Online Giving

How Online Giving Supports a Natural Increase in Church Income

How Online Giving Supports a Natural Increase in Church Income

Church members have the best intentions for giving. However, logistics can keep them from following through. Family wants and needs often pre-empt pledges. When it’s time to contribute to special offerings, some may find they’ve left their checkbooks at home. These and other missed giving opportunities result in budgeting challenges for the church and block progress toward the congregation’s shared goals.

Online giving programs can help churches overcome these challenges. Individuals and church families can use online technology to thoughtfully plan giving, engage dynamically in ministries of their choice, and easily satisfy their desire to help. This strengthens a church’s giving culture, and with that comes a natural increase in church income of 10% to 30%.

Online Giving at Church is Catching On

One study shows churches provide fewer opportunities for online giving than other nonprofits, but they receive about twice as much in online donations as a percentage of total giving. *

A large portion of online giving in churches comes from younger donors already comfortable with paying bills online. They easily incorporate church donations into their bill paying routines. Older, less-technology-savvy members often avoid online giving, but they are becoming more comfortable with the idea. Using other online technologies such as email and Facebook to keep in touch with family has helped increase their online skills. Security is always a concern, but improved security protocols are reducing suspicion and fear of paying online. One study shows 3 of every 5 donors over age 66 make contributions on the web. **

Donation software is further increasing online giving by helping churches tailor programs to their own cultures. Technology allows smaller churches to offer just as many benefits to members as larger churches, without having to hire sophisticated IT technologists. Smaller churches benefit most from systems, such as AgapeWORKS, that are specially designed for smaller congregations and easily integrated with the church’s core software/AR programs.

Ultimately, it’s not the technology or the church’s goals that lead to successful online giving programs— it’s a focus on helping congregants feel a part of the church by making contributions easy and even fun.

Benefits of Online Giving: Church Members

  • Online giving options fit modern lifestyles and devices, including mobile phones, desktop computers and tablets.
  • Payment options allow members to carefully plan and complete payments, ranging from annual monthly pledges to fees for special activities.
  • Payments can be easily made when attendance is prevented by vacation, work, sickness, weather or the latest football game.
  • Scheduled payments help families establish tangible, specific giving habits. Donations are less likely to be preempted by other needs and wants.
  • Contributions are possible at any time, in any amount, to fit each individual’s or family’s needs.
  • Easy regular online giving helps members play a viable role in the health and well-being of the church and its ministries
The primary focus of online giving should be members’ desire to participate in ministry. However, cash flow is a necessary focus of the church organization. Online giving programs provide financial consistency and predictability.

Benefits of Online Giving: Church Administration

  • The consistent, organic giving resulting from online donations helps churches meet financial goals.
  • Online software gives churches a way to make contributing easy, and minimal payment steps make donations more likely.
  • 24/7/365 operation means donations can be improved every day, including Monday through Saturday.
  • Reports allow tracking of all donations, both online and in person, in one place.
  • Modern systems offer easy setup, with the simple addition of a form on the church’s website.
  • Online software provides an easy method of fee collection for special events, merchandise and other miscellaneous contributions.
  • Full-service online giving packages allow small churches to offer the same conveniences as larger churches without hiring special personnel.
  • Online systems offer easy integration of online giving data with management software.
The most important benefit of online giving is that it can draw together a congregation by making it easy for everyone to work together toward common goals. Whether a church needs new carpet and a daycare van or wants to make a significant contribution to special overseas missions, online payment systems provide a simple way for members to join the effort. The software can be customized to allow everyone to see and celebrate progress together.

Ultimately, for church members, online giving can replace the guilt of not contributing with the satisfaction of following through. Individuals and families who actively participate in church ministries through online contributions feel more deeply engaged, and churches can plan and increase donations without having to pressure members into participation.