By Gina Calvert

The Hard Questions to Online Giving Software… Asked … and Answered

The starting point of software matters. Before we built Vision2, asked questions about online giving. We determined what we wanted churches to be able to accomplish that no other platform was solving.

That list formed the initial roadmap for Vision2’s structure (both the organization and the software).

1) Inspire Givers to Engage with Their Church

Our first step in helping to inspire greater giving was to remove the obstacles that cause givers to slam on the brakes, including redirecting them to a third-party site, mandatory account creation, and giving limits.

After that, one of the most exciting differences in Vision2 is our ability to marry rich-media with giving opportunities right on your website.

Given the visual nature of our modern world, it only makes sense to offer givers more than a simple black and white drop-down list of giving opportunities.

We wanted to inspire givers to take action (both financially and through participation) by displaying ministry opportunities in full color, as givers are accustomed to seeing in vacation rentals, Amazon products and virtually every other interaction they have online.

Vision2 allows churches to display an unlimited number of visual ministry opportunities — some of our church partners have more than 100!

2) Process the Offering as Efficiently as Possible

When we collaborated on the concept of Vision2 with one of the largest churches in the US, we discovered that it wasn’t uncommon for them to use 17 people to spend Sunday – Thursday of each week just processing the weekend offering, including online and offline gifts. That’s a lot of staff and volunteer hours that could be focused on more benevolent activities. (With Vision2, less than 6 people can now process the giving by the end of day on Monday, even though the church’s offerings have increased dramatically.)

Here are just a few of the questions we set out to find answers to:

  • How can we eliminate manual processes (thus the chance of fraud or error) and automate everything, including cash and checks, bank tests, and updates to gifts (i.e. NSFs, chargebacks) into our customers’ church management systems?
  • How can we migrate recurring gift schedules to keep churches from having to ask givers to repeat their schedule set-up in new software?
  • How can we eliminate the frustrating problem of trying to reconcile the bank’s donation batch amounts against individual gifts?
  • How can we get churches their money in the shortest amount of time?
  • How can we help churches process gifts both at the church level and the campus level without adding an extra step for givers?

Vision2 solves these and other issues that plague users of most online giving for churches. Many of them were solved through the unique relationship we have with the bank that no other platform has.

The biggest benefit we hear about these unique features? Huge time savings and less frustration.

3) Protect Church Funds (and the people who manage them)

We’ve all heard shocking stories of church fraud. Blame it on the trusting nature of the church and its often lackadaisical processes and absence of internal controls. Online giving solves some challenges around fraud, but it can also open up a whole new set of concerns.

It’s tempting to think that an online giving solution naturally prevents not only fraud but also human error. After all, isn’t everything automated? You’d be surprised how many manual processes can still be required by some platforms. Lack of accounting training and the limitations of some giving software can result in employees using creative workarounds to fix problematic donations and unknowingly put church funds—and themselves—at risk.

We set out to find a way to handle accounting in a completely new way. Our solution protects your staff and the church’s finances with a detailed audit trail that prevents anyone from changing transactions, ever.

Experience Giving Without Limits

Vision2 was created without limits, what does that 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

Still have questions about online giving, especially Vision2? Schedule a demo today!