Product

4 REALLY Amazing Product Upgrades to the Tithe.ly Giving Platform

We really do love pushing up new features for y’all. It’s fun to deliver tools you need and use. Click to view 4 recent, amazing product upgrades we made!

4 REALLY Amazing Product Upgrades to the Tithe.ly Giving Platform
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We really do love pushing up new features for y’all.

It’s fun to deliver tools you need and use.It’s encouraging to hear your feedback — positive and “constructive”.It’s fulfilling to innovate and bring new features to the Church.It brings us a lot of joy as we’ve invested our hearts, minds, time, energy, and resources into building a product that serves thousands of churches around the world!

With that said, here are three of the latest and greatest features from Tithe.ly. We REALLY hope you find them super useful and welcome your feedback! Use the comments below to let us know what you think.

1. Deposit Emails

It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve finally added a simple email that finance admins receive when we deposit money into your bank account.

Admin users who have finance permissions will receive these emails automatically, but if you don’t want to receive these you have the ability to turn them off. Just go to Church Administrators from the left hand menu and click edit for any of the admins on your list. You’ll see the permissions listed there (screen shot below):

2. Updates to the Tithe.ly Giving App

Tithe.ly’s mobile giving app is the lynchpin of our overall suite of giving tools. Many churches rely on it to raise significant funds so we’re always bringing new features to it so that we continue to make giving more and more simple, secure, and fun!

Here are the latest and greatest app features.

Touch ID (aka fingerprint) — Touch ID from Apple is a brilliant way to increase security while keeping it simple for people. No passwords to remember. No PIN numbers. Nothing. Touch ID is a seamless way to use your fingerprint as a passcode. Your fingerprint is one of the best “passwords”” in the world. It’s always with you, and no two are exactly alike. Tithe.ly now allows iOS users to use Touch ID to unlock and open the Tithe.ly mobile giving app! Woohooooo!!!! We can hear the cheers :)Smart Giving reminders — App based notifications are a great way to communicate with app users. The latest Tithe.ly mobile giving app takes a smart approach to sending gentle giving reminders to users encouraging them to give. For those that are consistently using the app we intelligently send them reminders based on their giving patterns. For others, we’ll send a generic reminder on Sunday morning at 9:30 am local time.Update address and phone number in app — App users can now easily add and/or update their address and phone number directly within the app.Smarter search — When searching for a church in the Tithe.ly app, we now order the search results based on location so that the churches matching your search show up based on which one is closest to you. That way, when you’re searching for “First Baptist Church” you get yours!

3. Recurring Gift Management

Oh, yea!

You can now see and manage all your recurring gifts as an admin of your church. If you look at the sample below, you’ll see that the recurring gift management tool gives you visibility into all the things you need to know — the persons name, email, phone, and address as well as the recurring gift amount and schedule.

Here’s how you get to the new feature: Log into Tithe.ly. Got to My Churches > View Giving Statements > Recurring Giving.

The new recurring gift management page will allow you to:

View all recurring gifts and see if they are active, paused, or failing.Edit a recurring gift. You’ll be able to edit the amount, fund/designation, recurring schedule, and payment method.Pause a recurring gift in case a donor needs to sort some things out in their finances or otherwise just needs to take a break with their recurring gift.

4. Upgraded Admin Gift Entry

The first version of Tithe.ly’s admin gift entry tool was a lightning fast way for church staff to enter and process credit and debit card gifts on behalf of people. Whether you receive contributions written on envelops, mailed in, or called in, the admin gift entry tool allowed you to very quickly process those gifts or payments.

But we knew it could be SO much more!

Version two of our admin gift entry form allows you to:

  • Setup recurring giving — That’s right! You can now setup automated recurring giving for those individuals who you process the same amount for each week or month. Just complete the form and set the recurring giving fields to the schedule needed. It’s that easy!
  • Process check donations via ACH — Sometimes people want to use their bank account vs. a credit or debit card. The new admin gift entry form allows you to accept and enter banking info (account and routing numbers) in order to process gifts! Just select “New Check (ACH)” from the payment type drop down and enter the individuals bank account and routing numbers. This information will save for future use so that the next time you receive a gift you won’t have to type it in again.
  • Record cash and check donations — Digital giving is growing, but many churches still receive a significant amount of giving via cash and check. Dealing with credit/debit card giving in one system and cash/check in yet another system can be time consuming and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! Tithe.ly wants to make it simple so you are now able to record for tracking purposes all cash and check donations! These gifts are not processed and incur no fees, they are simply stored in the system and tracked against the individual so that you can easily see their giving history and provide tax statements at the end of the year all from ONE system. To record cash and check gifts, simply select “cash/check recording” from the payment types drop down and then enter the amount.
  • Capture full address, phone, email, member ID and memo — Everything that can be entered by an individual via the mobile giving appand online giving form can now we captured in the admin gift entry tool. When entering in a new gift you can now capture all the information you need about each donor.
  • Cover the processing fees — “Cover the fees™” by Tithe.ly, is a great little feature that donors can turn on when giving through the online or mobile giving tools, but it wasn’t available on the admin gift entry tool. Surprisingly, many donors decide to do this so we wanted to make the option available to you as an admin user. If a donor would like to “cover the fees”, you just have to check the little box at the bottom of the form!

It’s your turn …

There you have it. The latest and greatest Tithe.ly church giving product updates. We’d love to hear your feedback. Drop us a note in the comments below.

Thanks!

Team Tithe.ly

Why Write Church Donation Letters?

In a previous blog post, I shared the different ways your church can thank donors—from automated emails to year-end giving reports. Printed donation letters also play an essential role in your church’s stewardship efforts.

Donation letters are the Swiss Army knife of your church’s gratitude arsenal. It may not be the most powerful—but it’s versatile, handy, and gets used often.

Your basic church donation letter can serve many different purposes, including:

  • Acknowledging that you received a donation
  • Thanking the giver for being generous with their finances
  • Sharing other ways the person can support your church
  • Allowing the donor to write the gift off on their taxes
  • Encouraging supporters to make recurring donations
  • Requesting future donations from church members

A single, well-crafted donation letter can pull together several of these things simultaneously. Better donation letters lead to more giving, which leads to more donation letters—thus creating a cycle of on-going church generosity.

Church Donation Letter Samples

Here’s the good news—you don’t have to write an individualized letter for every person who gives to your church. That would be tough to do for even smaller churches. And most donors don’t expect you to. They’d rather you be putting their gift to better use in the community, instead of ceaselessly writing thank you notes.

With the possible exception of some unique circumstances, your church can use template language for the majority of your church donation letters. You’ll have to add in custom details like the donor’s name and gift amount, but you can write everything else in advance.  

To make this even easier on you, here are a few basic church donation letter templates you can copy and paste. Keep in mind that not all of these have to be in print—you could just as easily turn some of these samples into email appeals.

1. Donation Acknowledgment Letter

The Donation Acknowledgement Letter is a basic way you can confirm and affirm a monetary gift to your church. Sending these is standard practice in church and nonprofit culture.

Dear [first name],
I want to personally thank you for your donation of [gift amount] to [church name]. We’re honored you would bless us with your generosity. Donations like yours make a big difference in the work our church is doing in the community.
Without givers like you, our church can’t have an impact or influence in our community. With your support, we’re partnering with local nonprofits, sending out global mission trips, and hosting small groups on topics that help real people like you. Together, we can make a difference.
Because we’re a tax-exempt nonprofit, you also get to write this donation off on your taxes. This letter serves as official proof of your donation, so keep it in your records come tax season. At the end of the year, we’ll also send you an annual recap with how much you’ve given to the church.
Thank you for supporting [church name]!
Sincerely,
[your name]

2. Donation Request Letter

Not every church member realizes the importance of giving, or understand Bible verses about tithing and giving.  So a Donation Request Letter helps to spread that awareness and encourage a spirit of generosity.

Dear [first name],
How are the finances in your household? That was a rhetorical question, so you don’t have to answer—besides, this is a letter so we wouldn’t hear you anyway. But we still want you to think about that question.
Money is a uniquely human issue, one we all struggle with to one degree or another. Even if you’re financially blessed, you still have the burden of stewarding your money wisely. And we believe that one of the best ways to invest your money is into the local church.
Tithing (giving 10% of your income) on a regular basis not only supports the work we do at [church name]. It doesn’t just support local missions and community growth. It also shows an obedience to God by making his work a financial priority in your life.
So if you find yourself ready to put God first in both your heart and your wallet, we encourage you to make a one-time gift or sign up to make recurring donations. That way, you won’t have to ever wonder again about the financial status of your household.
Sincerely,
[your name]

3. Monthly Giving Letter

Many church donations aren’t just one-time gifts. Plenty of givers contribute monthly—and that should be acknowledged.

Use this template to correspond with recurring givers.  

Dear [first name],
Thank you for being an active and faithful member of our church community. By giving to our church on a monthly basis, you’re showing that our church has a meaningful place in your heart. We just wanted to write this to let you know that you’re in our heart, too.
Donating to the church monthly allows us to preach the gospel, make disciples, and support others in our community who need help. Others like the local food bank and the nearby homeless shelter. We’re answering the cry of the needy, and it’s all thanks to contributors like you.
We earnestly appreciate your ongoing support and want to let you know we’re here for you. If there’s ever anything we can do for you and your family, don’t hesitate to reach out. You are a valued member of our church family. And you’re financial support is making a difference.
Sincerely,
[your name]

4. Year-End Giving Letter

At the end of each year, it’s customary to give your church supporters a summary of their gifts. The primary reason is for tax purposes, but it’s also a way to recap everything your church has done over the past year with their support.

Dear [first name],
You’re getting this letter because you gave to [church name] at some point during the past year. That might have been a one-time gift, or recurring donations. Either way, we want to thank you for your generous support. Every contribution helps.
One of the official reasons for this letter is for tax purposes. That’s right—you get to write these donations off on your taxes. Which is why we’ve included a summary of all the contributions you’ve made to our church this year.
But the other reason for this letter is to let you know what we’ve done with the money you gave. We take stewardship very seriously, which means we value spending our time and resources wisely.
During the year, our church supported local nonprofits, sent global missions teams, and baptised quite a few people. It was a great year for us—thanks in large part to donors like you.
So thank you for your support of our church, and we hope you’ll consider continuing to contribute to our mission in the coming year.
Sincerely,
[your name]  

5. Church Fundraising Letter

Sometimes you need to make a more significant financial push using tried and true church fundraising ideas. Some churches call this a Stewardship Campaign or a Church Capital Campaign. Either way, the goal is to raise a certain amount of money for a big project. And typically, a solid letter of appeal is an integral part of that.

Dear [first name],
God has a plan for everyone and everything. That includes you, and it includes [church name]. None of us can fully know God’s plan—the best we can do is pray and listen for clarity. Our church leadership has been doing just that and are excited to announce our latest church project.
[Detail the outline of the major church project—this could include a building campaign, or raising support for a global mission trip. Anything specific to your church that requires a fundraising letter. Be sure to include a fundraising goal so everyone knows what you’re shooting for.]
But we can’t pull this off without your support. Whether you give to the church on a regular basis, or just attend on occasion, we’re asking you to consider contributing to this massive undertaking prayerfully. It’s something we need our entire church community’s help with.
Even if you can’t make a large gift, know that every little bit helps. It’s more about coming together as a community united behind a common cause. We hope that you’ll consider making a donation towards this great step forward that we’re making together.
Sincerely,
[your name]

Tips when writing church donation letters

It’s not enough to just copy and paste this content and send away. The key to an effective church donation letter is a touch of personalization. Follow these tips to take your donation letters to the next level:

  • Examples: Add specific examples of how your church will use the donation. Tell a story about the work your church is doing in the community and connect that with giving.
  • Personalization: For regular donors, don’t be afraid to add a short, handwritten personal note. This shows that you’ve singled them out with praise.
  • Timeliness: Sending donation letters quickly reminds people you’re thankful for them. But this also takes organization and efficiency. All the more reason to use pre-written templates.
  • Storytelling: Everything is better with stories—including donation letters. Weave in a specific narrative of how your church is making a difference and how the money will be used.

There’s no one right or wrong way to write a donation letter or request contributions. You’ve got to do what is right for your church and congregation. But if you stick to these general tips, you’ll probably start to see some traction when it comes to giving.

What’s next?

Most people don’t love talking about money in church. But it’s a necessary and vital part of your church. And maximizing your efforts when it comes to donation letters will help make those conversations more comfortable. So what do you do next to put this into effect?

  • Customize these letters: Take the samples above and make them work for your church. Personalize the content. Remove the stuff that doesn’t sound genuine and add in stuff that does. Remember that these are just a starting point.
  • Create some systems: Develop processes that make it easy for you to replicate sending donation letters. Use a letter template that allows you to drop in names and details. Then develop guidelines for when these letters will be sent out.
  • Empower a champion: Find out who is going to be responsible for making these letters happen. Rather than thinking of this as adding more work to their plate, think about how you can elevate their work. This could be a staff member, or a volunteer.
  • Start sending: All of this will be for nothing if you don’t actually send out the letters. Take the time to get it right and get them into the hands of your church donors.

And if you’re looking for ways to grow your church’s giving capacity, Tithely can help.

We provide several different ways your church members can support your church financially—from online giving, text to give solutions, and giving kiosks.

Tithely’s systems make it as easy as possible for people to give to your church. Now all you need to start doing is generating a culture of gratitude. There’s nothing standing in your way. Go unleash generosity in your church.

How does your church use donation letters to spread generosity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Robert Carnes. Robert is a writer and storyteller. He's the author of The Original Storyteller: Become a Better Storyteller in 30 Days. A former church communicator and nonprofit marketer, Robert works as a managing editor for Orange in Atlanta.

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4 REALLY Amazing Product Upgrades to the Tithe.ly Giving Platform