Pushpay vs PayPal for Churches vs Tithely
If your church is looking to provide an online option for donors, then you may have discovered three different tools for receiving online donations: Pushpay, PayPal, and Tithely.
All three of these platforms have processing fees, provide donation receipts, and offer different payment methods for donors. But there are key differences between these platforms in pricing, flexibility, simplicity, and feature set. In the following article, we'll take a look at all three platforms and hopefully help you figure out which platform is right for you!
(Editor’s Note: We’re obviously biased. But we want to be factual and accurate in our information. So please let us know if we’ve misrepresented anything or if something is incorrect. You can contact us here.)
Why Does Your Church Need an Online Giving Platform?
Think of an online giving platform as a digital offering plate. Providing the option for your donors to give from their mobile phones, tablets, or desktop/laptop computers is a no-brainer choice for churches. Chances are that most of your church community spend a lot of time online. An online giving platform makes it simple and convenient for them to make both one-time and recurring gifts.
Which Online Giving Platform is the Best?
The best online giving platform will:
- Offer the functionality you need to make giving online easy
- Provide excellent customer service
- And most importantly, come with a pricing plan that fits your budget
We may be a little biased, but we're pretty partial to Tithely.
Tithely's all-in-one church management solution provides a free online giving platform with everything you need to receive digital church donations. But it does more than that. Tithely offers an entire suite of tools for churches to manage their teams, plan and run in-person and virtual church services, and connect with their church members.
To learn more about how to use Tithely for free, click here.
How to Choose the Best Online Giving Platform for your Church
To choose the best online giving platform for fundraising efforts at your church, you'll want to look for a solution with:
- A low monthly cost
- A low startup fee
- Minimal (or zero) add-on costs for additional features
- The ability to run text-to-give campaigns
- Custom branding for online forms
- Church giving features tailored to donors of every age and tech capability
- Costs that don't scale with church size
Below, we'll compare three church payment processing services–Pushpay, PayPal, and Tithe.ly–to see how they stack up, and what online giving solution is best for your church.
Tithely is a church software that offers a free online giving platform where donors can use their preferred payment method. Thousands of churches use Tithely to give donors the ability to give one-time or recurring gifts, and also offers its own mobile giving app. Gift options with Tithely include: credit or debit card, check scanning, kiosk giving, and even cryptocurrency for the super tech-savvy. 😉
How Tithely Works
Tithely's payment platforms work in a couple of different ways. You can use Tithel'ys own mobile giving app to help your church family give. You can integrate Tithely's church giving features onto your website. Or, you can use Tithely to build your own website and church app, and offer giving options through those channels.
In any case, Tithely makes giving in nearly any form of currency easy and convenient. The online giving platform is free to use (excluding a standard processing fee for each transaction). If you'd like to use Tithely's other powerful features for churches, there are additional monthly plans that make church management, marketing, and engagement affordable and easy.
Pushpay is an online giving platform where you can make one-time donations and recurring gifts to a church or non-profit organization.
How Pushpay Works
Pushpay integrates with your church website, or you can use their mobile app to give. To use Pushpay, churches pay a monthly fee that increases with church size.
PayPal for Churches Overview
PayPal is one of the original online payment services. For over 10 years, it's been a convenient option for online shoppers to pay for items without providing payment info.
Now, PayPal offers functionality for non-profits (such as churches), providing the ability for donors to make a gift online with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account.
How PayPal for Churches Works
PayPal for Churches provides a Donate Now button that can be used on a desktop or mobile device. Donors are then taken to an external PayPal page where they have the opportunity to fill out a donation form and give.
How to Use Tithely
Tithely's online giving solution is free for churches to use. There are no contracts and no hidden fees for this standalone tool. Donors choose their method of payment, pay applicable payment processing fees, and whoosh! – They've made a gift to your church.
To learn more about using Tithely's additional tools, click here to view pricing models and pricing info.
How to Use Pushpay
Pushpay can be used by churches to receive monthly and weekly tithes and one-time gifts. Like Tithely, Pushpay can be integrated onto your website or mobile app to make it easy to give to church online.
How to Use PayPal for Churches
As mentioned above, PayPal for Churches provides a Donate Now button that can be integrated onto your church website.
Unfortunately, PayPal doesn't offer dynamic functionality or customizable branding for churches. For example, you can't offer a church-branded donation form with this payment processor. And, PayPal's pricing details aren't displayed transparently on their website (making it difficult to make a choice about using this platform).
Comparing Pushpay, PayPal for Churches and Tithely
Now that we've looked at how Pushpay and PayPal compare to Tithely in terms of how they work and what functionality they offer, let's look at three key areas that churches will want in an online donation platform: flexibility, simplicity, and pricing.
There's nothing more frustrating than trying to work with a church software platform that requires a ton of administrative time to configure or manage. Church leaders will want an online donation platform that's flexible and adaptable.
Users of both Tithely and Pushpay review them as flexible and easy to use. PayPal is less flexible, however, as it doesn't offer customizable branding.
Making a financial gift should be simple and intuitive. Otherwise, churches run the risk of losing potential donors.
All three of these platforms–Tithely, Pushpay, and PayPal–offer a simple user experience for donors. However, ease of setup for church staff varies. For example, PayPal is also complicated to set up, requiring 11 steps just to integrate a Donate Now button on your site.
And with limited customer support, PayPal doesn't make the setup experience any easier.
Churches should be able to funnel the majority of their budget towards serving their community–not towards an expensive tech stack. That being said, low pricing is key for churches.
As mentioned above, Tithely's online donation platform is absolutely free to use, not including transaction fees (2.9% + $0.30). Pushpay starts at $149 per month. And PayPal (according to one source) charges transaction fees of 1.99% + $0.49 per transaction, with no verifiable monthly fee.
Tithely and PayPal are the clear winners in this category. That being said, PayPal's extremely limited functionality for churches make it less than ideal for churches wanting to save money.
Pushpay Vs PayPal for Churches Vs Tithely Feature Comparison
Finally, let's take a look at the features of each of these online giving platforms.
Pushpay Top Features
Pushpay's top church giving features include:
- A range of giving options
- Customizable giving forms
- Mobile giving
- Campaigns and pledge tools
Pushpay also includes tools for other aspects of running a church, such as event registration, church management systems, an app, and volunteer scheduling.
PayPal for Churches Top Features
Paypal's top church giving features include:
- A Donate Now button
- Recurring donations
- Options to give with a debit card, credit card, or PayPal
Paypal does not include other tools for running a church or engaging with church members.
Tithely Top Features
Tithely's top church giving features include:
- Six different options to give
- Recurring donations
- Cover the Fees (an option for donors to cover the transaction fees)
- Extensive reporting
- Customizable forms
- Text to Give and a mobile giving app
As mentioned above, Tithely includes an additional suite of products to help your church thrive–from a church management solution (ChMS) to an email/text messaging tool (Tithely Messaging) to a free media kit for creating killer promotional material (Tithely Media).
Who Should Use Pushpay?
Churches with money to burn should use Pushpay.
It's a great tool...but it's very expensive.
Plus, many customers have had issues with Pushpay's customer service, making it difficult to resolve serious problems.
Who Should Use PayPal for Churches?
PayPal isn't designed for churches. For that reason, we don't recommend that any church–regardless of size or budget–uses PayPal.
Who Should Use Tithely?
Tithely is a great choice for small- to medium-sized churches that are looking for a free, quality tool to help them increase generosity. Tithely can help any church member give a recurring or one-time gift securely and safely–with the payment method of their choice, on the device of their choice. Plus, Tithely has an incredible customer success team that's committed to helping every user succeed.
It's not difficult to find an online giving platform for churches.
It is difficult to make a decision about which one to use.
Keep your standards high. Your giving platform should come without high fees, help you create a great giving experience, and offer dynamic functionality designed just for churches. To learn more about how Tithely can help your church members be more generous, click here.
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