How Cryptocurrency Is Changing Church Giving for the Better
Read this article for the definitive guide on giving and receiving cryptocurrency gifts at your church.
November 20, 2019
Churches who use Tithely to automate their giving increase church giving by 165% year over year. What else do you need to know?
May 8, 2019
I know exactly what you want in church giving software:
More resources to do ministry, to do ministry better, and to reach and disciple more people for Jesus Christ.
Here’s the problem:
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the bells and whistles of different digital giving technologies.
You get lost in the marketing resources of 20 different apps until you feel lost and frustrated.
Today, I’m going to help you cut through the noise.
Right now, I’m going to walk you through the nine most important things a digital giving software should give you.
If your digital giving solution doesn’t give you more of these nine things, don’t use it.
And the cost of using the wrong digital giving software could drastically decrease the amount of buy-in you get from your church members, which makes your decision to pick the right software very important.
Most importantly, if your digital giving software isn’t increasing your giving, there is a problem with your digital giving software provider.
The average church that uses Tithe.ly increases their giving by 165% in the second year.
Did you catch that?
On average, churches who use Tithe.ly increase their giving by 165% in two years.
This is true of churches of every size and location—rural, urban, suburban, big, and small.
Know what else?
The average gift size made to churches using Tithe.ly is $135.
This isn’t magic.
There’s one super practical reason why this is the case:
We make it ridiculously easy for people to donate with their mobile phone, computer, or tablet.
With our giving form, people can donate directly on your site or with their mobile phone.
No unnecessary hurdles.
No third-party site to make a donation.
Just sleek, easy-to-use technology for your givers and admin team.
Talking about mo’ money isn’t about padding your bank account.
Far from it.
Here’s the deal:
The more money you have, the more resources you have to mobilize your members to serve your community, share the gospel, and make disciples.
But we don’t leave you hanging with the latest, greatest technology.
We also provide you with the support you need.
You want more than just a product — you want a partnership.
At Tithe.ly, we offer our churches multiple resources for support, including Tithe.ly GROW, in which we walk church leaders through the steps to maximize growth through digital giving — from implementation to launch.
It’s very easy to get a shiny new digital giving software, but fail to launch it well.
Many churches that fail to launch their digital giving software end up failing to increase their giving and blaming it on the software. Oftentimes, that’s not the case at all.
According to a study by Dunahm+Company, smaller churches (less than 200) observed a decrease in online giving even though 80 percent of small churches offer online giving. In short, what they found is that smaller churches are not prioritizing online giving.
Think about it:
Just like everything with pastoral ministry, transitioning your church to digital giving is something that requires intentionality, guidance, and patience.
Transferring your members’ offline tithing (cash and check) to a digital giving software requires just as much shepherding as walking them through a season of life.
Giving to the church is, after all, a crucial aspect of discipleship.
In the end, the online giving provider you use should care just as much about discipling your church members as you do by helping you to prioritize online giving.
You don’t want a digital giving platform that only allows members to give money in one place and for one purpose.
You want a software that can be on your custom church app, embedded on your website, used for event registration, and channeled toward specific funds and causes in your church.
Tithe.ly does all of this.
The world is obviously racing toward mobile giving, and if your church wants to grow, you should have a giving software that has a very powerful mobile component.
But you need donation functionality that always puts visitors and members one click away from giving to your church.
For example, at Tithe.ly, we use a simple PIN system when giving with your mobile device. So, after a donor sets up his or her account the first time, they will only have to use their PIN to quickly access their account and make a donation.
With our PIN system, givers do not have to complete a username and password to login into their account, and they don’t have to reauthenticate themselves every time they want to make a mobile donation.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
This might not seem like a big deal.
But here’s what you need to know:
When it comes to online giving, the more steps you require someone to take or if you complicate the giving process, the more likely he or she will not make a donation.
This is why our team focuses on reducing friction and compelling people to give with easy-to-use online giving technology.
Could we remove the PIN?
But the PIN is user-friendly, easy-to-use, and it also provides a layer of security versus keeping givers always logged into their account.
If your digital giving software doesn’t have true text-to-give, it’s operating in the past and is a red flag that it won’t be innovating in the near future.
Make sure that your digital giving software has a text-to-give feature that allows your members to give through SMS.
At Tithe.ly, we offer a powerful text-to-give feature.
Make sure that your digital giving software doesn’t just redirect you to the company’s app. This isn’t true text-to-give, and it confuses donors enough to dissuade many from giving through text altogether.
Make sure that your digital giving software integrates with a church management system (ChMS).
Most digital giving platforms restrict you from using many ChMS solutions so that you are forced to pick from ChMS platforms that aren’t ideal from your church.
Tithe.ly Giving seamlessly integrates with Tithe.ly ChMS, a robust back-end software packed with features that allow you to see data of every member in your church—everything from giving to church attendance to volunteer participation.
New church tech can easily be more of a headache than a help.
Your digital giving software should give you time, not take your time.
It’s common for businessmen to say, “Time equals money.”
Those in ministry work with a different kind of currency, and therefore need a different adage:
“Time doesn’t equal money. Time equals ministry.”
The less time it takes to give, the more resources your church has, and the less your church leadership is strained with non-essential tasks.
The less time you spend configuring your church giving software, the more time you have doing the ministry the software enables you to do.
If your digital giving software is a headache, then it’s getting in the way of your calling.
Tithe.ly’s giving platform couldn’t be easier to use—for the church leaders who administrate it and the members who give.
Recurring giving is the heartbeat of the church.
According to one study, the average recurring giver to your church will donate 42 percent more during the year compared to people who make one-time gifts.
In short, when more people in your church automate their giving, then giving in your church will increase. This is a simple—but powerful—equation.
As a church leader, you need a recurring giving feature in your digital giving software makes giving as easy as possible.
Think about it.
Discipleship is hard enough already—especially discipling people with their money.
Why make faithful giving harder than it has to be?
Why make obedience to Christ harder than it has to be?
Make it as easy as possible for people to give. The church has been behind the ball in making it accessible for people. If it’s not easy, then it’s not going to happen.
Tithe.ly Giving offers multiple recurring donation options and even allows users to set the date when those recurring withdrawals occur so that giving is most convenient for them.
Don’t take our word for it.
Check out what Colin Bullard, senior pastor at First Baptist Church, had to say:
“We’ve seen automated recurring giving increase to nearly 30 percent of the total since we introduced our church to mobile giving.”
Need help in increasing the number of recurring donors?
Our team will show you how.
There’s nothing worse than an outdated piece of technology.
Make sure that your digital giving provider is often updating their software and adding new features.
Tithe.ly is constantly adding new features—including:
If your digital giving software partner doesn’t consistently and regularly update their service to you, they are putting your church’s ability to give at risk.
At Tithe.ly, we have a dedicated team of developers looking at the data, receiving customer feedback, and constantly removing barriers to giving.
We’re going to grow our product to remove as many barriers as possible that inhibit giving. Our features are based on data we pull, and we are constantly innovating.
We have a team that will help you implement and launch your services. We’re not just going to give you a tool—we’re going to show you how to use it, coach you through the launch, and constantly upgrade our services to you.
If you’re already using a digital giving software that doesn’t offer you what we can offer you, we have a dedicated team that will handle the entire migration for you.
One of the worst experiences in church leadership is investing in a new resource and then being left in the lurch or overwhelmed by its features without the time to learn how to use it.
Tithe.ly’s customer service team is dedicated to serving pastors.
Tithe.ly is founded by pastors for pastors.
Tithe.ly was created by pastors who were called to serve other pastors.
Our customer service team gets that.
Tithe.ly isn’t just making a product—we are offering a lifelong partnership to boost your giving, user engagement, and discipleship capabilities through the roof.
Many smaller churches struggle with the idea of transferring to online giving.
We get it.
It feels intimidating.
But we’ve got your back.
Want to talk things through on the phone?
Prefer to get support via Live Chat?
Need to send a quick email?
Rather talk to someone on the phone?
Give us a call.
What is more, we created our own success team devoted to helping your church reach its goals and break through its growth plateaus using our state-of-the-art software.
We help pastors learn the best practices for implementing and launching online giving, how to do it in a short amount of time, how to do it on a budget, and how to even overcome the fear of changing providers.
Oh, and by the way.
We provide our giving software free of charge.
You don’t have to sign a contract.
You don’t have to pay a monthly fee.
You can cancel at any time.
At Tithe.ly, for online giving processing fees, we use what is called a pay-as-you-go business model. Said another way, you don’t have to pay for anything unless you use the services.
Practically speaking, this model can save your church a lot of money.
Like, a lot of money.
For example, at North Coast Church, they saved over $82,000 in one year when the switched to Tithe.ly.
Paying a monthly fee?
Paying a variable processing rate that goes up and down?
If North Coast Church saved that much money, imagine how much money your church could save.
So, when picking a digital giving software solutions, remember:
Look for the results.
Don’t worry about the marketing.
Don’t worry about the bells and whistles.
Don’t get stuck reading reviews sites for hours .
We grow giving.
That’s what matters.
It’s free, and you can get started in five minutes.
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:
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.
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.
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]!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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?
And if you’re looking for ways to grow your church’s giving capacity, Tithely can help.
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.