Church giving going high tech
Value found in offering more contribution options
Technology makes it easy to buy things you need and have them delivered to your front door.
It’s also making a difference in how churches get their donations.
Many people don’t carry checkbooks or much cash anymore. They’re more comfortable using their debit cards or smartphone apps.
More churches are accepting electronic donations – some even allow you to donate via text message – because that’s the way many of their members want to give, and for a few other reasons:
- Members who set up automatic electronic donations contribute every week, even if they don’t make it to church that Sunday. There’s no “summer slump.”
- People tend to give more when they give electronically. One company that processes electronic church donations says donors give $17 digitally for every $10 in a collection plate.1
- Giving is spiritual, regardless of the format. “Philanthropy, whether it is online or in person, is a spiritual exercise,” said Peter Greer, president of microfinance ministry HOPE International. “It’s about something much bigger and more important than meeting an annual budget.”1
Churches pay fees to companies that process their online gifts, but research shows the costs are likely to be much lower than the gains generated by accepting electronic donations.
How big is electronic giving? One of the tech companies that works with churches processed $4.2 billion in giving last year.1
An Everence® stewardship advocate told me, “Our online giving is way larger than our weekly in-person giving.” Another advocate said she has family members who never go to church without money.
That’s great – there’s room for givers of all kinds!