Blog
Church Growth
Online Giving for Small Churches: The Benefits and Best Practices

Online Giving for Small Churches: The Benefits and Best Practices

Online giving can be a great way for small churches to collect donations and increase generosity. Here's why.

CHURCH TECH PODCAST
Tithely media icon
TV
Modern Church leader
Category
Church Growth
Publish date
March 1, 2023
Author
Tithe.ly

Is online giving right for small churches? 

Or is this technology better left to medium-sized and mega churches?

In the following article, we’ll take a look at the unique challenges to generosity in a small church…and how online giving can help build and sustain a culture of giving, even in the smallest church. 

The Definition of a Small Church

The IRS officially defines a church as a congregation of at least three non-related members.

But since most churches will have more than three members, our official definition of a “small church” at Tithely is any church with under 100 people. 

With the average church in the United States at less than 65 members, the average American church is small–despite what most people believe

A small church will typically have one paid staff member (often the lead pastor) and a handful of volunteers. And while their operating expenses may be lower than a 500-person church, they still have expenses to pay….and still rely on the generosity of their congregation to run. 

Challenges to Generosity in a Small Church

Small churches often face unique challenges when it comes to collecting donations from members. 

First of all, a limited staff (or no staff) means that there may not be a paid church admin who is responsible for collecting and tracking donations–let alone an accountant or head of finances!

Next, small churches can be limited purely by the size of their congregation. It may feel difficult to build a strong donor base with less than 100 members. If your congregation has lots of youth or students, that can feel even more challenging. 

Finally, there’s the challenge of sustaining generosity. Church members need to continue learning about, and being encouraged in the act of generosity. This responsibility can often fall solely on the lead pastor, who is probably wearing many “hats” as it is. 

The Solution: Online Giving

Over the last several years, organizational technology has seen a democratization across people, businesses, and nonprofits. 

Solopreneurs can now run online stores with minimal effort. Five-person startups can now use the best software to develop and run processes. And small churches can take advantage of technology once reserved for megachurches, like online giving. 

But does that mean that online giving is right for small churches?

Absolutely. Let’s take a look at 5 benefits of online giving for small churches.

  1. Convenience

First and foremost, online giving is convenient for both the church and its members. Members can give from just about anywhere, at any time of the day or night. They can also choose to set up recurring donations, making it easier for them to give consistently. In addition, online giving eliminates the need for members to write and mail checks, which can save time and money.

  1. Security

Online giving also provides a secure and transparent way for churches to manage donations. Churches can keep track of donations in real-time and generate reports for their members to view. This helps to ensure that the church is using its resources effectively and that its members can see the impact of their donations.

  1. Reach 

Finally, online giving can help small churches reach a wider audience. By making it easy for people to give from anywhere in the world, small churches can attract new members and supporters who may not have been able to give in the past.

  1. Increased Giving

Online giving can actually encourage generosity by making it simple and convenient to give with a credit card, debit card, or ACH/bank transfer. Often, the barrier to giving isn’t a lack of obedience or financial challenge; giving may just feel like a hassle. Online giving removes the hassle from the process. 

  1. Easier Admin

Online giving effectively removes the need to manually input, track, and report on donations. This can save hours of work per month, and certainly many hours during tax season!

The right kind of online giving platform will also give church leaders valuable insight into giving trends in their congregation. 

How to Get Started with Online Giving

To get started with online giving, small churches should think through their needs, budget, and goals. 

There are a wide range of platforms available to churches. These platforms typically offer a variety of features, such as the ability to set up recurring donations and generate reports. Churches should choose a platform that fits their needs and budget, but a few key features to look for include:

  • Text-to-give, so that donors can give with one simple text message
  • The ability to cover transaction fees, so that donations can be fully utilized by the church 
  • A mobile app that makes it simple and fast to give
  • Multiple options for giving, including credit card, debit card, and ACH transfer
  • In-depth reporting, allowing leaders and/or admin to get better insight into the financial health of the church

To learn more about a giving platform that may be right for you, check out our article on Online Giving for Churches: Top 10 Best Platforms for 2023

Once a platform has been chosen, churches should communicate the change to their members. This can be done through emails, newsletters, and announcements during services. Churches should also provide clear instructions on how to give online, including step-by-step instructions and helpful videos.

Over to You

It’s important for small churches to keep in mind that online giving should be just one aspect of their fundraising efforts. Churches should continue to reach out to their members in other ways, such as through personal visits, phone calls, and events. Most importantly, they should talk about giving during church services, small groups, and retreats. Giving is a Biblical practice that can bring great joy–but doesn’t come naturally to most!

Online giving is a convenient and effective way for small churches to collect donations from their members. By choosing the right platform, communicating with their members, and offering multiple ways to give, small churches can make the most of this opportunity and continue to serve their communities.

AUTHOR

Tithely provides the tools you need to engage with your church online, stay connected, increase generosity, and simplify the lives of your staff.

With tools like text and email messaging, custom church apps and websites, church management software, digital giving, and so much more… it’s no wonder why over 37,000 churches in 50 countries trust Tithely to help run their church. 

Is online giving right for small churches? 

Or is this technology better left to medium-sized and mega churches?

In the following article, we’ll take a look at the unique challenges to generosity in a small church…and how online giving can help build and sustain a culture of giving, even in the smallest church. 

The Definition of a Small Church

The IRS officially defines a church as a congregation of at least three non-related members.

But since most churches will have more than three members, our official definition of a “small church” at Tithely is any church with under 100 people. 

With the average church in the United States at less than 65 members, the average American church is small–despite what most people believe

A small church will typically have one paid staff member (often the lead pastor) and a handful of volunteers. And while their operating expenses may be lower than a 500-person church, they still have expenses to pay….and still rely on the generosity of their congregation to run. 

Challenges to Generosity in a Small Church

Small churches often face unique challenges when it comes to collecting donations from members. 

First of all, a limited staff (or no staff) means that there may not be a paid church admin who is responsible for collecting and tracking donations–let alone an accountant or head of finances!

Next, small churches can be limited purely by the size of their congregation. It may feel difficult to build a strong donor base with less than 100 members. If your congregation has lots of youth or students, that can feel even more challenging. 

Finally, there’s the challenge of sustaining generosity. Church members need to continue learning about, and being encouraged in the act of generosity. This responsibility can often fall solely on the lead pastor, who is probably wearing many “hats” as it is. 

The Solution: Online Giving

Over the last several years, organizational technology has seen a democratization across people, businesses, and nonprofits. 

Solopreneurs can now run online stores with minimal effort. Five-person startups can now use the best software to develop and run processes. And small churches can take advantage of technology once reserved for megachurches, like online giving. 

But does that mean that online giving is right for small churches?

Absolutely. Let’s take a look at 5 benefits of online giving for small churches.

  1. Convenience

First and foremost, online giving is convenient for both the church and its members. Members can give from just about anywhere, at any time of the day or night. They can also choose to set up recurring donations, making it easier for them to give consistently. In addition, online giving eliminates the need for members to write and mail checks, which can save time and money.

  1. Security

Online giving also provides a secure and transparent way for churches to manage donations. Churches can keep track of donations in real-time and generate reports for their members to view. This helps to ensure that the church is using its resources effectively and that its members can see the impact of their donations.

  1. Reach 

Finally, online giving can help small churches reach a wider audience. By making it easy for people to give from anywhere in the world, small churches can attract new members and supporters who may not have been able to give in the past.

  1. Increased Giving

Online giving can actually encourage generosity by making it simple and convenient to give with a credit card, debit card, or ACH/bank transfer. Often, the barrier to giving isn’t a lack of obedience or financial challenge; giving may just feel like a hassle. Online giving removes the hassle from the process. 

  1. Easier Admin

Online giving effectively removes the need to manually input, track, and report on donations. This can save hours of work per month, and certainly many hours during tax season!

The right kind of online giving platform will also give church leaders valuable insight into giving trends in their congregation. 

How to Get Started with Online Giving

To get started with online giving, small churches should think through their needs, budget, and goals. 

There are a wide range of platforms available to churches. These platforms typically offer a variety of features, such as the ability to set up recurring donations and generate reports. Churches should choose a platform that fits their needs and budget, but a few key features to look for include:

  • Text-to-give, so that donors can give with one simple text message
  • The ability to cover transaction fees, so that donations can be fully utilized by the church 
  • A mobile app that makes it simple and fast to give
  • Multiple options for giving, including credit card, debit card, and ACH transfer
  • In-depth reporting, allowing leaders and/or admin to get better insight into the financial health of the church

To learn more about a giving platform that may be right for you, check out our article on Online Giving for Churches: Top 10 Best Platforms for 2023

Once a platform has been chosen, churches should communicate the change to their members. This can be done through emails, newsletters, and announcements during services. Churches should also provide clear instructions on how to give online, including step-by-step instructions and helpful videos.

Over to You

It’s important for small churches to keep in mind that online giving should be just one aspect of their fundraising efforts. Churches should continue to reach out to their members in other ways, such as through personal visits, phone calls, and events. Most importantly, they should talk about giving during church services, small groups, and retreats. Giving is a Biblical practice that can bring great joy–but doesn’t come naturally to most!

Online giving is a convenient and effective way for small churches to collect donations from their members. By choosing the right platform, communicating with their members, and offering multiple ways to give, small churches can make the most of this opportunity and continue to serve their communities.

podcast transcript

(Scroll for more)
AUTHOR

Tithely provides the tools you need to engage with your church online, stay connected, increase generosity, and simplify the lives of your staff.

With tools like text and email messaging, custom church apps and websites, church management software, digital giving, and so much more… it’s no wonder why over 37,000 churches in 50 countries trust Tithely to help run their church. 

Is online giving right for small churches? 

Or is this technology better left to medium-sized and mega churches?

In the following article, we’ll take a look at the unique challenges to generosity in a small church…and how online giving can help build and sustain a culture of giving, even in the smallest church. 

The Definition of a Small Church

The IRS officially defines a church as a congregation of at least three non-related members.

But since most churches will have more than three members, our official definition of a “small church” at Tithely is any church with under 100 people. 

With the average church in the United States at less than 65 members, the average American church is small–despite what most people believe

A small church will typically have one paid staff member (often the lead pastor) and a handful of volunteers. And while their operating expenses may be lower than a 500-person church, they still have expenses to pay….and still rely on the generosity of their congregation to run. 

Challenges to Generosity in a Small Church

Small churches often face unique challenges when it comes to collecting donations from members. 

First of all, a limited staff (or no staff) means that there may not be a paid church admin who is responsible for collecting and tracking donations–let alone an accountant or head of finances!

Next, small churches can be limited purely by the size of their congregation. It may feel difficult to build a strong donor base with less than 100 members. If your congregation has lots of youth or students, that can feel even more challenging. 

Finally, there’s the challenge of sustaining generosity. Church members need to continue learning about, and being encouraged in the act of generosity. This responsibility can often fall solely on the lead pastor, who is probably wearing many “hats” as it is. 

The Solution: Online Giving

Over the last several years, organizational technology has seen a democratization across people, businesses, and nonprofits. 

Solopreneurs can now run online stores with minimal effort. Five-person startups can now use the best software to develop and run processes. And small churches can take advantage of technology once reserved for megachurches, like online giving. 

But does that mean that online giving is right for small churches?

Absolutely. Let’s take a look at 5 benefits of online giving for small churches.

  1. Convenience

First and foremost, online giving is convenient for both the church and its members. Members can give from just about anywhere, at any time of the day or night. They can also choose to set up recurring donations, making it easier for them to give consistently. In addition, online giving eliminates the need for members to write and mail checks, which can save time and money.

  1. Security

Online giving also provides a secure and transparent way for churches to manage donations. Churches can keep track of donations in real-time and generate reports for their members to view. This helps to ensure that the church is using its resources effectively and that its members can see the impact of their donations.

  1. Reach 

Finally, online giving can help small churches reach a wider audience. By making it easy for people to give from anywhere in the world, small churches can attract new members and supporters who may not have been able to give in the past.

  1. Increased Giving

Online giving can actually encourage generosity by making it simple and convenient to give with a credit card, debit card, or ACH/bank transfer. Often, the barrier to giving isn’t a lack of obedience or financial challenge; giving may just feel like a hassle. Online giving removes the hassle from the process. 

  1. Easier Admin

Online giving effectively removes the need to manually input, track, and report on donations. This can save hours of work per month, and certainly many hours during tax season!

The right kind of online giving platform will also give church leaders valuable insight into giving trends in their congregation. 

How to Get Started with Online Giving

To get started with online giving, small churches should think through their needs, budget, and goals. 

There are a wide range of platforms available to churches. These platforms typically offer a variety of features, such as the ability to set up recurring donations and generate reports. Churches should choose a platform that fits their needs and budget, but a few key features to look for include:

  • Text-to-give, so that donors can give with one simple text message
  • The ability to cover transaction fees, so that donations can be fully utilized by the church 
  • A mobile app that makes it simple and fast to give
  • Multiple options for giving, including credit card, debit card, and ACH transfer
  • In-depth reporting, allowing leaders and/or admin to get better insight into the financial health of the church

To learn more about a giving platform that may be right for you, check out our article on Online Giving for Churches: Top 10 Best Platforms for 2023

Once a platform has been chosen, churches should communicate the change to their members. This can be done through emails, newsletters, and announcements during services. Churches should also provide clear instructions on how to give online, including step-by-step instructions and helpful videos.

Over to You

It’s important for small churches to keep in mind that online giving should be just one aspect of their fundraising efforts. Churches should continue to reach out to their members in other ways, such as through personal visits, phone calls, and events. Most importantly, they should talk about giving during church services, small groups, and retreats. Giving is a Biblical practice that can bring great joy–but doesn’t come naturally to most!

Online giving is a convenient and effective way for small churches to collect donations from their members. By choosing the right platform, communicating with their members, and offering multiple ways to give, small churches can make the most of this opportunity and continue to serve their communities.

VIDEO transcript

(Scroll for more)

Is online giving right for small churches? 

Or is this technology better left to medium-sized and mega churches?

In the following article, we’ll take a look at the unique challenges to generosity in a small church…and how online giving can help build and sustain a culture of giving, even in the smallest church. 

The Definition of a Small Church

The IRS officially defines a church as a congregation of at least three non-related members.

But since most churches will have more than three members, our official definition of a “small church” at Tithely is any church with under 100 people. 

With the average church in the United States at less than 65 members, the average American church is small–despite what most people believe

A small church will typically have one paid staff member (often the lead pastor) and a handful of volunteers. And while their operating expenses may be lower than a 500-person church, they still have expenses to pay….and still rely on the generosity of their congregation to run. 

Challenges to Generosity in a Small Church

Small churches often face unique challenges when it comes to collecting donations from members. 

First of all, a limited staff (or no staff) means that there may not be a paid church admin who is responsible for collecting and tracking donations–let alone an accountant or head of finances!

Next, small churches can be limited purely by the size of their congregation. It may feel difficult to build a strong donor base with less than 100 members. If your congregation has lots of youth or students, that can feel even more challenging. 

Finally, there’s the challenge of sustaining generosity. Church members need to continue learning about, and being encouraged in the act of generosity. This responsibility can often fall solely on the lead pastor, who is probably wearing many “hats” as it is. 

The Solution: Online Giving

Over the last several years, organizational technology has seen a democratization across people, businesses, and nonprofits. 

Solopreneurs can now run online stores with minimal effort. Five-person startups can now use the best software to develop and run processes. And small churches can take advantage of technology once reserved for megachurches, like online giving. 

But does that mean that online giving is right for small churches?

Absolutely. Let’s take a look at 5 benefits of online giving for small churches.

  1. Convenience

First and foremost, online giving is convenient for both the church and its members. Members can give from just about anywhere, at any time of the day or night. They can also choose to set up recurring donations, making it easier for them to give consistently. In addition, online giving eliminates the need for members to write and mail checks, which can save time and money.

  1. Security

Online giving also provides a secure and transparent way for churches to manage donations. Churches can keep track of donations in real-time and generate reports for their members to view. This helps to ensure that the church is using its resources effectively and that its members can see the impact of their donations.

  1. Reach 

Finally, online giving can help small churches reach a wider audience. By making it easy for people to give from anywhere in the world, small churches can attract new members and supporters who may not have been able to give in the past.

  1. Increased Giving

Online giving can actually encourage generosity by making it simple and convenient to give with a credit card, debit card, or ACH/bank transfer. Often, the barrier to giving isn’t a lack of obedience or financial challenge; giving may just feel like a hassle. Online giving removes the hassle from the process. 

  1. Easier Admin

Online giving effectively removes the need to manually input, track, and report on donations. This can save hours of work per month, and certainly many hours during tax season!

The right kind of online giving platform will also give church leaders valuable insight into giving trends in their congregation. 

How to Get Started with Online Giving

To get started with online giving, small churches should think through their needs, budget, and goals. 

There are a wide range of platforms available to churches. These platforms typically offer a variety of features, such as the ability to set up recurring donations and generate reports. Churches should choose a platform that fits their needs and budget, but a few key features to look for include:

  • Text-to-give, so that donors can give with one simple text message
  • The ability to cover transaction fees, so that donations can be fully utilized by the church 
  • A mobile app that makes it simple and fast to give
  • Multiple options for giving, including credit card, debit card, and ACH transfer
  • In-depth reporting, allowing leaders and/or admin to get better insight into the financial health of the church

To learn more about a giving platform that may be right for you, check out our article on Online Giving for Churches: Top 10 Best Platforms for 2023

Once a platform has been chosen, churches should communicate the change to their members. This can be done through emails, newsletters, and announcements during services. Churches should also provide clear instructions on how to give online, including step-by-step instructions and helpful videos.

Over to You

It’s important for small churches to keep in mind that online giving should be just one aspect of their fundraising efforts. Churches should continue to reach out to their members in other ways, such as through personal visits, phone calls, and events. Most importantly, they should talk about giving during church services, small groups, and retreats. Giving is a Biblical practice that can bring great joy–but doesn’t come naturally to most!

Online giving is a convenient and effective way for small churches to collect donations from their members. By choosing the right platform, communicating with their members, and offering multiple ways to give, small churches can make the most of this opportunity and continue to serve their communities.

AUTHOR

Tithely provides the tools you need to engage with your church online, stay connected, increase generosity, and simplify the lives of your staff.

With tools like text and email messaging, custom church apps and websites, church management software, digital giving, and so much more… it’s no wonder why over 37,000 churches in 50 countries trust Tithely to help run their church. 

Category
Church Growth
Publish date
March 1, 2023
Author
Tithe.ly
Category

Online Giving for Small Churches: The Benefits and Best Practices

Related Blog Posts

Button Text
Tithely Pricing