Small churches face unique challenges when it comes to collecting donations and managing finances. In-person donations are important, but in today’s digital age, many churchgoers prefer to give online. Fortunately, there are many online giving platforms available that can help small churches encourage generosity. In this blog, we will discuss the best online giving platforms for small churches, their features, and their costs.
Online giving should be approached with wisdom, especially among smaller churches. Some intimate congregations may feel a bit intimidated by the options for online giving. What pastors and leaders in these types of churches may not realize is that you don’t need internal IT teams or even a church website to activate online giving.
The team at Ministry Brands Amplify has put together this handy list of church online giving options that can specifically be used by smaller churches, even those with fifty people or fewer. You may be surprised to learn how easy and affordable it is and how it really does meet a felt need for both your people and church budget.
When you assess your options for online tithing or online giving, you need to look at it with a few criteria in mind:
If you already have online giving set up, you also need to consider if it will be challenging or relatively easy to transition online giving to a new platform.
Here are some of the best online giving platforms for small churches:
Ministry Brands Amplify is a comprehensive church management/churchOPS software that includes online giving as one of its features. It offers a range of features like recurring giving, custom branding, text-to-give, and donor management tools. Ministry Brands Amplify charges a processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 cents per transaction for their Essential plan and 2.2% + $0.30 cents per transaction for their Advanced plan.
One of the benefits of Ministry Brands Amplify is that it offers a range of other church management modules in addition to online giving. This can help small churches consolidate their technology solutions and streamline their operations. Additionally, Ministry Brands Amplify offers integrations with other popular church management systems.
Another benefit of Ministry Brands Amplify is its custom branding options and church management integration. Ministry Brands Amplify tools that can help churches build stronger relationships with their congregations and better understand their giving patterns.
Tithe.ly is an online giving platform for churches of all sizes. It offers a user-friendly interface, mobile app, and a range of features like recurring giving, text-to-give, and event registration. Tithe.ly charges a processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 cents per transaction, but there are no monthly fees or setup costs.
Additionally, Tithe.ly offers integrations with popular church management systems like Planning Center and Church Community Builder. However, if you are looking at Tithe.ly for a small church, pay close attention to the additional fees for added features. For instance, messaging fees which increase once you get over a certain amount of messages, or setup fees for any of the church apps.
Additionally, Tithe.ly does not offer coaching or phone support so you may have difficulty with adoption and ongoing help.
GiveWP is a WordPress plugin that enables churches to accept donations directly on their website. It offers features like custom donation forms, recurring giving, and donor management tools. GiveWP charges a yearly fee starting at $240, but there are no transaction fees.
One of the benefits of GiveWP is that it allows churches to maintain control over the giving process. By collecting donations directly on their website, churches can avoid third-party fees and maintain a consistent brand identity.
However, this platform isn’t built for churches and is missing many features that are crucial for small churches. Additionally, a high level of web-building expertise is required and there is no ongoing support offered.
Planning Center has a set of software tools, including online giving software. The Planning Center Giving platform accommodates text-to-give, online interface or cash/check physical donations. There is also a mobile app. Simple data management and reporting make it easy to see all the stats on a dashboard and filter both by donor and donation. Donor profiles are connected and easily linked both to statements and donor pledges to track campaigns or recurring giving.
Note that Planning Center has a whole set of tools, so if you are plugged into the rest of their platform, their giving platform will merge well with the rest of their software. However, their pricing plan varies based on the features you want in your giving solution and the size of your church. The first plan also charges a transaction fee of 2.15% plus $0.30 cents per transaction. From there, you can pay from $14 per month up to $199 per month plus transaction fees in order to get features like recurring giving and advanced reporting and analytics.
You will also be without personalized coaching and phone support as Planning Center does not offer either of these.
Pushpay is a mobile giving platform that offers features like custom branding, text-to-give, and donor management tools. Pushpay charges a processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 cents per transaction.
With Pushpay, churches can create a giving experience that matches their branding and provides a consistent experience for their congregations. However, this can become expensive. Additionally, Pushpay offers a range of integrations with popular church management systems like Planning Center and Shelby Systems.
It has the standard offerings for a giving platform and also has support materials for users. Be aware though that there may be high monthly fees associated with Pushpay’s platform that aren’t conducive to a small church.
Overall, there are many online giving platforms available for small churches. While many of them provide quality services, not all of them are attuned to the nuanced needs of a smaller congregation. If you want to explore Ministry Brands Amplify’s giving services for your small church, reach out. Ours is a consultative approach, and we offer unlimited access to our team. It’s our goal to take giving off your plate, and enable your congregation to give digitally with ease. Get your free demo today!