By Gina Calvert

3 Reasons Online Giving Software Providers Say “NO”

For the majority of giving software providers that to serve the church, their mission is to solve a problem they’ve experienced first hand in the church. Though their solution has limits, they’re not trying to make the church jump through a bunch of hoops or continually smack into walls.

But sometimes “NO” is unavoidable. For example, trying to be the perfect church online giving solution that serves up every conceivable feature at the speed of light with nary a “NO” would be impossible for all online giving software providers. So, it can be useful when trying to compare church giving software to understand which “NOs” are necessary and which ones aren’t.

In this article we’re referencing all the “NOs” dictated by a vendor’s particular combination of feature sets, technical limits, banking limits, pricing practices, and contractual requirements. We’re talking about all those things you see checked or not checked in side-by-side comparisons, plus those you’ll only see in this size print, never in this size print.

It helps to understand that there are really only 3 reasons behind all software limits, pricing decisions, and customer requirements:

1) Business decisions based on the legitimate need to cover the cost of serving the church.

It’s expensive to create a church giving platform and launch a business. Although the vendor has made a significant financial outlay, they don’t expect a speedy return on that investment. The price of the software doesn’t cover these expenses. It covers the ongoing operational costs of keeping the software running and updated, to introduce, sell and implement it to churches, and to support churches after the sale.

Church leaders understand that their online giving provider has to make money to keep its doors open, its employees’ families’ fed, and its platform competitive. They don’t expect a robust solution to be free.

2) “Unavoidable” operational and technical limits

We put the word unavoidable in quotes because, for many vendors, the limits of their software and payment processing structure truly do set the boundaries of what the company and solution can do. Limits aren’t always in place out of a lack of desire on the vendor’s part. But due to the way the company and software are organized with the bank, they must set limits on large gifts or a high velocity of gifts at year-end, or delay in the transfer of your funds. We call these “artificial giving limits.”

When you hear that some (lack-of) feature is due to legal restrictions (such as limits on a gift amount or keeping your giving data when you leave) or is an industry-standard (such as typical turnarounds on getting your funds into your account), just know that it may be true for that company.

It doesn’t mean it’s truly unavoidable. It means…

3) Business decisions based on raising the vendor’s bottom line

Serving the bottom line is unsurprisingly the norm for organizations that don’t have a heart for the church. This spirit can be recognized by artificial requirements like requiring lengthy, expensive, and virtually unbreakable contracts.

But here’s the bottom line about term contracts: If they were truly necessary, all software providers would require them.

What reasons can you think of for making churches commit to something they can’t test, except to keep them bound to a solution when they discover it isn’t a good fit? (And then keeping them bound beyond their contract end date by keeping their data from them.)

Personally, we think it’s better to keep our customers by providing an innovative product and an exceptional relationship, not our fine print.

When Vision2 Says NO we mean NO

Vision2 was built from the ground up to allow us to say YES to churches. We say yes to a lot of things other platforms can’t provide.

But when we say NO, we don’t mean “No, sorry, we can’t do that.”

We mean:

  • No contract
  • No monthly fees
  • No limit on support
  • No limit on # of users or givers
  • No limit on transactions during any period of time
  • No limit on gift amounts
  • No delays in receiving your funds
  • No need for a small army to process your offering
  • No hijacking of your giving data should you choose to leave

Ready to find out what Vision2 says YES to?