By Gina Calvert

Online Giving Tools for Parishes and Dioceses

In today’s digital world, and especially since the pandemic, online giving tools for parishes and dioceses help bridge generational gaps and parishioner expectations. What’s more, they can provide a variety of benefits to the organization, as well.

But online giving comes in many forms and varying levels of quality, so it can be challenging to make sense of all the options. Where do you start?

3 Types of Online Giving

Online – or digital – giving is transacted on one of three platforms:

Website Giving Forms
A giving form is placed on or embedded into your website’s giving page by a giving solution provider. You can then populate the page to tell your parish’s and diocese’s stories and link givers to other resources. Givers can access this form from their computer, phone or tablet, or a kiosk in the parish foyer or at events. For the best results, the form must be secure and simple, and allow the giver to quickly and easily give a gift and even schedule recurring gifts using a credit or debit card or authorizing a bank draft.

Most online giving providers also offer text giving, which allows givers to quickly give through their phones simply by texting their gift to your church’s unique number. This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to give.

Mobile Apps
Most mobile apps act as a mini website, putting information at parishioners’ fingertips, including the ability to make a donation. Considering that full websites can easily be accessed by mobile devices, an app is not usually a necessity and may not be as secure.

4 Benefits of Online Giving for Parishes and Dioceses

Online giving allows the flow of generosity to continue when parishioners are unable to be there in person. Whether they’re ill, shut-in, traveling or sheltering in place due to a pandemic, people can still easily donate.

Some givers’ prefer digital. While younger generations prefer online interactions, even seniors are highly digital, actively shopping, banking and bill-paying online. They appreciate how fast and easy it is to interact with their favorite brands – and their parish – online. And some givers will not donate through any other means. This means offering online giving can increase the amount of gifts you receive.

Online giving is a more secure and efficient way for parishes and dioceses to process the tithes and offerings. Fraud and human error happen, even in faith-based organizations. Digital giving reduces opportunities for fraud and the possibility of human error. In general, online giving for parishes and dioceses is secure because of the mandatory protocols of Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards.

Online giving tools allow better insights and forecasting of incoming gifts. Whether it’s analytics that let you see giving trends or the simple ability for givers to schedule recurring gifts, you have more visibility into what to expect or where to be proactive.

Vision2 for Parishes and Dioceses

From cost, to the giver’s experience, to back-office functionality and reporting, there’s a world of difference between platforms.

Vision2 operates differently than any other giving platform out there. It’s far more than simply a gift processor. Vision2 is a comprehensive giving and stewardship solution that serves every user across multiple-sized churches, parishes and dioceses:

Givers interact with simple, easy-to-use giving forms, can clearly see the impact of their donations and will receive a personalized “thank you” from your parish or diocese. They can give anonymously or create an account. And they are never whisked away to a third-party site to complete their gift, which is common with most giving solutions and can cause gift abandonment.

Parish staff save time, money, and hassles with automated online and offline gift processing and auto reconciliation. Our detailed revenue subledger speaks your accounting platform’s language. There are no monthly fees, no giving limits and no velocity limits.

Diocese leaders can proactively oversee parish and the diocese’s financial health with analytics reporting across all parishes in real-time. Parishes can set automated diocese payments based only on contributory revenue from all channels.

With a common admin portal with customized permissions at the parish and diocese level, Vision2 can scale for every size church within any size parish, allowing for every level of involvement, including auto-contribution management for small churches all the way to customized control for large organizations.

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