Online donation platforms offer your church a convenient way to collect gifts and fund meaningful projects. But, there are so many donation platforms to choose from that it can be overwhelming to evaluate each option. Maybe you’ve avoided setting up a donation page for fear of choosing the wrong platform – or maybe you’ve chosen a platform that no longer serves your needs.
In this post, you’ll learn the 12 key features to consider when choosing a new church online giving platform. Plus, get all the details on the 9 best online giving platforms for churches. Read on to find the solution that’s perfectly suited for your church’s needs.
How can you know which online giving platform is best for your church? Let’s delve into some of the key features to look at when researching and choosing your giving platform.
When researching online giving for churches, there are 12 important factors to consider. Let’s take a look at each one.
Some church donation software takes just minutes to set up, while others require lengthy paperwork. To minimize time and hassle, look for giving software that allows you to easily create an account and a fundraising page in minutes.
Software and donation fees can really cut into the funds you’re raising. Keep more money in your church’s budget by reviewing the fees for each service you’re considering. Some charge a monthly fee, while others might charge a startup fee or donation processing fee.
Pro tip: Be sure to look at the fine print for your church donation platform. Be mindful of any monthly fees, add-on costs, or other sneaky fees that can add up. For a straightforward approach, consider a platform like Donorbox that has no startup fees, no monthly fees, and no contracts.
A customized donation form with your organization’s brand colors and logo can help you put your best foot forward and entice donors to give. Additionally, a professional-looking donation form can build feelings of trust with donors.
Some donation platforms offer hardly any customization, while others allow personal touches and even custom CSS code. Be sure you understand any design limitations of the donation platform you’re considering.
One way to ensure your church doesn’t leave money on the table is to accept as many legitimate payment options as possible when fundraising. These days, many people prefer to donate with Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal – or even cryptocurrency! Choose a service that accepts the payment methods your congregation is likely to use when making a donation.
Offering flexible recurring donations is a convenient way to collect weekly tithing gifts as well as monthly, quarterly, or annual support. Choosing a system with robust recurring gift capabilities can help boost online tithing for churches. Here’s a good example.
Some church donation softwares, like Donorbox, offer all of these recurring giving options and let supporters manage their recurring gifts. Other services may only allow for monthly giving and might require staff time to update credit cards or help community members adjust their giving.
A text-to-give campaign can be a powerful way to raise money for a church project. This is especially true in the days of virtual church services when a physical collection plate isn’t passed around.
To learn more, read our blog post on why text-to-give campaigns are an important part of church fundraising.
Crowdfunding allows congregation members to combine their many small gifts into transformative collective action. Check to see whether the donation platforms you’re looking at offer features such as a goal thermometer, virtual donor recognition wall, and campaign updates.
Many supporters are willing to cover donation fees because they realize it helps more of their gift support the mission. Some online donation platforms offer the ability for donors to choose this option, while others do not. Look carefully – this one feature can potentially save or cost your organization a lot of money!
Some online giving platforms can help you build relationships with your congregation members. Look for a giving tool that allows you to track donor communications or that integrates with your existing CRM system if you’re using one.
Pro tip: Build strong donor relationships by keeping track of your supporters’ birthdays, giving anniversaries, and other milestones. Reach out with a note of gratitude and celebration to build the connection. Donorbox’s donor management tools make this process easy!
Along with managing your donors, look for a platform that gives your donors the power to manage. Imagine a system wherein your donors can have a secure account for themselves, can log in, and manage their recurring giving plans as well as donation receipts. The ease of all this will only strengthen your relationship with your donors and make them want to stay. Donorbox offers you all of that, along with QuickDonate with which you can let your donors repeat a donation right on the go. Here’s a peek into this feature to help you learn more –
When church community members make a gift, ideally, they should receive an automated electronic receipt instantaneously. Make sure your chosen giving platform offers this. Otherwise, you may spend unexpected time creating and issuing receipts on your own.
Think about the systems your church might already be using to send emails, manage records, or organize projects. When possible, picking a donation platform that integrates with your existing systems can minimize headaches and administrative time.
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: your online donation platform must be secure. Look for a system like Donorbox that has built-in, automatic fraud detection, SSL/TLS encryption, tokenization of financial data, and strong customer authentication.
Not sure which online giving platform is the best for you – or even where to start? Below, you can get the details on 9 church giving platforms that help with online donations for churches.
Donorbox is an all-in-one church fundraising solution that offers a quick setup process and a variety of enticing features. More than 50,000 organizations in 40+ countries trust Donorbox with their online giving, including many churches. Plus, you won’t pay any start-up fees, monthly fees, or have to deal with a contract.
Donorbox makes online giving for churches easy, convenient, and hassle-free. Learn more about how Donorbox serves churches like yours.
1.5% Donorbox fee, plus payment processing fees. Optional add-on integrations are available for a modest additional monthly cost. Learn more here.
With its state-of-the-art fundraising features and donor management tool, it has ensured that they get the best solution in terms of online fundraising.
Do give this short 1-min video a watch to know how it is being made possible.
PayPal is a popular payment processing service used by millions of people around the world. While this is a trustworthy and commonly-used option, it does have a few major drawbacks.
For example, setting up an account requires providing a wide variety of legal and contact information about your business and yourself – including your social security number. PayPal also doesn’t offer flexible recurring gift options or the ability for donors to cover processing fees.
PayPal comes with some other drawbacks as well – read more here.
PayPal’s standard processing fee is 2.9%, plus $0.30 per donation. Eligible 501c3 charities can apply to receive a discounted nonprofit rate of 2.2%, plus $0.30 per donation. Get the details here.
Tithe.ly is a church and ministry-focused online fundraising tool. Along with digital church giving tools, Tithe.ly also offers add-ons for church management software (ChMS). Plus, you can choose to add on the ability to create a custom app for your church. While these tools come at a cost, some larger churches may find them worth the added monthly expense.
Giving platform pricing starts at 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction, plus payment processing fees. Add-on services are available for additional monthly fees. Read more pricing details here.
Continue to Give facilitates online giving for churches, nonprofits, and mission-based organizations. They offer online giving tools, a church management system, and a fund accounting system.
One drawback of Continue to Give is that some features that are standard in other platforms, incur additional monthly fees with this system. This includes the text-to-give option as well as the option for donors to cover gift processing fees.
Monthly fees and transaction fee rates vary depending on your church size. Get the scoop. Additional fees apply to purchase the option for donors to cover processing fees as well as for text giving options.
RebelGive is a solution for church online giving that prides itself on doing things differently. The platform’s flat fee and straightforward approach make it a solid choice for those who want a no-muss, no-fuss solution. With RebelGive, you get what you pay for without any surprises.
That said, with RebelGive, donation form customization is limited to a logo and picking a color hue. With that in mind, this system may not be the best solution for churches that prioritize customization and a cohesive brand image.
Annual plans are $948 per year ($79/month) and monthly plans are $99/month, plus processing fees. Learn more.
Mogiv is a multi-platform solution that helps nonprofits and faith-based organizations accept online church donations. Their mission is to build productive, sustainable relationships between nonprofit organizations and their givers.
Mogiv notes that with their service, your church can begin accepting donations in under 24 hours. They also pride themselves on their reporting capabilities, which allow you to quickly pull data on information such as donation trends, new donors, and average donation amount.
Monthly fees range from $19-69/month, and processing fees vary. Get the pricing details here.
Pushpay is a contract-based online payment processing service for online church giving. They offer a variety of additional services including church management software, church giving apps (customization available for an undisclosed fee), and donor relationship-building tools.
One thing to note is that PushPay does not allow donations to be made through Google Pay or Apple Pay. This service may be more useful for churches where the majority of members prefer to pay via a traditional credit card, debit card, or bank transfer.
PushPay does not list pricing on their website – instead, they build a custom pricing quote for each church, plus payment processing fees. Learn more here.
EasyTithe offers online donation solutions for churches of all sizes. They provide a relatively straightforward all-in-one portal for collecting donations, recurring gifts, and text gifts. With EasyTithe, you can view graphical reports of monthly trends, recurring gifts, forecasting, and more. EasyTithe also offers a free demo to get an in-depth look at this service.
As with some other services listed here, EasyTithe does not allow for donations via Apple Pay or Google Pay. Donations can be made via credit card, debit card, or ACH bank transfer.
EasyTithe’s fees range from $19-69 per month based on church size, plus processing fees. Get all the pricing information here.
Givelify offers online giving options as well as a giving app for churches and nonprofits. This platform is used by nearly one million donors. With next-day deposits, no monthly fees, and no contracts, this is a simple solution for online church giving.
Bear in mind: Givelify is another online church donation option that does not allow for donations via Apple Pay and Google Pay. To get a more interactive look at this system’s features, sign up for a free demo with Givelify.
2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction for credit card processing. When donors give via American Express, this fee is 3.5% plus 30 cents per transaction. Learn more about Givelify’s pricing here.
As you can see, there are a variety of online giving options available for your church, each with its own unique strengths and drawbacks.
After reading this, hopefully, you feel equipped with the information you need to determine which online giving platform is best for your church. Be sure to pay the closest attention to the features that you know are “deal breakers” for you and your church community. Also, be mindful that some pricing models (for example, a flat monthly fee versus a percentage transaction fee) may be more or less suited to your budget and needs.
With the right online fundraising solution, you’ll be well on your way toward boosting your church’s fundraising efforts and continuing to create positive change in the world.
Find more nonprofit management tips and resources in our nonprofit blog.
Set up your church’s online giving page in just 15 minutes with no set-up fees, no monthly fees, and no contract – sign up here!