How to Set Up Online Giving at Your Church

Tithing is integral to every church’s mission, and a lot goes into cultivating a culture of generosity.

One aspect of that is clearing the way for people to give online—which is now the dominant way people donate.

Here’s a quick guide for how to set your church up with online giving, from choosing a provider to getting ready to receive gifts to helping your church adopt online giving.

1. Find the right online giving provider

This is the first step, and it can be the most time-consuming simply because there are so many options.

But there’s an easy way to quickly narrow down your options and save you time: choose an online giving provider that syncs with other tools your church uses.

Ideally, your tools are all part of the same platform. That way:

  • You save money with bundled costs since you’re not paying multiple providers
  • Your members feel more assured since the giving platform looks like other tools they’re used to interacting with
  • Your church staff saves time since you enjoy integrations between your programs

Faithlife Giving is a great example of this. It syncs with Faithlife Groups, Faithlife Sites, and other Faithlife ministry tools to hit all three of the benefits mentioned above. In fact, right now you can get Faithlife Giving Premium without the monthly fee ($44.99) when you start a trial of Faithlife Proclaim and continue into a subscription.

2. Avoid unnecessarily high transaction fees

This is related to the point above.

Every online giving provider has its own pricing structures. Some charge monthly fees for the service, others only deduct per transactions, and some do a mix of both.

The key is to know your church’s average monthly donation intake. That will help you find the sweet spot where you are getting the lowest transaction rates on each donation.

For example, Faithlife Giving offers two options, and we help churches choose which one is the better fit for them.

  • For churches receiving under $7,500 a month, we recommend our first tier, which has a slightly higher transaction rate but no monthly fee.
  • For churches receiving over $7,500 a month, we recommend our Premium tier, which offers lower transaction rates for a low monthly fee.

It all depends on your church’s budget and expected tithes, but generally, you want to look for a provider that offers more than one tier, so you know you’re getting the best deal for your church.

(Note also that some providers cost more than others because they come with perks and add-ons, like church engagement tools or a personalized church mobile app.)

3. Get account information ready

The online giving provider you choose will walk you through the process of actually getting ready to receive gifts.

But there are a few things you can expect to provide:

  • Contact information for your church and your primary contact
  • Church bank account information
  • Legal entity information, including federal tax ID

Why do you have to provide this information?

Reputable organizations adhere to “Know Your Customer” (KYC) obligations, which require that they collect and maintain information on all their customers. KYC requirements come from regulators and are intended to prevent abuse of the financial system.

Methods of validation may vary from provider to provider. Some validate using little or no physical documentation, while others may require customers to provide copies of items like voided checks or legal entity paperwork.

4. Get your church website ready

Now that you’re ready to start receiving gifts, it’s time to make that process seamless for members.

There is a lot to say on this topic, but for now, we’ll keep it to the basics:

a. Make the giving link prominent on your church website

Presumably, people will access your church’s online giving option through your church website.

And ideally, that link or form is prominent on your website, not buried under a menu—or worse, a submenu.

Many churches place their giving link toward the top right corner of their website, as well as under menus people might look for it, like ‘Getting Involved” or “Connect.”

b. Show every giving option

Just because someone comes to the giving portion of your website doesn’t mean they want to give online.

Mention every way someone can give to your church, and provide clear instructions for each one. If you anticipate that online giving is new for many, spend some time showing them what to expect (including email receipts) and assuring them (with proof) that the method is safe.

For example, Faithlife Giving’s form automatically includes a line in the giving process to assure members giving is safe and secure:

c. Reinforce the reasons we give

Use a few sentences on your church’s giving page to tie giving to your mission and the biblical foundation for tithes and offerings. Just before someone gives is the perfect time to remind them why we give and to encourage them to do so with a cheerful heart.

If your church is undergoing a special fundraising project, you can use the space to provide updates or explain the reasons for your campaign drive.

d. Thank them for giving

If you’re able, provide an encouraging, thankful message to your confirmation page. Something like, “We received your gift. Thank you for partnering with us to help make disciples. We’re thrilled to see God’s people responding to his generosity.”

You can personalize it however you’d like, but keeping the heart of tithing in focus at every step of the giving process is important.

e. Send people to your website

Lastly, make sure people know they can give online. This will probably be your biggest task, and there are plenty of creative ways to cultivate generosity in your church.

For now, focus on these few key tips:

  • Keep mentioning online giving. Whenever you mention tithes and offerings during church announcements, remind people they can give online. Don’t stop doing this. It takes a while to be sure people get the message, and you should repeat it often so new attendees know how to give.
  • Mention online giving in any weekly or regular updates you send to your church. It doesn’t need to be the main message, but try and find a way to include the reminder and a link to the online giving page on your website.
  • Periodically remind people of some of the benefits of online giving—it’s more convenient for staff and givers, it helps the church plan better, and helps the person tithing be more consistent.

There’s more to be said about how to cultivate generosity, but these tips are a good start. The big thing is to send people to your church website where they can give online.

Follow these simple steps to set up online giving at your church, and you’ll be ready for the tithing revolution that’s already beginning.

Comments

  1. Where is the biblical reference to tithing in the New Testament? I could not find its location

    • Karen Engle says:

      Hi Dennis,
      Thank you for your response. If you are interested in learning more about Logos and our philosophy as a company, I recommend reading this statement from our CEO, Bob Pritchett: https://www.logos.com/about/publishing-philosophy. It may not answer your specific question about tithing, but it does offer insight into the company’s general publishing philosophy and another place to ask your question within Faithlife. Let me know if you have any questions. I hope you have a great day!

  2. Greetings, Dennis!

    NO ONE can give you a scriptural reference that commands or encourages tithing in the New Testament, because there isn’t a reference. The closest referent is when Jesus CONDEMNS the Religious Aristocracy for neglecting the “weightier,” heavier elements (τὰ βαρύτερα) of the Law such as “justice and mercy and faithfulness,” while holding the less consequential elements of the law such as tithing. (Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42)

    The FACT is that neither our LORD nor His Apostles and their apostolic associates commands or encourages the Church to tithe.

    First, tithing was only given by Divine Imperative to Yahweh’s covenant people, Israel. When Abram gave tithes to Melchizedech, it was a voluntary offering that was a customary form of giving for the people of that chronological period and geography. NOTE: Yahweh did not command Abram nor his grandson, Jacob, to do so. [See below]

    Second, its PRIMARY purpose was to support the Levitical Priesthood in the administration of the Sacrificial System. [See below]

    Third, the tithe was never money.

    (Genesis 14:18-20, Genesis 28:20-22, Leviticus 27, Numbers 18, Deuteronomy 12, 14, 26)

    Fourth, the administration of the Sacrificial System finds its consummation in the LORD Jesus, the once and for all sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:1 and 10:12)

    Should christians give in support of the Body of Christ? YES! (Matthew 5:42 and 6:2-3, Luke 6:30 and 6:38, 1Corinthians 8, 2Corinthians 8 and 9) However, when pastors teach tithing as the New Testament standard of giving, they are doing so without any Christological or Apostolic warrant to do so. It is a posture of presumption and a simultaneous failure to trust the Holy Spirit to dictate what a person should give, as the NEEDS of the church are disclosed. Tithing is one of many issues in which the church errors, but it is a prominent misstep that serves to remind us that we are to be inculcated in both word and deed by nothing more or less than the words of Christ and the Apostle’s Doctrine.

    Grace and Peace,

    Louis
    http://www.eastnewport.org