With the electronic age in full swing, many churches are moving to electronic platforms to reach a wider audience and increase convenience for their churchgoers. So if your church does not currently have any online activity, what would be the best way to get started? One of the easiest ways is through receiving donations and tithes. While there can be costs associated with these actions, it is important to gauge whether the advantages outweigh those costs in order to get the best possible outcome for your church.
There are many different platforms a church can use to receive donations, some with options tailored exclusively for churches. One of the greatest benefits of online donations is that it reduces the stress on counting contributions. Donations received are deposited directly into a bank account, which would both help reduce some of the burdens from counting and lessen the risks of theft associated with keeping the money on-site until it is deposited. These services, however, usually come at the cost of transaction fees added on to each online donation in the form of a set fee per transaction as well as a fee based on a percentage of the transaction.
One well-known platform that can be used for online donations is PayPal. Additionally, there are platforms that cater specifically to churches and other nonprofits, such as easyTithe and Tithe.ly. Depending on the church’s size and needs, a “one size fits all” donation platform approach that can be beneficial for most. However, a more specialized software can streamline a church’s processes more efficiently if it can integrate with their current systems. Your church should define exactly what factors are most important to your congregation and evaluate which products can give you the most value.
Online donation platforms are not the right move for all churches. A large part of assessing whether the trend of online donations is right for your church is tied to the demographics of your parishioners. Older members may not want to learn how to use the software and would prefer to donate using the more traditional methods of cash or checks. That being said, if this new way of receiving donations is successful, it can be a great starting point for your church to branch out into new activities through the Internet.
For more information on online donations and to see if this is the right move for your church, please contact our nonprofit specialists at 301.231.6200.