You’ve decided that it’s time to bring your church giving options into the 21st century. There’s just one problem: It can be frustrating and time-consuming to wade your way through all of the various options available to you.
It might be tempting to go with the first option you come across, but not all modern giving platforms are created equal. To aid you in your search, here are seven must-haves that you should look for in the church giving solution you choose.
1. Mobile App Church Giving
This is a no-brainer. We’re in the age of the smartphone. An electronic giving platform that doesn’t support app-based giving hasn’t kept up with the times. Your members use smartphone apps for all kinds of financial transactions on a regular basis. If you don’t enable them to give with a giving app on their smartphone, you aren’t equipping them with what they need.
After all, your members want to be able to give in the moment, just like those who give as the plates are passed. Make sure the solution you select allows them to give on-the-spot with a mobile app.
2. Website Integration
Even though it’s the smartphone age, you still need giving links on your website for those who prefer online giving or don’t have a smartphone. If they visit your website, they should be able to quickly and easily locate a giving button that, when clicked, takes them directly to a simple, easy-to-navigate donation page.
You shouldn’t have to hire a web designer to accomplish this. A good modern church giving platform will make this easy with some pre-written, drag-and-drop code.
3. Dedicated Social Giving Links
Your modern giving platform should also offer you a specialized link that takes people straight to your ministry’s secure donation page. This comes in handy for posting on social media, email newsletters, and other electronic communication.
Make sure that the link takes your members to a mobile responsive page, because many people view social media and email on their phones. You want them to be able to access and use your giving form, no matter what type of device they’re using.
4. Simple Interface
The whole point in upgrading to a modern giving solution is to reduce the friction involved in the giving process. Users can be driven away if they open an app or click a link and are greeted with pages of forms to fill out, and memorizing old-fashioned text-to-give numbers can be frustrating.
Keep the interface as clean and simple as possible. Your members will appreciate having a frictionless giving experience.
5. Automatic Deposits
A church giving platform that makes life harder on the church finance team is a step backward, not a step forward. Some platforms require you to manually transfer funds, and others place lengthy holds on your money.
That’s bad business! You want to find a platform that automatically deposits gifts in a timely fashion (preferably the next business day).
6. Robust Reports and Tracking
Another way to make the job of your finance team easier is to select a solution that offers detailed tracking and reporting. You should be able to track giving patterns in real time, so you can gain more insight into your congregation’s giving habits.
Choose an option that allows you to see detailed information about your donors, how much they gave, and to what envelope or special campaign they directed their funds.
7. Data Security
Data security is incredibly important. If your members don’t feel comfortable using a service, they probably won’t get on board at all. Make sure the church giving platform you choose is vigilant in this area. All web-based giving needs to be done through sites whose URLs start with https://, and apps should offer encryption as well.
As you continue searching for your perfect modern church giving platform, don’t settle for a service that fails to provide these must-haves. Instead, use this list to whittle down the competition.