By Gina Calvert

4 Reasons to Upgrade Your Giving System Before Deciding on Your New ChMS or Parish database

If you’re considering upgrading your giving system, your ChMS (or parish database), you may wonder which you should update first. It’s a little like the classic which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg debate. In this case, however, there’s good evidence that Giving is where you should start.

We’re not just being prejudiced when we recommend this. Yes, you’d be lost without your ChMS or parish database functionality but Giving is more pivotal to your overall operations, especially when economic uncertainty like a recession hits. All other ministry functions could cease to exist without sufficient revenue.

We can’t guarantee that our 4 reasons apply to all giving solutions, but with Vision2 there’s no question. Here’s why:

Giving is your most at-risk resource function.

Wise leaders naturally want to prioritize the areas that are most at-risk. You know that finances undergird all other ministry efforts and that generating sufficient tithes and offerings is already risky enough. You can’t afford to add technological challenges on top of that. So, it’s extremely important to protect contributions from any delay or potential disruption related to either a simplistic giving solution, your new ChMS or your new database.

To understand the opportunity cost of giving experiences that don’t inspire or demonstrate impact, ask for a Vision2 Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) of your current giving platform.

Recession proofing needs to be a top priority; neither your ChMS or parish database can help you generate revenue. However, that’s not true for Vision2.

Giving is the most cost-effective switch to make.

The expense of implementing a new ChMS or parish database is significant, while most giving solutions are (comparatively) affordable or even free (like Vision2).

But the cost of the solution isn’t the only factor to consider in determining financial value. Vision2 is designed to engage your givers and has proven to deliver a 18% average digital gift lift in the first 6 months.

We do this, in part, by focusing on giving experiences proven to inspire givers (with our visual ministry designations) and eliminate frustrations. Statistics show as much as 83% of gifts begun on charitable websites are abandoned due to problems in the giving experience. How much revenue are you losing if your giving system literally causes givers to slam on the brakes?

As we stated earlier, your ChMS or parish database can’t help you generate or retain revenue. Most giving platforms can’t either. But Vision2 can.

Giving is the easiest and fastest switch to make.

There’s a bit of irony in the fact that the most at-risk thing is also the easiest thing to fix (with the right giving solution, of course).

A ChMS or parish database decision and implementation process is a much larger project. First, it involves every staff member across all departments and takes much longer to implement. In fact, the expected disruption is one reason it’s so hard to make the decision to choose a new ChMS or parish database. But upgrading your giving solution, on the other hand, involves only your finance team and a matter of weeks to get up and running.

Second, with a ChMS or parish database switch, there’s usually a fair amount of data the staff must collect. But a giving system requires significantly less data migration and configuration, making it easier on your team.

Third, Vision2 does the heavy lifting of all data migration. We have developed a process that allows us to easily transfer 98-100% of your giving records with little to no involvement from your givers or staff, depending on the cooperation of your current giving system.

Just think: In the year or more it can take to switch ChMS platforms or parish databases (from exploration to decision to implementation), Vision2 could have been engaging givers and raising your online giving rates for months.

Giving data must be protected from disruption due to ChMS or parish database data configuration issues.

Integrations between systems can be tricky. But with Vision2, you don’t have to worry about that. In truth, we protect your giving data both before or after a ChMS/parish database switch, but here’s why before works so well.

First, Vision2 can stand alone. It can manage all the giving functionality you need without a ChMS or database. So, you don’t even have to hook it up to your current ChMS or parish database if you’re planning a switch in the future. (However, we will configure your giving data to speak the same language as your accounting software.)

So, you can ensure your upgraded giving system is in place and engaging your givers while you explore, plan for, decide on, and implement your new ChMS or parish database.

Then, secondly, no matter how long all of that takes, once you’re ready, we support the integration of Vision2 with your new ChMS. Vision 2 is ChMS-agnostic. We’ve created deep integrations with all major ChMS platforms and parish databases.

We ensure your giving data integrity is supported and provide effortless bidirectional data flow of giving and household data. So, your giving data stays updated in real time in both systems.

Worried about a recession? Request a Vision2 Cost-Benefit Analysis to see the difference upgrading your giving system could make.

Or download our whitepaper, Growing Online Giving During Times of Uncertainty