Let's talk a little bit about transaction fees and why you should be okay with paying fees to enable your members to give on their mobile phone via an app on your website, via text, all those kinds of things.
You should be okay with paying fees. A common objection that we come across is churches are used to taking all the gifts when they pass the plate on the weekend and people put in cash or check and sometimes there's the very rare few that will set up direct bank to bank transfer, but that's not very common, especially in the US. Most churches are used to paying no fees, cash and check.
There's no hard costs to the church in that sense.
1. It's more costly not to use digital giving.
One thing that you do have to consider though is every church that's taking cash and check is they usually have volunteers or staff in the back on the weekend counting all the cash and check, running it to the bank, recording it into an Excel file, putting it into QuickBooks. There's a lot of manual work that's going on that actually is a cost. It's a human resource cost that you are paying. Imagine if you could take all those people because you've now done everything digitally and you can take all those people instead of having them do counting in the back on the weekend, you could deploy them into other ministries, and have more people focused on ministering to people, taking care of people, not just taking care of the paperwork. There is a cost, it's just a human resource cost that you're paying.
2. Convenience leads to more giving.
Then, you also should be okay with taking fees or accepting online gifts and being okay with the fees because those fees lead to convenience. People don't carry cash and check anymore. It's very uncommon for someone in let's say their forties and below to have a checkbook or know what a routing number is or to have cash in their wallet. You're missing out on giving when people are coming to church and you don't have these options. You want to make sure that you're providing all the convenience of giving in a mobile app or giving via text message so that people can give when they're prompted and inspired to give by what's going on in church. Make it easy, make it convenient.
3. Some people prefer to give with a card.
The next thing is when you make people do cash and check, but they want to give using their cards because they want the points and they want to be able to track and manage this stuff in a really easy way. They've got their online banking or their online credit card system and it's hooked up to maybe a platform like Mint or some other tracking system. When you're using cash and check, you can't track things that way. I've got to go and write things in my checkbook or I've got to kind of manage my finances in a different way, but I'm able to track everything on my own. When I do it on my credit card or my debit card, it gets way, way easier and I get the benefit of getting the points.
By not being okay with fees, what you're doing actually is just limiting the convenience in the user centric part of giving that you should really be focused on. You should want to make it as easy as possible for people to give right from their phone whenever they're inspired to, whether they're in service or out of service, whether they're doing great in there or they're sick or they're traveling or their family's in town. People can't give if they're not in service and all you offer is cash and check. Make it convenient, accept all the forms of payment that people may want to give by and guaranteed your giving is going to go up. Your giving will go up, even though there's some transaction fees involved, new costs that you're paying, and I know that's a big consideration, but those transaction fees are going to be offset and more by giving actually going into church. I just encourage you think long and hard about these things. It's a new set of fees, but done right and done well. Giving's going to increase.
Read the full blog of this episode here: https://get.tithe.ly/blog/how-to-create-your-churchs-social-media-strategy-in-minutes
Today on Modern Church Leader, Tithe.ly COO Frank Barry explains why churches should be eager to accept digital tithes, even with its commonly associated fees.
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