“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10
The Bible makes it clear that tithing is an important part both for personal selflessness, as well as a means to ensure churches are funded for all of the services, community outreach, and volunteer efforts managed every week. As a result, the majority of church members are looking for a way to give each week on behalf of their church. If they can’t physically make it to church or forget to carry cash on their person every Sunday, that shouldn’t deter them from making weekly or monthly payments.
Thanks to technology today, there are a variety of ways for church members to give online regularly. We are going to look at the different online giving solutions available to you as a church manager, and which one you should consider for the most effective and simplistic retention of online donors.
The Most Popular Online Giving Tools
1. PayPal: PayPal is by far the most popular online giving software that is leveraged by congregations countrywide. As a software that comes with name ID (it’s hard to find someone who has never heard of PayPal), it only makes sense that most churches elect to get started with this tool.
Because of its household recognition, most donors already have a PayPal account, which means they don’t even need to sign up. But, if they do need to, it’s as easy as plugging in an email account and a password, followed by a preferred credit card or bank account. With PayPal, churches can also benefit from email receipting, Facebook donations, mobile card readers, and other tools. Adding the PayPal “donate” button to your church website is probably the easiest donation option at your disposal, although you will not be able to customize the button to your church aesthetic.
However, PayPal has one of the highest transaction fees at 2.2 percent plus 30 cents per transaction. Additionally, it is one of the last few software options that does not support text giving, which for all considered purposes, is only going to increase as the popularity of mobile shopping increases.
2. Breeze CMS: After PayPal, it’s argued that Breeze CMS provides the next easiest way to manage online giving through your church. With a simple phone or email registration feature, as well as live customer service that will support anyone at a moment’s notice, Breeze CMS offers a flat rate pricing fee of $50 per month, regardless of the size of your church.
However, in an effort to make the software as simplistic as possible, Breeze CMS is without all of the fancy bells and whistles that can come with other platforms, like customized messaging, etc.
In total, if you have a larger church, this is a really great software deal. But, for small, intimate congregations, you might want to consider a software provider that works on a percentage according to your size.
3. SecureGive: This is a church-specific software provider, as one of the first to launch with strictly churches in mind. They provide physical kiosks you can place in your church lobby that come with customized graphics.
However, the barrier to entry is expensive. SecureGive comes with some of the most expensive church platform packages available today.
4. easyTithe: Full of multiple giving features that make this option more diversified and complex than the other giving tools, easyTithe comes with a decently competitive price of 1.99 percent plus 30 cents per transaction. Besides competitor paperless, easyTithe is the only platform that offers more than online giving, like Event Registration and Custom Storefront Pages.
However, this software does not come with custom email receipting and mobile card readers, which can be essential to ensuring every congregation member is able to give when they want to give.
More complicated than the likes of PayPal and Breeze CMS, we do not recommend you attempt integrating this software unless you have professionals onsite that are able to navigate the customization tools.
5. ACS: ACS Technologies has been around since 1978, which means that this church giving software company comes with some seniority. Although it has been criticized as highly difficult to learn, the ACS software comes with every feature imaginable, like church apps, accounting, child security, online donations, small group management, and multi-church coordination.
However, if you don’t have time for a steep learning curve, especially if you are a small church, then this software is going to be nearly impossible to stomach. Also, it comes with a price tag of a few thousand dollars upfront and monthly maintenance fees that can also total in the thousands.
Which Solution is Right for Your Church?
As you can see, there are a variety of giving tools at your disposal today. If you are a smaller church, it is definitely in your best interest to go with a catch-all solution like PayPal that is easy and recognizable. However, if you have tech wizards on deck, some of the more complex, yet diversified options, like ACS, will provide deep insight and analytics that help you scale even farther.
Nothing is more valuable than your time. Here at Worship Times, we can help you integrate any giving tool. If you are just starting out, we recommend the simplicity of PayPal – everyone has one, making it the most accessible tool as a whole.