Because of their nonprofit, tax-exempt status, churches must survive on the goodwill of their members. Yet, many congregations still rely on cash-based donations to raise funds.
There’s nothing wrong with this approach. In fact, many successful stores only accept cash, as well. It’s possible to do just fine with this strategy.Most retailers offer a range of payment options to attract more consumers and many of those same consumers are sitting in your pews every week.
It makes sense to expand the number of ways members can contribute to your church — whether they prefer using cash, credit cards or mobile payments. However, few changes will have a greater impact on your fundraising efforts than expanding the number of payment channels.
More specifically, you should enable online giving for your congregation.
Below are just six of the biggest reasons why.
1. You Can Collect Funds 24/7
With online giving, you’re no longer limited to weekly donations made during sermons. Your web-based “collection” plate can continue receiving contributions all day — every day.
This fact alone makes online giving a no-brainer for most congregations. If you enable recurring billing, future donations arrive every week like clockwork.
2. Online Giving Expands Your Reach
Most church congregants are local — but with online giving, it’s possible to collect donations from around the globe.
That’s another huge win for online fundraising.
3. Americans Are Carrying Less Cash
Cash is slowly on the way out nationwide — with an estimated one in 10 Americans who no longer carry paper money in their wallets. This trend is especially pronounced among millennials, but it’s spreading across all age groups.
By definition, this means there’s a growing number of people who will not (and cannot) donate to your church if cash is the only option.
4. Online Giving Is Easier to Manage
Nearly every church is familiar with the time-consuming process of counting, sorting, and depositing cash and coins every week.
With online giving, however, all contributions appear in your church’s account automatically — saving you valuable time.
Thanks to payment integration, recordkeeping and reporting also become easier. With this feature enabled, all collected funds are automatically reflected in whatever tools you already use, including:
- Accounting programs like QuickBooks
- Faith-based CMS suites like eCatholic
- Membership platforms like YourMembership
Payment integration completely removes the need for manual data entry, which helps to reduce errors and save you time.
5. Online Donations Tend to Be Larger
Imagine a churchgoer who only has loose change in one pocket and a $20 bill in the other.
That congregant probably won’t want to part with the $20, so you’ll be stuck with loose change — which has to be counted, sorted, and deposited.
With online giving, people can make donations of any size. The contributions tend to be larger — especially if your website recommends round, pre-set donation amounts such as $10, $20, or $50.
6. Online Giving Is More Secure
Even among the most pious among us, the sight of loose money is an inviting and unnecessary temptation. Over a long enough period, theft is inevitable.
However, online giving can help eliminate the frequency and severity of theft — particularly if you work with a PCI-compliant payment processor that takes online data security seriously.
Is Online Giving Right for Your Church?
In most cases, the answer is yes. That’s because online giving doesn’t replace whatever you’re using now. It simply opens another channel that complements your current setup.
If you choose BluePay’s PCI-compliant payment processing solutions, then all of your mobile, credit card and online donations coexist within a single, secure dashboard.
To learn more about our payment solutions for houses of worship, schedule a free consultation with our team today.