When churches use a digital giving software, here’s what they want:
- Increased giving
- An easy-to-use user interface for givers
- A simple to use for administrative teams
- Fast recurring giving setup
- A tool that allows people to give when and where they want to
- Multiple collection options (online, mobile, physical plate, ACH transfer, etc.)
- Text-to-give, Online giving, and Mobile giving in one solution so they can offer choice to their members
- Easy to get started (no contract)
- Affordable (no escalating fees)
But here’s the kicker:
There are amazing digital giving companies that nearly double church giving year-over-year for their churches that offer premium features with flexible plans.
How can you tell the good digital giving software from the bad?
It all comes down to this:
Debunking the myths about digital giving that could be leading your church into a financial trap.
1. Nobody wants to give on a church app
They’re both non-profit
- They’re both mission-driven
- They both need to start using digital giving tools if they want to survive
- They both need to cultivate meaningful relationships with donors
But there are major differences in the way non-profit organizations relate to their donors than the relationships church members have with their church's. For example, a global charity that does missions work won’t gather together once a week for a weekly one-hour meeting.
Your church mobile app should be the command central of sermon notes, weekly small group logistics, bake sale needs, volunteer vacancies, and prayer requests. This will keep users coming back to the app.
The regularity of church app use in the local church makes it an indispensable tool for churches to use in order to set up recurring giving, ask for cause-specific gifts, and give donors options to give to a special event in the church.
Unlike a non-profit organization, there are significant benefits a church receives from a church app that a non-profit cannot.
A church app is one way you can facilitate member giving and build community in your church. Your church app will maximize engagement, grow community, and boost giving in your church.
P.S.: Most non-profits don’t have apps, but do have websites, which doesn’t mean that donors prefer websites over apps.
2. People don’t like to donate with text-to-give
While a recent online giving study reports that mobile giving only takes up 4% of the global donation pie, it indicates that text-to-give only has 1%.
Again—it’s important to note that reporting how people give does not indicate anything directly about what users prefer. This is a false inference that any statistician would laugh at. How people give indicates what non-profits are using, not what users prefer.
In 2018, 21% of the churches we serve, which now exceeds 10,000, used SMS giving at least once. Does this mean that 21% of people prefer text-to-give? Not necessarily. But it does show us that people will give via text when provided the opportunity.
Within these churches, the number of people who give via text-to-give is significantly higher than some would lead you to believe. For example, in 2018, here are the percentages of unique donors who made an SMS gift:
- 10 - 50 members = 39.90%
- 51 - 100 members = 24.09%
- 101 - 250 members = 20.20%
- 251+ members = 19.59%
Text-to-give isn’t something you can just sweep under the rug.
It’s proven to be a significant channel of giving for many of the churches we serve, and it has helped countless other givers taste the joy of giving for the first-time.
“Text $1 to this number to donate toward this campaign.”
3. Companies that charge processing fees are unethical
For every online transaction, there is a processing fee.
Other companies, like Tithe.ly, provide your church members with the option to cover the processing fee.
4. Online giving costs churches money
From North Coast Church doubling their online giving to a 122-year-old Lutheran Church experiencing a 15% increase in giving, church after church is proving that digital giving software increases revenue, even after negligible fees.
On average, churches who use Tithe.ly increase their giving by 165% in the second year.
This is a combination of providing online giving software that’s easy like Sunday morning for your church members to use, as well as these churches following the tips and advice we share in Tithe.ly GROW, a program that will teach you how to implement Tithe.ly’s giving platform to boost donations.
A transaction fee is no different than charging a church a monthly fee for providing the digital giving solution. Yet, most church members would have no qualms with a church purchasing a giving software.
Tithe.ly’s digital giving platform costs $0, and it enables you to streamline recurring digital giving so that your church can experience the kind of growth that North Coast did.
Churches who adopt digital giving without helping the church buy into its usefulness run the risk of making their digital giving tools look like a novelty—a trinket—rather than a powerful tool that can bring the church closer together as a partnership of believers fighting for a common cause.
But the data suggests that by partnering with individual donors through recurring giving tools, the year-long value of 10 serious donors can significantly overshadow any one-time gift from a corporate or institutional partner.
The fact is that millennials are a growing donor base—not only because they’re still building wealth, but because they’re still becoming part of social institutions worth giving to. A recent study found that nearly 14% of all money donated in 2017 was from 34 million millennials (NextGen).
While there may be some technophobic maturing donors who hold the purse strings to the church, the fact is that young money is starting to mature, and younger donors are starting to give more and more.
Automated digital giving software is necessary for a church to capitalize on a growing donor base who, over the next 5 years, will have more of a motivation to give and resource pool from which to give.
Over to you
As you strategize how to grow donations in your church, don’t make the mistake of using a “cash only” model (even if you accept checks and bank transfers, that’s essentially a “cash only” model with frills).
Look at businesses that only accept cash and checks.
And don’t buy the myth sold by fancy marketers in the digital giving space that paying a high monthly premium is better than paying a few cents per dollar in giving fees.
Don’t listen to these unfounded myths about digital giving, and check out Tithe.ly’s high-feature, affordable, flexible, clean digital giving solution today.
The proof will be in your growth.