Church Donations: Giving Platforms, Tax Deductions and More

Emma DavisUncategorized Leave a Comment

Church donations are more than just a cash amount. Property, food, school supplies, clothing, and your time are all considered different kinds of donations. It’s not about the donation amount, but the sacrifice each tithe costs.

There are several ways in which churches can integrate giving platforms onto their websites. It’s easier now than ever to give, and to track all donations as they come in. We hope we can clear up exactly what is considered a church donation and how best you can accept them.

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

What the Bible Says about Donations and Tithing

The Bible has much to say about church donations and encourages us to be generous. Not only with our possessions but our time and with our hearts. God calls us to love one another and to help those that are in need.

Malachi 3:10

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” 

Luke 6:38

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Numbers 18:26

“Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD’s offering.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Matthew 5:42

“Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

1 Timothy 6:17-19

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”

Acts 20:35

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work, we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

Proverbs 3:9-10

“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”

Deuteronomy 12:5-6

“But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.”

Leviticus 27:30-33

“ ‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD. Whoever would redeem any of their tithe must add a fifth of the value to it. Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the LORD. No one may pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If anyone does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.’ ”

Different Kinds of Church Donations

There are several different kinds of church donations such as cash donations, property, food, clothing, and especially your time. Each donation is always a sacrifice to you, and something that you should spend time in prayer about. A lot of churches might host food drives or school supply drives throughout the year. Churches often have a time in the year when a special financial offering is taken, and this money is often used to build new buildings and update old places.

Cash Donation

The most obvious donation that comes to mind is a cash donation. This is any amount of money given either through a personal check, cash, or online. Tithes are often used for a church building, new locations or specific goals set in the year.


A property donation is usually given during a special donation time in the year. If you or someone you know has property they want to donate to the church for a future building or expansion, then this falls into this category.


Another great way to give is through food and other supplies. Consider hosting a monthly or bi-monthly food drive at your church. Research food shelters in your area to find out what kind of donations they are most in need of.

Another good time to consider giving donations is back to school. A lot of students don’t have the resources to buy new school supplies. Things like paper, backpacks, pencils, lunchboxes and so much more can be so helpful.


Just as food is a necessity, so is clothing. Most of us have clothes sitting in the back of our closets we haven’t touched in months or maybe years. Collect clothing at your church once or twice a year to donate to shelters. Clothing items such as coats and gloves can be especially helpful if you live in a colder state. Separate the clothing into male or female and different kids’ sizes.


You may not think this one is so obvious, but your time is so valuable. Giving your time once a week, a month, or even just when you can goes a long way. Volunteering at shelters, at your church or in other areas of your community not only help others, but give you a purpose.

Ways to Give

Sample QR Code from Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church

Years ago, the only option for giving church donations was to put it in an offering bucket as the ushers passed it down. A lot of churches still do this, and there’s nothing wrong with this! But as technology has furthered, we have a few other ways to give.

Online Donations

If you’ve been in service and heard the words “check out the QR code on the screen to find out ways to give”, then you’re familiar with online donations.

Envelope in a Box

If you don’t want to give online, most churches will place locked boxes at the back of the auditorium where an envelope can be placed. This box will then be taken up at the end of each service or Sunday and counted as the tithes. This is a preferable method for those who want to give purely in cash each week or month.

Pass a Container

Much like with placing your donation into an envelope, you can pass a bucket or container down the aisles. Of course, you do run the risk of some rascal taking out a dollar or two as the container is passed down, but hopefully not!

Church Website or Church App

The most popular place to add an online giving function for your church is on your church website. Someone looking to give will likely check your website first. Plus, a giving page is one of the top six pages your church website needs to have.

Having a dedicated giving page allows you to fully explain what your church uses tithes for, all your payment options, security features and more. You can also set up multiple ways to give, such as one-time, recurring and for special events.

Giving Platforms

There are so many amazing giving platforms should you choose to donate online. You can save time by choosing to work with any of these companies versus traditional physical giving methods. These platforms can easily integrate into your website and become a fabric of your church. Check out which platform works best for your church’s needs!


Givelify is a heart-centered organization where good people come to do more good. They connect people to their favorite places of worship, nonprofits, and causes. They empower them to work together to change the world with kindness and generosity. For those who want to donate, it is free to sign up and use. For organizations who would like to use Givelify, there are only 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction with no contracts, hidden fees, or charges.

  • Donations deposited to your bank account on the next business day
  • Show gratitude with personal thank-you notes
  • Raise funds for specific projects

Donor Box

Donor Box is a great resource for any church. They have easy-to-install donation forms, text-to-give functions, QR codes, donor portals and more. Each donor automatically gets a personal thank you note and tax receipt, and is empowered to manage their giving themselves with a free Donor Account. Donor Box is a great platform to use for any church fundraising efforts.

Key Features offers a convenient and secure solution for both churchgoers and church administrators. Online donations can be easily made on their mobile app or website, allowing members to give at any time and from anywhere. Also, offers powerful donation and fundraising tools to help churches reach their financial goals.

Key Features

  • offers six ways to give from one platform
  • Auto-recurring giving to set up consistent online giving
  • Customized giving schedule available so givers can deposit their donations daily, weekly, or monthly
  • “Cover the fees” option for donors to offset processing fees
  • Text to give option
  • In-depth reporting

Pricing Details

  • $0/month and no set up cost
  • 2.9% + 0.30 per transaction
  • 1% + 0.30 ACH/Bank
  • 3.5% +0.30 AMEX

Easy Tithe

easyTithe is another popular online giving option for churches. Currently, over 15,000 churches are using easyTithe. This platform provides flexible options for fundraising, reporting, and helping your church grow a culture of generosity. You also have the option of combining easyTithe giving with their mobile app and church management software.

Key Features

Push Pay

Pushpay makes online giving flexible and easy for church members. They offer a mobile app, text-to-give, giving online, and in-person giving options. Plus, their church giving software is designed to work seamlessly with their other products and ChurchStaq (their all-in-one solution).

Pushpay also offers options for donor management and creating campaigns and pledges for specific donation causes.

Key Features

  • Flexible online donation options (web, text message, church app, in-person)
  • Seamless integration with other Pushpay software products
  • Automated recurring giving options
  • Future-dated gifts allow donors to create a donation to be processed at a later date
  • Kiosk for in-person giving to receive donations from a simple tablet
  • Multi-campus and multi-language options

Church Donations – are they tax deductible?

In general, you can deduct expenses for your church offerings from your taxes. But there are a few things you must know:

  • Charitable donations cannot exceed 50 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI)
  • A tax deduction must be itemized
  • Charitable donations must be made before the end of the tax year

The IRS has various record-keeping and documentation requirements, depending on the amount of cash you donate to a church. Whenever you make a cash donation to your church, you must retain either a receipt, canceled check or a bank or credit card statement. It’s not necessary for you to send these to the IRS, but if the agency ever contacts you for proof of your donations, you are required to have the documentation to show them.

For all money donations above $250, you must obtain a written acknowledgement or receipt from the church. The written acknowledgement must contain:

  • the church’s name
  • the amount of the cash contribution
  • the date of the contribution, and
  • a statement that no goods or services were provided by the church in return for your contribution, if that was the case.

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