Whether for capital campaigns or weekly offerings, donations represent the lifeblood of most churches. Surprisingly, the collection plate hasn’t changed much in two thousand years, even as society and technology have evolved. New technologies are changing the way churches accept donations.
Traditional collection plates work well when church members are physically present and have cash on hand (an estimated 43 percent of Americans don't). With the rise of digital worship services, however, on-site giving isn’t the only option. The decline of cash has also changed the nature of church giving.
Many churches are turning to mobile credit card processing, it's possible to expand your reach and collect more donations — faster and more securely.
Getting the Most of Mobile Payments for Churches
How you set up mobile credit card processing can play an important role in your fundraising efforts. Below are eight simple tips to help you maximize mobile donations within your congregation:
1. Announce It
The most important (and overlooked) step is to announce that you now offer mobile credit card processing in addition to whatever other collection systems you already have in place.
2. Make Your Church Wi-Fi Enabled
3G and 4G cellular networks are usually strong enough to handle credit card processing. But they are not 100 percent reliable. Make sure your church is Internet-ready with a stable, consistent Wi-Fi connection.
3. Make Accounting Easy
Mobile credit card processing is great for the church, but it's also great for congregation members. By making the accounting automatic, your parishioners will find it easier to track charitable donations and receipts during tax season.
4. Ensure Seamless Integration
Mobile credit card processing is already a standalone solution. But if you integrate this payment option with existing online technology, you'll see much better results. Consider:
- Making sure your church allows for online credit card processing (through the website)
- Allowing automatic event registration (one swipe of the credit card instantly registers someone for that particular event)
- Designing your church's website to be mobile friendly (complete with calls to action for online donations)
5. Two-Way Processing
Allow congregation members to send donations directly from their own phones — via text messaging, QR codes, or third party apps (like iGivings). Be sure to set up donation reminders in case parishioners are away that week.
6. Recurring Billing
If you set up recurring payments, congregation members don’t even need to be present. New donations come in automatically, even when parishioners are on vacation.
7. Accept Debit Cards
During troubled financial times, many churches become uncomfortable about relying on credit cards to collect donations. But by accepting debit cards as well, it’s easier to practice responsible debt management.
8. Makes Security a Priority
Mobile credit card processing is one of the safest payment systems around. But data breaches can and do happen. Give your congregation peace of mind by using Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard-compliant payment solutions.
Solutions like iGivings – a BluePay partner – make it easy for donors to give to your church via secure Web forms. This powerful church donation software comes with BluePay payment processing fully integrated.