Online Tithing Tools: 15 Important Questions to Ask
So Many Options, So Many Opportunities
There are so many wonderful options when it comes to online tithing.
Before you pick one online tithing tool over all of the others, though, you’ll definitely need to do some research.
And before you can really start researching, you need to know the right questions to ask.
That’s why we’ve hand-picked the 15 most essential questions to ask before you pick the right online tithing tool for your church.
Top FAQs about online tithing:
Questions to Ask Before Getting Started with Online Tithing
#1. How Popular are Different Types of Online Tithing?
Online is On the Rise
Churches aren’t getting rid of the traditional collection plates by any means. But they are offering multiple ways to tithe now.
You can imagine with the popularity of online giving in other sectors (online giving to nonprofits rose 13% last year) that online tithing is becoming undeniably more popular in church.
Most Popular Ways to Give
There are several ways to tithe now, including but not limited to:
And there are infinite combinations you can make with all of the above.
Takeaway: There are so many fantastic, popular options for online tithing. But in the end, the popularity of each tool really depends on your individual congregation.
#2. Is Online Tithing Effective and Engaging?
The Short Answer
Online tithing can be extremely effective.
Churches that have had online tithing as an option for a few years now report an average increase in tithing as high as 25% in a year.
It’s all about the way you promote your giving options. If you make online tithing a standard option at your church, chances are, it will be effective.
What it All Comes Down to
Are you willing to put the effort into making online giving worth your church’s while? If the answer is yes, you’re going to have a highly successful online tithing experience.
Online tithing can be particularly effective for churches who choose to integrate mobile into their tithing options. Last year, 1 in 5 people admitted to using their phones during church. Tap into that demographic!
Takeaway: If your congregation is already on their mobile devices, why not meet them where they are, with mobile tithing?
#3. Is Online Tithing Right for Your Church?
Too Small for Online?
“Is my church too small for online tithing?”
This is a common sentiment held by smaller congregations.
But small churches aren’t alone in expressing their concerns about online giving. Even some larger churches have doubts like this!
Many large congregations fear that a change like adding an online tithing option would be too much for their churchgoers.
Luckily, both camps are wrong!
For every argument against implementing an online giving option, there’s an answer in favor of adopting the practice.
No matter the size of the church, no matter the age differences, no matter the denomination: all churches stand to benefit from online tithing.
There are congregations of all shapes and sizes all over the US who have already started seeing 15% increases in tithing overall since starting with online giving.
Takeaway: You may be feeling that your church is too small or too large or too you-name-it to get involved with online tithing, but the truth is: online tithing is accessible to everyone, and chances are some form of online giving would do wonders for your church’s funding.
#4. Can Churchgoers Make Offerings on Their Mobile Devices?
Why Go Mobile
When your online tithing portal isn’t optimized for mobile, the process invariably slows down.
Don’t let frustrating and clunky transaction processes impede your church’s tithing.
If you invest in solid mobile giving technology, you can easily avoid this issue.
How to Go Mobile
Tap into that accessible market by having an easy-to-use mobile giving site.
In addition to ramping up your church’s existing website and online giving page, look for a digital tithing tool that offers such quick giving options as texting to tithe and mobile email giving.
When you’re searching for an online tithing tool, you want to be sure that it has a great mobile component with easy-to-use features like text tithing.
Takeaway: Churchgoers should be able to give quickly on their mobile phones. Allow your members to tithe no matter where they are by investing in mobile giving technology.
#5. What Will You Be Using the Tool for?
Different Uses of Online
Your church can make online tithing the standard for church giving.
Or it can be a more occasional activity.
You can promote mobile giving every Sunday.
Or you can reserve online and mobile giving for special projects and events.
Online giving is incredibly versatile.
Know What You're After
Will the online tithing tool you pick do what you want it to do?
There are so many choices out there, it’s hard to imagine that you won’t be able to find a provider who can meet all of your needs and more.
You just need to make sure you know what your needs are before you pick a platform. Don’t settle for less than your church deserves.
Takeaway: With so many great options to choose from, it’s not hard to find an ideal fit for your church. It all comes down to knowing what you’re looking for!
Church Online Tithing Pricing and Security Questions
#6. How Much Does the Average Online Tithing Tool Cost?
Pricing Depends On
Often, the pricing will also depend on how many components you choose for your online tithing.
For instance, if your church chooses to opt for texting to tithe, the package should be affordable.
Online tithing tools are an investment. When you spend extra for more features, you increase the likelihood that members will give online.
An Average Estimate
The more features your church chooses to add onto your plan, the more expensive the package will be. But, again, paying more for a tool that works well for your church will be worth it in the end.
Keep in mind that you can also find online fundraising platforms that will provide special discounts for churches and other faith-based organizations.
Takeaway: If you want to keep it simple, it should be relatively inexpensive, but even if you want to go all out, you should be getting what you pay for!
#7. Do Online Tithing Tools Work with All Types of Payment Processors?
And some larger platform providers are unable to help churches that don’t know anything about payment processing. They work with the biggest payment processors, but they can’t help set churches up with the companies that work best for them.
In short, most providers don’t give churches the right options for payment processing.
The Best Providers
If you already have a favorite processor, the right online tithing tool provider should be able to let you continue that relationship.
Likewise, if you know nothing about payment processing, the best providers should offer some guidance.
Your online tithing tool provider should be willing to set you up with a payment processor–or let you do your own thing if you already have a system in place.
Takeaway: Industry-leading online giving platforms will be able to help your church figure out payment processing if need be. Or if you’ve got payment processing down, they’ll allow you to work with your own processor.
#8. How Safe/Secure are Online Tithing Platforms?
Most providers offer some kind of safety and security guarantees.
They may say that they’re secure, but the proof is in the pudding. Make sure they have proven methods for keeping your info locked up.
The best, most secure online tithing tool providers will have several measures in place from tokenization to PCI-compliance and more.
The Best Providers
PCI-compliance means that the top industry standards for safety and security are met, ensuring that your information stays put and your money goes only where it’s meant to.
With these concrete measures, the top online tithing tool providers can safely say that your information (and your tithers’ info) is as secure as can be.
Takeaway: When you’re researching different platforms, make sure that you go with one that has all of its ducks in a row safety-wise.
#9. Are There Deals for Churches?
Answer: Yes! You can absolutely find deals specifically tailored for churches.
Many platform providers will offer one price for nonprofits and a discounted rate for churches.
Long story short: it’s fairly easy to find online tithing tool providers that offer special pricing for churches and faith-based organizations like yours.
Answer: There are several websites that offer free trials of their software so that you can be 100% sure of what you’re getting before you commit to buying anything.
Be on the lookout for sites that provide demonstrations of their products, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting what you pay for!
Takeaway: There are definitely deals cut out especially for churches like yours!
Questions Concerning Ease of Use of Online Tithing Tools
#10. What is the Set-Up Process Like?
With the right software, your church administrator shouldn’t have to puzzle their way through the instructions for setting up the online tithing tool for your church.
The best providers will walk you through their installation process step-by-step, whether it’s through written instructions or one-on-one with an actual person.
Often, their customer care is just a phone call or an email away.
That way, should you ever need questions answered, your service provider is there to help you every step of the way.
Look for a provider that offers top-of-the-line support, and you’ll never be stuck without a helping hand.
Takeaway: Getting set up with a new online tithing platform should be as easy as apple pie.
#11. Can You Adjust the Tithing Form?
The Short Answer
Find a platform that lets you play!
You can add your church’s logo.
You can create a webpage that’s solely your church’s colors.
Best of all, you can change it all again whenever you want. With the right platform, you can make your online tithing tool look just like…you.
Why Branding Matters
But when you go to check out, suddenly, the payment portal no longer looks like the website where you found your item.
Wouldn’t that raise red flags for you?
The same is true of a charitable giving site: it has to fit in seamlessly with the rest of your website, otherwise people will feel insecure tithing through it.
Takeaway: Your church should be able to customize and brand your online giving experience to make your members feel more comfortable giving online.
#12. Can You Use Online Tithing for a Specific Event?
The Simple Answer
There are thousands of churches that use online giving portals for the sole purpose of raising funds for specific events.
Many of them create designated campaigns online just to raise money in conjunction with their in-person fundraising events.
The next 5K you host or church carnival you throw, be sure to set up a unique online giving campaign to raise more money.
More Fun Ideas
Crowdfunding thermometers are great tools for keeping track of the success of your church’s endeavors. Each time a donation is made, the thermometer fills in a little bit more, making it easy for your members to see how close you are to your goals.
If you’re wanting to try this fun tool out, seek out an online giving platform provider that allows you to explore this option.
Takeaway: There are several fantastic options for making the most of an online giving portal at your next church fundraising event, including crowdfunding thermometers.
Questions to Ask When You’re Close to Deciding on an Online Tithing Tool
#13. When is the Best Time to Announce Your Plans?
During the Service
That would be the ideal time to take 15-20 minutes to explain online tithing to your congregation.
Make sure you provide some visual cues, such as slides on a projector screen. Walk your congregation through the simple steps to tithing using their phones and computers.
Explain the process once, and it’ll be infinitely easier in the future!
At an Event
Some platform providers will also give your church the tools to help explain online giving to your members.
Posters, infographics, and instructions make all the difference.
Long story short: events are fantastic for announcing your online tithing plans.
Takeaway: Sunday services and events are the perfect times and places to explain and announce your church’s new online giving procedure.
#14. What Will Your Support Needs Be?
A Crucial Question
This is one of the most crucial questions to ask before you invest in any sort of software or equipment for your church.
When it comes to online tithing, though, you want to be sure that the level of support that you need will be met by the platform provider you choose.
Only once you know what kind of support you need can you find the right solution for your church.
What to Expect
You also want to feel like you won’t be running into that much trouble in the first place.
Realistically, you should expect an online tithing tool platform provider to set you up with everything you’d need to get started and to remain a consistent source of help throughout your engagement with them.
Takeaway: It’s important to know that you’ve got back-up, should you ever need it.
#15. How Do You Get Started with Online Tithing?
Thus, it’s important to pump up your church administration about this incredibly fun new phase you’re entering into.
Launching an online giving campaign will be a lot of work at first. As with anything else, there will be a transitionary period.
But it’s definitely worth all of the fuss and muss to have a stream-lined system for accepting online and mobile tithes.
The First Steps
Once you have the answers to those questions, the logical next step is obvious: choose a provider!
From there, your church can begin to make online giving a standard practice within the congregation.
Takeaway: Getting started with online tithing is an exciting time, and the way to dive right into that good time is through research and decision-making.