6 Questions for Evaluating E-Giving Solutions

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Online giving is a popular form of electronic giving. As our culture moves beyond digital to include social and especially mobile, it is important to evaluate all the options in order to get the electronic giving system that fits your church.We are fortunate to have many options when it comes to electronic giving.

Here are six criteria to use in evaluating which system is best for your church

It must be easy to use for the giver

I have seen many solutions fail because they were difficult for the person contributing. Bottom Line:  If it is not easy to use, people will not use it.

[Tweet “If your e-giving solution is not easy to use, people will not use it. #generosity”]

It needs to be usable beyond the church's website

Well over 50% of Internet traffic today is via a mobile device [read more in Church Website Must Be Usable On Any Device]. With more and more people not carrying cash or checks anywhere let alone to church, the giving solution needs to allow people to very easily and securely give via their smartphone.

The contribution data needs to be easily importable

Ideally the online giving solution is a feature within the church management system (ChMS). However, this is not always the case. Even if it is, it may not offer all the features the church needs, so a third-party solution will most likely be used and that data must be easily importable into the ChMS so people's contribution records stay up-to-date and accurate.

The main point here is to reduce the potential for data entry errors and the time it takes to process contributions by having systems that allow for the contribution data to be imported into the ChMS instead of being manually keyed in one contribution at a time.

[Tweet “Most USA church-goers carry a kiosk in hand. Do U allow them to use it to give? #generosity”]

It needs to allow for recurring giving

This allows people to truly give of their first fruits by scheduling their contributions on a recurring basis. This also helps the church during the summer or inclement weather Sundays to ensure contributions still come in.

[Tweet “E-giving solutions need to empower people to give first-fruits. #generosity”]

It May Need The Ability to Choose Debit Only vs Credit

This is not a big deal for some churches. For some churches it is a theological issue as the church does not want to encourage people to go into debt. If using credit cards is an issue for your church, you want a system that allows you to only accept debit cards so people are not placing their tithe on a credit card.

It Needs To Accept E-checks

This is a great option to offer. In addition to encouraging people to give without using their credit cards, the transaction fees are much lower. This also allows people who do not have a debit or credit card to give electronically.

[Tweet “Worried about credit card processing fees? Use e-giving solution that provides much cheaper E-Checks and ACH. #generosity”]

Bonus: Security Is a Given Criteria

When evaluating a potential system, ask to make sure they use bank level encryption and that they are PCI-DSS Compliant.

[Tweet “Check out these 6 questions for evaluating #e-giving solutions for your #church. #generosity”]

original photo credit: lightstock.com/ Petter Berg

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