UPDATE: Check our list of the top 7 best online giving providers for churches.
If you’re searching for an online giving provider for your church, you already know you have quite a few options to pick from. Finding the right one is crucial to increased giving as it’ll appeal to more members and even non-members.
With everything from PayPal to specialized giving providers, you should consider all your options carefully. Don’t worry, though. Once you know what criteria to look for, it’s easier than you might think to find the perfect solution for your church.
Think About Ease Of Use
One of the most important things to consider with any online giving provider is how easy it is to use. If you add an option to your church’s website that requires visitors to go through 5-10 different screens to make a simple donation, they’ll probably just skip it.
Look for providers that make it as simple as possible for a user to go from start to finish as quickly as possible. The easier it is for someone to tithe online, the more likely they are to use that option.
Consider Any Fees
Being classified as a non-profit doesn’t automatically exclude you from getting hit with fees. While members might find it more convenient to tithe online, you could be losing 5% or more, especially if they’re using credit cards. It might not seem like much, but if your entire church family uses your online option, you’re losing quite a bit of money.
Look for low fees or providers that offer non-profit programs, such as PayPal. Some credit cards even have programs that allow card holders to donate without any fees. Look carefully at any fees before settling on a provider.
Look For All-In-One Solutions
Odds are, your community prefers to tithe in different ways. Some do it during service, while others prefer their phones and still others like their desktops. For best results, look for a provider that offers multiple options. A few options you might need include:
- Website giving
- Mobile giving (46% of churches now offer mobile giving)
- Recurring giving (set up a recurring payment)
- Options to give to different programs (especially for upcoming events)
The last thing you want is to have to use multiple solutions. This only confuses your site’s visitors.
Seek Compatible Options
Depending on your website, some online giving providers might not be an option for you. Before choosing anyone, look at any limitations of the provider and your own site. For instance, if you have a responsive website, but a provider’s forms aren’t responsive, it’s not going to be a great match for your church’s site.
Some providers may require you to use a plugin, which may or may not be compatible with your current site. Make sure everyone’s happy working together before committing to a solution.
Believe it or not, there are scam providers that seek to steal money or even user identities via their tools. Even if the provider isn’t a scam, some online giving providers don’t use proper encryption and security features to keep users’ personal data safe when tithing.
Look at all security features when choosing a provider. If there aren’t any security measures listed, move on to another provider immediately!
Ask The Community What They Prefer
If you’re on the fence about what provider to choose, ask your members. After all, they’re going to be the ones using it the most. Get their feedback on how they’d prefer to tithe and what payment method they’d be most likely to use, such as credit cards.
The more you know about what your current member prefer, the easier it is to find a provider that meets their specific needs. While you obviously want something that appeals to non-members as well, the odds are good that whatever your church family wants is what visitors to your site would want as well.
Incorporate Online Giving
Don’t be afraid to add online giving as an option in your church. With many churches struggling with overall offerings, it pays to have as many options as possible for members and non-members to give what they can. Online giving is convenient and no one feels judged if they can’t give as much as usual.
Ready to add an online giving provider to your website? Contact our friendly team today to see how to get started.