Home Church Management The Pros And Cons Of Online Giving For Churches

The Pros And Cons Of Online Giving For Churches

by Bryan Halverson
Header graphic for article detailing the advantages and disadvantages of churches using online giving

Online giving is more important than ever because of its convenience and ability to meet the needs of today’s society. Churches across America are embracing online tithing because it can help the church reach more people and build new relationships that may not have been possible before internet usage became more prevalent in our culture.

It is no secret that many church leaders are struggling to find ways to generate revenue in this age of online competition. Tithing online is a way for people to give to their church, but many church leaders struggle with the concept of expanding their giving efforts to the internet and other electronic resources. They may also be unsure if online giving is a safe and smart decision for their church.

In this article, we explore the concept of online giving, share some examples of online giving methods, and discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with these handy tools.

Understanding Online Giving

Also referred to as electronic giving, mobile giving or eGiving, online giving is simply the process of using the internet to give money to nonprofit organizations and churches. For churches specifically, it is a quick and efficient way for church members to give to your ministry.

Popular Ways To Give Electronically

Some common methods of digital church giving include:

  • Making a contribution through a church website or donation page
  • A Text to Give platform (also known as mobile giving)
  • Church social media pages
  • Electronic payment services like Venmo, CashApp, and Apple Pay

Advantages Of Online Giving

There are many pros when it comes to online giving. Here are some of the primary ones:

  • Fewer transactions involving cash and/or checks – Online giving drastically reduces the number of church staff who have to handle and be responsible for contributions made via cash or check.
  • Security – Online giving platforms are extremely secure, and shifting the focus of your giving from offline to online reduces the risk of money or checks getting misplaced or stolen.
  • Simplified donation tracking – Most online donation platforms have built-in tracking features so you can easily monitor tithing and donors instead of wading through endless spreadsheets.
  • Easily automate giving – The majority of current online giving platforms allow members to set up recurring donations, making the online giving process practically effortless.
  • A contactless way to contribute – As we know from recent events, having a contact-free option for giving can be crucial when it comes to your congregation’s health.

Disadvantages Of Online Giving

Here are some of the cons that churches should consider:

  • Lack of personalization – With online giving, there is a slight risk of losing some of the personal touches that face-to-face interactions may offer. Thankfully, many software solutions offer tools to bridge this gap.
  • Automation can lead to underappreciation – While automating giving campaigns can be effortless, they can also lead to laziness when it comes to thanking your donors. Make sure you still go the extra mile to let people know they and their contributions are appreciated.
  • Donation pages can seem cold and detached if not done correctly – Most church members are not web developers. The lack of design skills can sometimes lead to a donation page feeling uninviting or inconsistent with the message you are trying to convey. Make sure your giving page is branded, designed seamlessly with the rest of your website, and is extremely user-friendly.

Online Giving Platforms That Simplify Recurring Giving

When looking into online giving tools, the goal is to find a resource that checks all of the boxes for your church. Ideally, you want an online giving platform that offers secure giving, makes it simple and easy to give to your church, and is affordable.

Fortunately, Aplos meets all of those needs and then some.

Aplos is an extremely secure online giving platform that has many of the same features as other top giving platforms but with a lower cost than most.

Top features include:

  • Giving via text messages or email
  • Automatic reminders for your members to give each week
  • Monthly pledge programs
  • Giving receipts and statements
  • Event registration

This service allows the congregation to conveniently give tithes and offerings using their credit card, checks, or mobile phone. Aplos also makes it possible for members of your congregation to receive text notifications when they are giving money so they are reminded when their recurring gifts go through.

Aplos offers some of the best features that are available in any software for church online giving, so if you want a platform that will help keep track of members’ giving as well as make giving more convenient for them, then Aplos may be just what you’re looking for.

See why thousands of churches use Aplos for their online giving needs.

Free Recorded Webinar: How to Create an Online Church Giving Campaign

Online giving makes it more likely that people will set up recurring giving, which tends to mean larger gifts over time. It can also help your church plan for its finances if giving is more predictable and doesn’t slow down as much in the summer months. During this webinar, you will learn:

  • To evaluate how online giving works with the principles of stewardship and tithing
  • The essential questions to ask when selecting an online giving campaign
  • Steps to launch an online giving campaign for your church
  • Best practices in communicating online giving to your members before, during, and after launch
  • To identify available tools for tracking and managing people’s contributions

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