app. We have new givers virtually every week, and, to our surprise, gifts through the app virtually every day! It is a wonderful tool to allow our people to worship through their giving at church, at home or on vacation!"
"Through our use of Tithe.l online giving, we found Tithe.ly to be donor and administratively friendly. Tithe.ly's customer service took time to learn the needs of our organization through their personal approach. They answered our questions, taught us how to use the program and provided tips for our transition."
"It was easy switching to Tithe.ly from our previous online giving tool was an easy decision and conversion. Since moving to tithe.ly, we've noticed giving go up and giving is now more efficient & effective. Thank you guys for making this easy on us and also our givers!"
“Partnering with the Tithe.ly team just made sense. They’ve been fantastic to work with, brought mobile solutions that were both powerful and simple to use, and enabled a number of our churches to increase giving while reducing cost. Tithe.ly is helping us engage the Church, build relationships, and deepen people’s commitment to the work that’s been entrusted to the Alliance family. It’s a divinely ordained partnership!”
We spent about 6 month shopping around for a good digital giving system and nothing we saw could even touch you guys. Tithe.ly won us over because it was a system that wanted to work with us, instead of one that was just going to cost us more.
Making the switch to The Alliance Church app powered by Tithe.ly was a no brainer. It’s given us the ability to reach todays mobile culture while saving us over $5,000 a year in cost over our previous provider. Now we can engage our members with sermons, articles, and more while also allowing them to give online, in app, or via text message! It’s a powerful solution.
We have been using Tithe.ly for over a year now and my only regret is that our church didn't start using this revolutionary technology sooner. Our digital giving exploded and our members love giving with such a simple app whenever they want.
I chose TIthe.ly for a few reasons. One, it was simple to signup and start using. I used [another provider] at a different church and it was a pain to get set up. Second the fees are very reasonable. Third, there are five different ways to give packed into one tool and they are all user-friendly. Last, there are no monthly fees.
People love the digital giving services you provide for us! Thank God for your creativity!
I love Tithe.ly so much because even if I can't make it to church, I can still cheerfully give what the Lord has commanded me. I hope you'll use this awesome tool, Four Points family, as a way to give no matter what the location or weather. #nomoreexcuses #ilovemychurch
We saw giving increase the very first month we started using TIthe.ly. Allowing members to give from their mobile devices is huge and the the automated recurring giving feature has been very well received. We're nearing 10% of or gifts being done via automated recurring giving.
Our church has been using the Tithe.ly app for more than 12 months and it has been tremendously useful. It's simple to use, allows for giving to different funds, and is perfect for when a member is unable to make a service. In our digital age, a giving app like TIthe.ly is a necessity.
There are no contracts, no up front fees, no PCI or security fees, and no other hidden fees of any other kind. You simply pay 2.9% + 0.30c per transaction. For example, $100 donation (less the Tithe.ly fees) = $96.80 deposited into your bank account the next business day. Text giving is an additional $19 a month.
These fees help us cover the cost of processing each electronic transaction, maintaining a secure and safe environment for your transactions, and improving the platform so your church continues to benefit from the giving innovation we deliver.
Five to ten minutes max! It’s a very simple process to set up your account and begin receiving your first gifts!
All financial information is encrypted and stored by our banking partner to PCI DSS Level 1 compliant standards. PCI DSS Level 1 compliance is a set of rules stated by credit card companies and audited by an independent third party. It is the highest possible rating one can get in the electronic payment processing industry. Additionally, all transmission to our banking partner and on our site is via an encrypted 256-bit HTTPS SSL connection.
If a phone is lost, even if someone is logged into Tithe.ly, no transactions can be made without the users secret passcode. This is an extra layer of security that ensures that no one but the owner can access their Tithe.ly account for malicious reasons.
Nope! Tithe.ly provides an end-to-end solution. All gifts are tracked through the Tithe.ly dashboard and deposits go directly into your bank account.
So you’ve got a Tithe.ly and need help educating your church about all the benefits? First, we’re here to help. You’ll be getting a custom set of slide, 200 “giving post cards”, a video and personal assistance from our dedicated team. Some other ideas include:
– Send and email.
– Put a note in your weekly bulletin.
– Create a page on your website.
– Send a personal letter to your biggest givers.
The better your members are educated to use tithe.ly the more opportunity you have to increase giving. Churches that fully implement tithe.ly typically see up to a 20% increase in giving.
PayPal is fantastic, but not built to meet the specific needs of the Church. With Tithe.ly you get a mobile app, text giving, web giving, kiosk giving, and administrative tools. Plus, all the data syncs directly with your church management platform. All things that you don’t get with PayPal. Plus, Tithe.ly provides a much better giver experience! Here are a few more things to consider when looking at PayPal for your church.
Tithe.ly has been built by ministry minded individuals and pastors to meet the specific needs of the Church. Tithe.ly gives you 5 ways to give in one solution – a native mobile app, true in text giving, web giving, kiosk giving, and administrative giving. You won’t be required to sign a long term contract, incur any up front fees, get stuck with large monthly fees, or find any hidden or surprising fees in your processing statements. Here are a few more things to consider when looking at PushPay for your church.
Tithe.ly currently integrates with Church Community Builder, Breeze, and Elvanto ChMS and we’re working on direct integrations with many more. Fellowship One, Shelby, Arena, and ACS are on our list and will be live soon. Additionally, we offer a very simple ways to export your data in a format that easily imports into any ChMS that we don’t have a have direct integration.
Yes! Tithe.ly can integrate directly into your church’s existing mobile app (eg. The Church App, PocketPew, ApolloApp, etc) so that your members don’t have to use multiple apps to interact.
Yes. With Tithe.ly you can easily track giving for multiple campuses within a single account. Tithe.ly will also support multi-campus setup in popular ChMS platforms like Church Community Builder, Breeze, Elvanto, and other church software.
Yes. With Tithe.ly you can create as many funds/designations as you need (eg. missions, building fund, weekly contribution, etc). These appear to your members when they use our platform, making it very simple for them to be sure their generosity goes to the place they are most passionate about.
Absolutely! As soon as someone gives via Tithe.ly they instantly receive an email with the details of their transaction. All giving history for each member is also tracked and available within the mobile app, giving your members instant access to check their records. Note: Confirmation emails sent by Tithe.ly should not be used for tax purposes and churches should still follow donor receipting protocols in their designated country.
Yes, at a simple click of a button from your admin panel.