Whether you’re looking to replace your current church giving software or you’re looking into online giving for your church for the first time, you’ll improve the experience if you go into it forearmed.
It’s important to know your needs and set goals in place prior to your search. Comparing platforms can be confusing, so keep your roadmap before you as you go.
The typical criteria churches seek in giving software include:
Church Giving Software Must be Convenient for Givers
Costs associated with online giving can be typically found at these points:
Transaction fee rates (Distinguish between non-negotiable credit card industry fees and the add-on rates of your giving software vendor and its payment processor.)
Additional miscellaneous fees (Ask about all possible fees, including those passed on from the bank and others related to the vendor’s services.)
Monthly contract fee
Your new giving software should shield your staff from the complexity of payment processing by serving in the dual role of giving platform and payment processor, reducing fees and the number of vendors you work with. Seek a vendor that does not charge a monthly fee.
Implementing Your New Platform Shouldn’t Be Scary
The best church online giving software helps you get the platform up and running and never leaves you on your own. Some simple products may be easily self-set-up very quickly. That ease often means trade-offs in the feature set and performance of the platform.
More robust platforms require the vendor to implement the software. Ask for a timeline and a detailed explanation of who you’ll be working with. Ideally, there will be one project manager who is your advocate through the entire process, no matter how many others are involved. Find out what you will have to provide and what your staff will have to do. Ask for testimonials about the implementation experience.
Church Giving Software Should Streamline accounting and back office processes
100% automated processing of the offering, including cash and checks
True API Integration with a church management software platform (vs. manually uploading data from another platform)
Full Accounting and reconciliation (with 1:1 gift-matching, not batched gift amounts, and full audit controls to protect staff and funds)
Managed Services (support, training, partnership)
PCI Level 1 Compliance (for data security for givers)
Additionally, you may wish to choose a faith-based organization that has a record of success with churches like yours. We also recommend that you seek out independent consumer reviews on the platforms you are considering.