Online Giving for Churches — 10 Top Tips

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A growing number of churches are now looking into different ways to raise much-needed funds. Gone are the days of simply relying on a collection plate to fund maintenance and staffing costs. Online giving for churches is more prevalent than ever.

But a lot of churches are struggling. In order to survive, they need to explore new and innovative ways of raising funds — many of which are online.

By promoting online giving, you can open up a completely new revenue stream for your church. Here are 10 tips to get you started.

1. Create an Eye-Catching Website

If you don't already have one, launch a website to create an online hub for all your charitable programs. Keep it simple and easy to navigate, and fill it with images of your church and your congregation. Most importantly, give people a reason to keep coming back, such as regular updates, a blog, and transcripts of your services.

Place a giving button in a prominent location on your website. Make it eye-catching, big, and obvious. If online giving for churches is simple and quick, more people will give.

2. Promote Online Donation at Every Opportunity

It's important to tell churchgoers about all the different ways they can donate online. There are several ways to do this, and they're all very simple. For example, you could make one or two announcements during a worship service. You may also want to mention online giving during the offering.

If you don't already have one, create a bulletin or newsletter. You can make digital and paper copies for regular distribution to your worshippers. Be sure to include detailed instructions about how to donate online. Use your social media accounts to keep people informed, and print informational flyers to hand out at the end of every service.

3. Hold a Digital Offering During a Service

Some of your worshippers may not be familiar with the process of online giving for churches. A great way to teach them how to give is by holding a digital offering during a service. Ask your worshippers to access your donation page on their phones, and take them through the process, step by step.

It's probably best to ask for the same donation from everyone to keep things simple. Start with a modest amount such as $5. Once people have given once, they're more likely to continue doing so going forward.

4. Make the Online Giving Process Mobile-Friendly

More than half of the world's internet traffic originates from mobile devices. If your online giving process isn't mobile-friendly, your church could miss out on a lot of precious cash.

While there are some very capable responsive website themes and platforms available, making a “mobile first” website is always the best option. There's a good chance that more than half of the visitors to your website use a mobile device for access. It makes sense to design your website specifically for smaller screens and adapt upwards — rather than the other around.

The use of mobile devices for online giving is at a record high. According to The Millennial Impact Report, 84 percent of young adults prefer to give online.

5. Drive Traffic to Your Website

You could have a fantastic church website, but if people aren't visiting it this counts for very little. At every opportunity, remind people about the site and what's on it. Talk about it during every service, and include the website address in every bulletin and newsletter you produce. And reach out across your social media channels to encourage people to log on.

Also, make sure your website is SEO optimized. This is a technical term for making a site attractive to search engines. There are several ways to do this, including the use of keywords, the inclusion of quality content, and the insertion of a few authoritative links. The most cost-effective approach involves hiring a professional to carry out an SEO audit for you.

6. Develop a Brand

Although you may not know it, your church already has a brand of its own. But unless you take control of the branding process, you could be missing out on donations. There are several ways to brand your church, including the creation of a logo, the use of a color scheme, and the use of a particular type font.

As StoryBrand-certified guides, we reference the StoryBrand framework to inspire giving. We create a clear, concise message that connects with worshippers. We can help you to maximize your church's fundraising potential.

According to Network for Good, branded giving pages perform around 67 percent better than unbranded pages. While the idea of creating a brand identity might seem a little strange at first, it could encourage a lot more people to give on a regular basis.

7. Introduce Automated Giving Options

A lot of people like to ensure they give to their church regularly. In the past, this mostly involved cash and check payments made in person. But you can make the process of recurring giving a lot easier for your worshippers.

Use a payment provider that gives people the option of making recurring payments with a debit or credit card. This functionality gives worshippers the opportunity to decide how often they give and when to stop.

8. Thank Your Donors… Every Time

It's important that you show your gratitude every time someone gives to your church. As well as being the right thing to do, it leaves givers with a sense of accomplishment. And an appreciated donor is often a regular donor.

There are several ways you can express thanks. For example, you could direct donors to a “thank you” page immediately after their payment goes through. Or you can send them a warm-hearted and personalized “thank you” email. It's even possible to thank people by text using an option within the payment provider's software.

9. Add Printable ‘I Gave Online' Cards to Your Website

The last thing you want to do is make online givers feel awkward when people are passing around the collection plate during a service. One way to alleviate this tricky situation is by giving online donors an “I gave online” card. This doesn't just put people at ease, it tells others in the congregation that online giving is an option.

10. Choose Technology Based on Your Desired Outcomes

There are many new and exciting technologies that can inspire people to give. But how do you know they're right for you? Rather than concentrate on the features included with apps and other technologies, think about your desired outcomes.

Consider why your worshippers decide to give. Sometimes giving is inspired by human connections. Other times it's about fostering community spirit or helping the less fortunate. The emotions that prompt giving are very important. If your technology helps you to appeal to these emotions, there's a very good chance you'll achieve the results you're looking for.

This is a lot to take in. Managing online giving for churches takes a lot of time and hard work. But you can make more time for your worshippers by managing the entire process with a giving software solution such as NewFire Giving.

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How Church Donation Technology Benefits Your Church

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Your church may be a place of religious worship, but it also needs funding in order to thrive and grow. Churches often rely on monetary donations from congregation members in order to stay afloat. However, manually collecting those donations year after year can be tedious and ineffective. For that reason, churches that want to thrive in today's digital age should consider turning to church donation technology. Software platforms that now enable giving to churches make donating easier than ever, and they may just be the key to financially thriving for a church that is looking for more effective ways to raise funds.

What Is Church Donation Technology?

Church donation technology includes software platforms that allow people to give money to churches digitally. These platforms can be on websites, via software installed on a device, or via channels that can be accessed remotely (using the cloud or messaging technology). Some popular church donation technology options include giving apps, text-to-give programs, and online donation platforms where people can visit a website or give directly. There are also now contactless collection plates, which take the place of traditional ones and offer churchgoers the chance to simply tap a credit card or digital pay device, rather than giving bills or coins.

How Does Church Donation Technology Benefit Your Church?

Church donation technology is crucial today for churches that want to grow in the coming years. However, it has more benefits than simply welcoming your congregation into the digital age. Some of the most important benefits include the following.

Convenience of the Donation Process

Sometimes people want to donate to a church or nonprofit organization, but they don't know how to donate, or they feel like they do not have the time or energy to go through the donation process. Church donation technology makes giving as easy as simply sending a message from your phone or mobile device. Sixty-two percent of churchgoers say they are more likely to give if they can simply do it via a phone, tablet, card reader, or computer. So, by minimizing obstacles between giving and a potential giver and by offering easy giving options, you can increase the chances that people will donate and maximize the amount of funds you may be able to raise for your organization.

Encouraging Repeat Givers

Church leaders say that people are more likely to give multiple times to a church when electronic giving opportunities are offered. So churches who want repeat givers may want to turn to donation technology, which can help bring in more dependable sources of funds.

Better Tracking

When you receive donations, it's important to log them. This helps you keep track of who gave them, how much the donation was for, what it is to be allocated for, etc. However, doing all of this manually can not only be tedious, but it can also be inaccurate and leave a lot of room for human error. When you have software solutions keeping track of your church donations, you can accurately record who gave how much, to what, and when. You can also have a record should you ever need to show proof of donations later.

More Confident Givers

Studies have shown that people can be wary of donating to churches because they are not sure if the church will allocate their funds to the right places. When you use donation technology, you can let people digitally demarcate where they want their donations used. You can also allocate that money digitally, and you can show people how you used their funds. When people have more confidence that you will use their donations properly, they are more likely to give, which also maximizes the amount of money you may be able to attract during your fundraising efforts.

Church Donation Technology: Consider Choosing NewFire Giving

A recent survey showed about 80 percent of churchgoers now have the opportunity to give to their church via online or digital technology. If you feel ready to raise funds more effectively for your church and join the digital era, consider using NewFire Giving. This digital donation technology can help make giving easier for donors and tracking more convenient and accurate for you. One of the best perks of using NewFire Giving is that they provide coaching with their software. So you can use their expert knowledge to ensure that you are doing the best you can to raise money from potential donors. You can also rely on the content and learning material they give you to improve your fundraising efforts or turn to them if you need help troubleshooting one of the software solutions they provide.

Changes That Increase Gift Giving in Your Church

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While tithing is mentioned in the Bible, statistics as far back as 2013 show that only around 25 percent (at the highest) people tithe within the church.

Number 18:26 reads:

Speak to the Levites and say to them: When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD's offering.

The problem isn't that giving is not mentioned in the Bible. There are other reasons tithing is down.

Reasons Tithing is Lower Than Usual

There are a few valid reasons why a person may not tithe. Understanding this helps find ways to counteract this way of thinking.

They Don't Know About It

Those who are new to Christ may not even realize that tithing is written as something they should do. Just like a new student, a person must be taught and learn what is right. Don't think that everyone knows what the Bible says about stewardship. That must be taught.

Their Finances Are Tight

It happens to most of us. We go through periods of having less than usual or feeling as if we do not have any left over to give. This is where 2 Cor. 8:1-2, 7 comes in handy:

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.

It showcases how God's grace helps us through even the most difficult of times. Teach the people in your congregation how God helps us when we may feel that we do not have enough — no matter what it is.

Another is Prov. 11:24-25:

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

They Question Where the Money Ends Up

Many people are curious when it comes to finances. One reason some may be hesitant to give is that they do not know where their money is going. It is always a good idea to be transparent with church funds so people feel comfortable giving.

If the members of your congregation know more about the church's finances, they see where there is a need and do not feel as if the money is simply going “somewhere.”

They Are Not Sure How to Give

Sometimes it is as simple as not knowing how to give. Some who are new to the church may see the collection plate going around. They realize you can give that way, but there are so many ways to tithe that they are not aware of. Be sure they know their options.

And never assume a person has been to church in the past and automatically understands how things work.

They Don't Feel Its Importance

Some people have to have a clear vision of what is going on before they will part with their money. This, unfortunately, happens in church, too. Make sure the members know of God's work being done in the church. Share what is being done for the poor. Share how the church helps with counseling. Tell them about programs for children and the community.

Teach them what the Bible says about a generous heart in Luke 21:1-4:

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

What Are the Stats on Gift Giving?

Just so you have an idea of what's going on in tithing and church donations, here are some interesting statistics.

Out of the almost 230 million self-proclaimed Christians in the United States, just a little over 1 million tithe. That is surprisingly less than 1 percent.

Charitable giving is on the rise. As of 2017, its percentages increased. Yet, religious giving remains at just one-third of all charities, and that is down from halfback in the 1980s.

According to the Giving USA Special Report in 2017, most people who give to religious organizations are 65 and older (54 percent). People under the age of 40 are less likely (23 percent) to donate to the Church. Yet with a younger generation of churchgoers, it is important that they are represented as much as the older members.

How to Increase Gift Giving in Your Church

There are things that all churches can do to help increase gift giving. Here are a few ways to see an increase in tithing and donations.

Show by Your Own Works

Giving begins from within. By making sure you are giving what you can, it is easier to discuss with others how giving changed you. Enjoy discussing money, because changing a person's finances helps change their life. Speak from personal experience and share the good, while offering learning experiences out of the “not so good.”

Offer Alternatives in Giving

There are more ways to give than simply passing around the collection plate. While we can all feel good from what we are used to, with a new generation come new ways of giving.

For instance, digital giving technology offers a variety of ways to give.

Online giving works from any web browser and offers 24/7 access to both members and guests. They can even set up recurring donations or tithing to make it easier to remember. Or, one-time giving is an option with secure online giving and mobile giving.

Another way to make giving more convenient for members and guests is with text-to-give. Just like some charities do during a natural disaster, a person only needs to text to donate or tithe. It is easier to increase giving by offering this option during your sermon or talk on stewardship.

Giving kiosks are yet another way to increase stewardship. This kiosk is similar to what most people are already used to when shopping. This is ideal for larger donors and larger congregations. It is important to note that the average kiosk donation is almost 25 percent higher than with text-to-give.

This helps churches dramatically improve giving numbers while reducing the need to focus all their time on raising funds.

Start a Special Offering

During Christmas and Easter, a church-wide special offering is a worthy way to increase giving. Many will be excited to give to a worthy offering. Make sure to pick a need that resonates with your congregation. Whether it is an international mission or something close to home, find a need that others will relate to.

Now set a reachable goal. Don't make it so high that people are discouraged. But do stretch it some so it's a goal people want to attain.

Use some of the ways mentioned prior to allowing people to donate as easily as possible, with the goal progress transparent.

Start at least six weeks prior to the deadline for the goal. This allows people to have time to plan. Let them know it is okay to give any time up to the day of the goal's finish.

Prepare a presentation or talk about the offering and what it means to help. Let them know that after the goal is fulfilled, they will be able to see their efforts. For example, if it is a mission, they will get to see a video of the trip.

Host a Fundraiser

Hosting a specific fundraiser on a date right after a service is a good way to get plenty of attendees. You have your congregation there, so there is no need for an event space. It can be a fun event that feels like a celebration, and it's different from the norm, which gets people excited.

These are just a few ways to increase gift giving and open up new ways for members and guests to be generous. Your congregation should never see giving as a burden. In fact, 2 Cor. 8:12-15 says:

For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

Text To Give Software – Accept Donations from Text Messages

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New technology brings with it new ways of connecting with your congregation. It has also sparked new forms of giving. Text-to-give campaigns can help your church raise money for youth group trips, special causes, and for the daily operation of your ministry. Understanding how this exciting new software works will help your church open up new doors while providing your members new opportunities for giving.

How Does Text-to-Give Work?

It's as simple as it sounds. When someone wants to give to an organization or campaign, text-to-give software makes the process fun and straightforward. All the donor has to do is text the amount they want to give to a short phone number. Text-to-give campaigns are extremely memorable and sharable.

For example, you could set up a campaign and advertise it like this:

“To donate, text the amount you want to give to [your church's number] and support our ministry's programs.”

Text-to-give campaigns are so easy to set up that you could have one for specific functions, programs, and goals or a single program for your entire church. The entire process is simple and streamlined.

Once someone texts an amount to the short number, they will instantly receive a secure link in return. By clicking this link, they'll get taken to an easy mobile form that they can fill out with their donor information. In under 60 seconds, they'll be able to help you raise much-needed funds.

With its speed and simplicity in mind, it's really no surprise that text-to-donate campaigns have taken off across the country. Churches and other non-profit organizations are consistently using them to raise money for everything from outreach campaigns to disaster relief.

What It Can Do for Your Church

In 2017 alone, Americans gave more than $410 billion to non-profit organizations. This bright statistic showed a 5 percent growth from previous measures. Year after year, religious organizations have always held the greatest share when it comes to charitable donations. Recent statistics from 2016 show that this continues to be true.

Following a 2.9 percent increase in giving, nearly one-third of all donations ($127.37 billion) go towards religious organizations. The majority of these donations get made by individuals to their local place of worship. If these numbers are not motivating enough, here are some more specific statistics that will inspire you to set up a text-to-give campaign for your ministry.

  • Surveying people who are willing to give to their church revealed that 60 percent of them are willing to donate to their church digitally.
  • Churches that begin accepting tithing online see a 32 percent average increase in overall donations.
  • Of donors who tithe, more than 75 percent of them give far more than 10 percent of their income, choosing to give 11 to 20 percent of their gross income.

These statistics should be empowering for your church. After all, they demonstrate that today's churchgoers are more than willing to give. But it will help greatly if you give them a means of doing so that aligns with their lifestyle.

Today, everyone has a mobile device in their pocket. That's what makes text-to-give campaigns so effective. They give a person the ability to get involved and feel connected to a campaign from anywhere. It's also a method of giving that is straightforward and sensible for today's generation of churchgoers.

You'll Reach More of the Millennial Market

A church willing to implement a text-to-donate software will see major increases in engagement and overall giving. Millennials especially are more likely to donate if they have the option to do so digitally. And, with this group making up over 25 percent of the country's population, it's an essential target market to connect with.

In 2016, nearly half of all millennials donated through an organization's website. Plus, 40 percent of them give regularly through a monthly giving program. Most of them get involved in-person too, with 64 percent being local volunteers and 55 percent being actively involved in fundraising events.

The millennial market accounts for 11 percent of total giving across the United States. So, with 84 percent of them willing to give to charity (each donating an average of $481 each year), it's critical that organizations give them a means of doing so that's simple for them.

You'll Reach More of Generation X Too

Many organizations mistakenly think that millennials are the only market they will reach through a text-to-donate or other digital campaign. However, members of Generation X will quickly prove that mode of thinking wrong.

Those born from 1961 to 1981 prefer text messages and voice calls when it comes to communication. They also stay up-to-date with social media, and they regularly check their email. So, it's not surprising that email prompted nearly one-third of the online donations Generation X made, according to one survey.

In addition to this, nearly 60 percent of Generation X members say that an image or message on social media has inspired them to donate in the past. Since text-to-give campaigns are so easily sharable, this is yet another statistics to support their adoption.

The short call-to-action that comes along with a text-to-give campaign is easily to place on your church's social media channels and website. Members of the congregation can then spread the message quickly, easily calling for friends and family to donate too. This enables even more people to donate in addition to those who would visit and give in person.

Other Generations Are Also Adopting Digital Giving

Baby boomers are often thought of as old-fashioned, but statistics consistently demonstrate that, once they adopt technology, they are quick to catch on. That explains why boomers regularly use voice, text, and email to communicate.

They're also more likely to use apps and social media more than anyone else–just think of how often you see grandparents active online these days. They deeply enjoy using the internet as a means to stay in touch with family, friends, and their community. That means they will be responsive to donating through these methods too.

And the Greatest Generation is online too. Nearly one-third of donors who are 75 years of age or older say they have made an online donation in the past year. On average, this generation also gives 25 percent more often than younger generations.

The point is, digital giving isn't just something to think about for the younger members of your church. It is a form of giving that can touch every single generation within your congregation. This allows you to reach more people already partaking in your church, and even more people who aren't currently involved.

The purpose of text-to-give is not to fully depend on it. Your church shouldn't switch to 100 percent digital giving. The purpose of implementing a text-to-give software is to further diversify the channels through which your diverse congregation is able to give. That's why you should give your members the option to donate both in-person and digitally.

Implementing the Software

The numbers don't lie. With the implementation of the text-to-give software from NewFire Giving, you will see donations increase by at least 10 percent in the next six months. That is the promise we make to every church who comes to us seeking a way to increase engagement from their congregation.

With just one 30-minute discovery call, we will be able to go through your church's current donation outlook and identify the roadblocks that are hindering your church from getting the amount of support it should. We will then assess your church and see how it stacks up against the expectations of today's donors.

We are officially in the “new era” of giving. Is your church? Request a consultation with NewFire Giving today. We'll walk you through three steps that your church can take to immediately see a boost in the amount of donations you are receiving.

Ask yourself: What could one new donor do for your church? How about 10 or even 100? If you are currently seeing $50,000 in month donations, we could raise that amount by over $5,000 consistently, month after month. The new donations will quickly add up, enabling your church to reach more people and make a larger impact in the community. Click here to get started.

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5 Church Online Giving Statistics You Can't Ignore

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5 Church Online Giving Statistics You Can't Ignore

Before asking themselves “what's the best online giving for my church strategy,” most decision-makers in houses of worship wonder if it's even worth it. If you've never accepted online donations, you probably aren't sure how effective they can be. Ask any church leader who's gone this route, however, and they'll undoubtedly tout their effectiveness. Just look at the statistics to get an idea of the potential.

1. Willingness to Give Digitally

One of the most important statistics related to online donations is the fact that 60 percent of congregants are willing to give digitally. This is a huge number considering the ease with which you can use a church donation management program. Unfortunately, only 16 percent of churchgoers actually give electronically.

What's going on with this discrepancy? The fact is, many churches don't offer online donation options. Congregants want to give digitally, but many simply aren't given the ability to do so. By failing to offer this choice, churches are missing out on large sources of giving.

2. Donations Made with Cards

Utilizing a church giving app was once unheard of when it came to tithing and donations. Of course, this is because “apps” didn't even exist until very recently. Now that they do, however, a full 49 percent of all church giving transactions are done through a credit or debit card.

While there's no guarantee that you'll lose these donations by not accepting card payments, it's a pretty safe assumption that you're missing out. Only accepting funding the traditional way is certainly your right, but the best online giving options for your church will ensure you reach out to the nearly half of givers who use cards.

3. Preference of Most Engaged Congregants

We all know a few churchgoers who are CEO (“Christmas and Easter only”) attendees. On the opposite side of the coin, there are countless congregants who come in every time the doors are open and attend events throughout the week. The latter group is made up of those who are most likely to donate.

So, what do those individuals prefer? Research has shown that 80 percent of those who attend at least two activities or church groups a week prefer giving electronically. There's no doubt that many of these dutiful attendees with still give without the option, but why take the chance when we can cater to their preferences?

4. Tithing Has Gone Down

It's surprising just how long statistics have been kept on tithing throughout history. In fact, we know exactly what congregants were giving at least back to the Great Depression. Today, only 3.4 percent of churchgoers tithe the 10 percent that's set forth in the Bible. Back during the Great Depression, this number was 21 percent higher.

What can we learn from this? To start, we know it's not the economy. Even during the worst of the Depression, our grandparents were proportionally tithing more than we do now. Better yet, what does this have to do with the best online giving for your church?

It actually leads us right into our final statistic.

5. Increases Thanks to Online Tithing

So, how can we make up for the fact that fewer families are donating the biblical tithing amount? It all comes down to digital giving. Statistics show that overall donations increased by 32 percent in churches that started taking online donations.

There's no way to understate the absolute significance of this statistic. This means that an average church that took in $1,000 in donations weekly would see giving increase to $1,320. Regardless of your church's size and weekly giving amounts, this increase can help you do much more than you're currently capable of.

Find the Best Online Giving for Your Church

If there's one thing that comes close to being as certain as the words of the good book, it's that the truth is in the numbers. Surveys, research, and statistics consistently show that accepting online donations is the perfect way to increase tithing. If you're ready to find the best online giving tool for your church, give us a call today so you can focus on your mission instead of worrying about how to fund it.

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5 Mistakes Churches Make with Text to Give Campaigns

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Churches should make sure they're taking advantage of fundraising by utilizing text messaging. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and popularity of text messaging, text to give campaigns are particularly effective ways to reach members and ask for support.

By the end of 2019, more than 4.68 billion people across the globe will own mobile phones. On top of that, mobile users send more than 560 billion text messages every single month. If your church decides to use a text to give service, however, make sure you avoid a few common mistakes, including the following:

1. Omitting the Option to Make Recurring Gifts

Don't miss this opportunity: When you send a potential donor a message encouraging them to give, make sure you include an option to make the donation a recurring one. If they give once, there is a chance they may want to give to your organization again. Make this opportunity easier for them by giving them the option to make recurring gifts via text. Studies show that recurring donors are 440% more valuable than one-time donors, so don't pass up a chance to bring one in.

2. Capping Individual Donors' Donation Amounts

Some organizations also decide to cap donor amounts, which is a huge mistake. Choose a service that allows donors to give as much as they want. Capping donor amounts doesn't encourage people to give; it limits the amount of funds you can get. So, seek to ensure that your text to give campaign puts no limit on the amount that a person can give to your church via text message.

3. Failing to Offer a Next Step After People Give

Even if your donor doesn't want to become a recurring donor, they may want to become more involved in the church. Maybe they would like to volunteer their time or learn more about who you are and what you do. It is a mistake for your church to simply offer text to give campaigns that don't offer next steps or follow up. Instead of simply offering the chance to donate, consider offering more information, opportunities to become involved, or encouragement to step up and give their support to the congregation.

4. Using a Text to Give Service that Charges Big Fees

You will need to use a text to give service that allows you to text donors and then receives their funds. There are many options for these services, but you should avoid ones with high service fees. Some platforms can charge substantial fees, which end up totaling close to 10% of all of your donations received. This takes a huge chunk out of funds that were given to help your church and is a cost that you could ultimately avoid if you are able to find a text to give a platform that does not charge high fees.

5. Failing to Specify Where People Are Giving

You should be specific about fund utilization during your next text to give campaign. If there are different options for giving, make sure you specify what they are and how a person can select where they are donating. You may ask for donations for a specific fund that is going towards a purchase, cause, or to an annual operations fund. No matter what the reason, makes sure you stay transparent. People like to know how their money is being used, which makes them more willing to donate.

If your church is taking advantage of text to give campaigns but you've been having trouble raising money, the tips above may help. By implementing this advice, you can rest assured that you're reaching the right people at the right time in the right way. Your next text to give campaign should be a success for your congregation.

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NewFire Giving: Exciting Church Growth via Digital Giving

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NewFire Giving: Exciting Church Growth via Digital Giving

As a pastor, deacon, administrator, or leader in your church, you may have wondered how you can take the focus off giving in your church and direct the attention toward the missions and goals. We at NewFire Giving can show you how to dramatically increase the giving totals, and to decrease the need to focus so much time on raising funds.

Purpose

Offerings, tithes, and contributions are vital to a church. For one, it's a necessity. It enables you to pay the mortgage, utilities, maintenance, and salaries of the personnel. However, setting aside the necessary funds for the church to survive is just a small part of the equation. Tithes serve many purposes: funding ministries throughout your community; giving to missions; and providing a church that isn't just a building you attend one to three times a week, but one that is a church home, where members gather to fellowship, worship, grow in their faith, and have fun social gatherings. Yes, giving is vital to how a church grows and affects not only its members, but in essence, the community, state, and even the world.

Benefits of Digital Giving Technology

Adding digital giving technology as an option for giving is one of the best ways to increase your offerings each month. Many churches hesitate to incorporate this kind of giving software because it is confusing for members to use. A program that isn't used winds up being just another bill to pay. Fortunately, our system communicates with the members in a user-friendly way that helps them personally connect with the church's goals and missions. It educates your members about:

Why you should give: Many people can't attend church regularly due to their career, a debilitating sickness, family responsibilities, or other issues. This tends to make them feel guilty because they want to tithe regularly, but simply can't. Often the member will vow to add the missed offering to the next one they're able to give, but they forget, or can't fit it into the budget when they attend church again. Few people think about the fact that a missed offering isn't simply just a guilt trip for the member, it actually affects the church's livelihood and ongoing budget. Consistent giving is vitally important because the church bills have to be paid regularly. This is one of the greatest benefits of digital giving.

Being able to give digitally frees the member of any guilt because they can select the dates each month when the offering will automatically be withdrawn from their account. Then they can basically forget about that responsibility because they soon realize it will be withdrawn promptly and correctly on the dates they select, whether it's once a week, biweekly, or once a month.

How you should give:

The digital giving technology provides various ways for your church members to give. It makes the process so simple that it'll pay for itself by increasing the offerings over time. These ways include:

  • Online giving: The member visits your church website and sets up an automatic draft from their bank or brokerage account. They set the dates for an offering to be withdrawn each week, biweekly, or once a month. They can also give a one-time donation for a special event or fundraiser. The website is available 24/7 for your members or guests. They can give via their mobile phone or computer.
  • Text to give: Many of the younger members will appreciate the ability to give via their cell phone and your church's mobile app. This is a quick and easy way to pay tithes or special offerings with just a few clicks of the keypad.
  • Giving kiosks: You can set up giving kiosks throughout your church campus for convenient ways to give. You can also take the software on-the-go in order to collect donations at off-site fundraisers or special events. So few people carry cash these days, and this is a wise, safe, and convenient way to collect necessary funds.

The digital giving technology also expresses appreciation to the members for giving. This has a two-fold feature. It assures them that the giving occurs on time and provides them with a sense of peace and satisfaction knowing that they are following their religious convictions about giving. It also helps direct their attention to the ways that their giving benefits the church, community, nationally, and even globally. Once again, this helps them to connect personally to the church missions and goals.

Invest in the digital giving technology today so that your church members can donate consistently and easily. The software pays for itself rapidly once the members see how simple and convenient it is to use. Digital giving is truly a wonderful way to ensure that your church — and its members — can focus on their missions and other outreach efforts instead of concentrating their efforts on raising funds!

 

 

 

 

online giving

What Sites Support Online Giving for Churches?

By | Make HOW they give easy

The truth is, there are many resources available for churches or nonprofits seeking online giving software. There have been some great tools listed in the other answers and they are certainly worth looking into. However, unlike these other options, NewFire Giving offers more than just an easy way for church members to give, but also provides consulting and solutions for how to increase giving.

Now that you know what software is available, how do you know which is the best digital giving solution for your church?

The trends are constantly changing and it's difficult to know how best to keep up.

This article offers some great insight into 2019 trends in digital fundraising, highlighting some of the key factors for churches to consider this year in their search for online donation software.

What Are the Online Giving Trends for 2019?

According to charitable giving statistics collected last year, Americans gave $410 billion to charities in 2017, a 5% increase from the year before. So if giving is increasing, why are churches struggling to retain and gain donors? The article points out that despite this increase, Americans only give an average of 2.4% of their income. And 33-50% of church attendees don't give anything at all.

People are searching for a solution. In 2019, that means using a platform that offers relevant and personalized communication. Not everyone in your church has the ability to give to the same capacity. Meet them where they're at. Online donation software gives churches the ability to offer different giving categories, as well as customized communication that provides a personal connection to each congregant.

Remember the catchphrase, “There's an app for that”? Well, it still rings true. Using apps for church giving is another trend that isn't going away any time soon. Finding a digital giving software that provides the different trending options is important. That means finding a solution that offers the ability to give through apps and text-to-give, as well as giving kiosks (you know, kind of like an ATM where you give money instead of taking it).

Another trend is the ability to encourage recurring giving through digital software. Why is this significant? Our article on trends says, “churches typically rely heavily upon pledges to plan their budget for the coming year. Turning weekly giving and pledges into electronic recurring giving has significant benefits such as predictable funds and the ability to plan church operations accurately. Developing an active recurring donor base takes a commitment to technology combined with an engagement strategy that nurtures donors by keeping them connected to the church on a regular basis.”

Finally, my favorite trend of all is the ability to categorize giving. This allows pastors and church staff to quit focusing on basic overhead needs and put their attention on the mission of the church instead. By using software that allows churches to focus on a multitude of giving categories — or a specific category each week — church leaders are able to share the vision of the church and invite congregants to join in that vision.

To recap, if you're hoping to stay ahead of the trends in charitable giving this year and even see an increase in church tithes and donations, these are the key things to look for in your online donation software:

  • Personalized communication with congregants
  • A variety of digital solutions including apps, kiosks, and text-to-give
  • Solutions to boost recurring giving
  • Categorized giving
  • Resources to help you along the way

Finding the Best Online Giving Solution

Considering the digital giving trends for the year will definitely help you in your search for the best option for your church. Are you looking for a simple software solution? Are you working with a tight budget? These are all important questions to consider. However, the need spans beyond finding software that will simply help you receive donations. In order for the software to be effective, there also needs to be a strategy in place to encourage and inspire your congregation to use it.

How do you encourage your congregation to give more than the average 2.4% of their income? And then, how do you sustain the increase?

It is because of these questions that NewFire Giving provides more than just donation software. Unlike other online donation platforms available today, NewFire offers one-on-one consulting for church leaders, incredible customer support, and resources and technology designed to make giving last. You can even take advantage of a free assessment to help you gauge how your church can improve in the area of giving.

In 2017, millennials were the age group that donated most to charities, and 40% of those who donated are enrolled in a monthly giving program. Maybe it's time to meet the donors where they are, not just by providing easy, simple ways to give, but by also offering ways for church members to connect with the vision and mission that they are giving toward.

Whichever software you end up finding for your church, remember that giving requires more than just software. It also requires a solution. It's time to change the trend of giving in the church and see an increase in donations just as we've seen an increase in other charitable giving in the U.S. If you aren't sure where to start, check out these free resources

Vanco

Vanco Payment Solutions: Features, Pricing, Reviews, and Alternatives

By | Resources

Since 1990, church donations in the U.S. have been in decline.

As a result, missions are looking for new ways to increase contributions. In the smartphone era, many churches are looking online to engage with new members.

But is technology alone enough to make a difference?

Many online donation providers have entered the market in recent years. And churches have found that payment gateways can be effective — but they're a piece of a much larger puzzle. Vanco is a popular solution. Read on for more information.

Who Is Vanco Payment Solutions?

Vanco describes itself as a payment solutions provider for churches, nonprofits, and schools.

With a selection of payment gateways, Vanco enables churches to receive online donations. This includes website portals, mobile apps, text-to-give, and donation kiosks.

It's a simple premise: With more ways to reach members, there are more ways to receive donations.

A Vanco Payment Solutions Alternative – NewFire Giving

Receiving a donation requires much more than a payment gateway.

In fact, the donation itself is often the final step in a much longer process.

Payment gateways make the act of donating very easy.

But to increase donations, churches need to learn why people donate in the first place.

Every church does great work. And every church has a great mission. But this doesn't always translate into donations.

NewFire Giving has a different approach to church donations. They offer their own branded, flexible payment gateways — but that's only the first step.

NewFire works with churches to develop a complete donation strategy. With education and training, churches invest in their own financial security.

Package Comparisons – Vanco vs. NewFire Giving

Both Vanco and NewFire Giving offer online payment solutions. Churches can customize each format with their own branding.

  • Online forms are a simple website solution. Members can donate via computer or smartphone, no matter where they are. Donors can use debit, credit card, or direct bank transfer. Contributions can be one-off, or recurring payments.
  • Smartphone apps continue to grow in popularity, particularly with younger members. Users can make donations and save their details for future contributions.
  • Text-to-give allows instant donations via SMS. Text-to-give is fast, simple, and encourages first-time donors. It can also promote church-wide campaigns.
  • Giving kiosks are a physical donation solution in a modern format. Members make donations via tablet in a comfortable environment.

While offering similar products, there are differences between Vanco and NewFire.

Vanco's online payment forms are easy to embed, but can be difficult to use on mobile phones. Mobile use is now matching or exceeding desktop use. It's important that online forms are mobile-friendly.

NewFire Giving has a strong focus on desktop and mobile devices. Their online forms are simple, yet effective. Churches can also customize the forms to include specific funding targets.

From here, the difference between NewFire Giving and Vanco becomes more obvious. Vanco's main products are its payment gateways, whereas NewFire offers a vision of a long-term solution.

With their “Ignite” framework, NewFire works with churches to develop donation strategies. After an initial assessment, there's education, action plans, and coaching sessions.

NewFire's has designed its Ignite program to empower churches. They learn how to encourage donations — rather than ask for them.

What Does Vanco Cost?

Vanco offers several different pricing brackets. They vary depending on the size of the church, and the amount of donations received per month.

Their suggested plan is $49 per month. On top of this, the church pays a percentage from each transaction. Depending on the payment method, a $60 donation carries a fee between $0.83 and $2.45. For large churches, they offer custom pricing upon request.

Vanco's product range is simple and well-priced. They offer technical support, but no further coaching or strategy. This leaves churches on their own to create donation plans.

NewFire Giving's value offering is much more extensive. In addition to online payment solutions, the focus is on coaching and strategy.

NewFire's most common plan starts at $147 per month. This includes the payment gateways, as well as the Ignite coaching program. Churches receive education, training sessions, and a monthly Q&A strategy call.

When comparing Vanco and NewFire, it's clear that there are two value levels. Vanco's focus is on payment gateways, whereas NewFire delivers an entire framework.

For NewFire, payment gateways are the final step — not the solution.

Churches that want basic online payments may find Vanco to be a good fit.

For others, they may want a sustainable donation strategy. In this case, it may be worth looking into the NewFire program.

Vanco Payment Solutions – Reviews

Vanco's payment platforms have generally received fair-to-good online reviews.

As Frank Kehl from Merchant Maverick writes:

“…they're an excellent choice for churches, nonprofits, and professional services…”

But after a merger in 2018, several Vanco employees raised problems:

“The merger of Veracity and Vanco Payments is still going through some pains.”

“A lot of change is going on and sometimes it feels like they are leaving employees out of the loop on what is happening.”

“The company has had 3 CEOs in a year, along with 4 CIOs. No real direction.”

It seems that although Vanco has some good products, it faces some internal struggles. If they're unable to resolve these problems their future could be in jeopardy.

Vanco vs. NewFire Giving – Which Is Better?

Vanco provides a simple way for church members to make online donations. With website forms, apps, and text-to-give, they offer all the standard options. While the gateways are basic, some churches may find them limiting.

In the end, it's very hard to increase donations without a strategy.

NewFire Giving offers a more complete approach. And their focus on the process has the potential to yield much better results.

Rather than asking for more donations, churches can develop a long-term plan. Payment gateways are only effective if members have a desire to use them.

By understanding their own core values, churches can reach more followers. They can also meet — and exceed — fundraising targets.

If you're looking to develop a donation strategy, NewFire Giving can help. They offer free church giving assessments, to help you discover your donation potential.

Remember, you should focus on the mission — not funding it.

giving

What Does the Bible Have to Say on the Matter of Giving?

By | When they give | No Comments

Christians understand that we have the gift of eternal life because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. If we are to honor Him and follow His lead, we too should be sacrificial, generous, and giving. But where does God weigh-in on the matter? Here we look at several scriptures on giving that tell us exactly how God feels about it.

To the Church

The idea of giving back to God came about long before Moses and the Law. On his return from rescuing Lot, Abram gave a tenth of all the spoils to God in gratitude.

Genesis 14:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.

When we return a part of our increase to God, He promises to give us even greater returns. This is the single occasion where the Father gives us permission to test Him and it is the cornerstone verse of all the scriptures on giving.

Malachi 3:10 New Living Translation (NLT) “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”

To the Poor and Needy

Our Lord Jesus Christ is a staunch Defender of those who cannot fight against those who oppress them. He holds a special place for them in His heart. When we adhere to the principle He established in caring for those less fortunate than us, Jesus credits us with caring for Him.

Matthew 25:35-37, 40 New King James Version (NKJV)“…For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?' … And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

Could there be anything more precious to one who belongs to Christ than actually ministering to Him? Not likely. To bolster this concept, here are a few more passages about God's desire for us to take care of the needy among us:

Isaiah 58:10 New King James Version (NKJV)If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul,Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 1 John 3:17-18 New Living Translation (NLT) If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion–how can God's love be in that person? Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Proverbs 19:17 New King James Version (NKJV) He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.

To Missionaries

Just before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He gave His disciples what we have come to call The Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19 New King James Version (NKJV) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Those called to spread the Good News of Christ throughout the world have a difficult task. Not only must they learn how to teach a person who is ignorant of the Lord, some who are even overtly hostile, but they must also understand the culture of the peoples they will be visiting and the laws of the countries they will be entering.

To accomplish all this they need money. Very few people can fund their own excursions and God understands this quite well. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul on how he felt about the support he received on his trips. This passage is a clear example of scriptures on giving:

Philippians 4:14-18 New King James Version (NKJV) Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

Also, examine the instructions of Jesus Himself when he sent the seventy out to spread the Gospel:

Luke 10:4,7 New King James Version (NKJV) Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.

Getting the Message Across

Knowing the Scriptures is a vital component in understanding our Lord's desires, but equally important is imparting this to the flock. Here are a few ideas to bring the scripture-based giving message home to the congregation.

Tithing: Propose a challenge to the church. Ask the members to commit to a period of time to regularly tithe, three months or six months perhaps, and experience the blessings themselves. Some may need counseling to accomplish this; it's not an instantaneous happening and some people will need coaching to get past the inevitable bumps in the road.

Caring for the Needy: Put on a skit with someone serving Jesus on one side of the stage, with people serving the poor on the other side. Mimic the actions of those giving food and drink to the poor with those serving Jesus.

Missionaries: The tried-and-true method is bringing those in the field into the church to speak. As they see the difference missionaries make in the lives of people in need, the knowledge that their money is well spent will encourage future giving.

Asking for money can be awkward for both parties. However, a solid understanding of scriptures on giving paired with effective communication will go a long way towards easing the discomfort. If you're looking for more great ideas on how to talk to your congregation about giving, give us a call, we'll be happy to help.

PushPay

NewFire Giving vs. PushPay: What's the Difference?

By | Resources | No Comments
NewFire Giving and PushPay are two similar software programs, each of which help increase donations. No matter what denomination it may be, every church needs funding to grow and thrive. Donations and contributions from members and supporters are necessary in order to maintain funding for your organization. This way, you can give back to your community and help expand the reach of your organization.

In this day and age, people may want to give but they sometimes find it challenging to do so. In order to avoid further impeding the process, the goal is to make donating quick, easy, and secure. That’s where services like NewFire Giving and PushPay come in. Each platform can help facilitate donations. But how do these two services compare? And which one is right for your growing church?

PushPay

What Is NewFire Giving?

An innovative source for church-related mission funding is here. NewFire Giving provides forward-thinking methods to contribute to church missions. The company offers online donations, as well as a convenient text-to-give option. Mobile-friendly services are a crucial part of the way our world now functions. This highly convenient text option allows members and supporters to give at their discretion, in seconds. This is a function that can drastically and instantly boost your donation rate.

Presently, more than 2,300 churches use digital giving services from NewFire Giving. Every day, more people get to know the benefits offered by this particular platform. This platform provides users with the tools and abilities to boost contributions and also educates users on how to optimize its functionality. The program is intensely focused on uncovering the best methods to increase funding. This, in turn, allows church leaders to stay focused on the mission. Thus, this takes a lot of pressure off the pastor and ministry leaders with regards to raising and securing the funds necessary for daily operations.

With NewFire Giving, churches get the platform they need to spread their message and find funding immediately.

Pushpay

What Are the Advantages of NewFire Giving?

One key feature of NewFire Giving is the self-assessment quiz. The website allows you to complete a self-assessment of your church, which helps determine what the needs of your church are. That way you can get personalized software that can help maximize the funding received for your organization, rather than using generic programs that may have unnecessary, confusing features.

Another amazing benefit of using NewFire Giving is that it offers educational opportunities to all users. Learning new software programs can be a challenge. Also, coming up with strategies to help grow your church and encourage more donations can be a downright daunting task. NewFire Giving offers personalized coaching to help you navigate the software in order to maximize the program and easily expand your church. They also offer online resources for you to educate yourself so you can integrate a strategy to boost donations and contributions. Plus, you can count on your members’ security, as this platform protects privacy while simplifying the donations process.

With “industry-leading technology,” NewFire Giving also focuses on the three C's of stewardship: Clarify, Communicate, and Celebrate. The program is straightforward and easy to learn, and there are tons of resources to help you understand every element of how the platform works. The idea of communication focuses on simplifying the use of this platform among your congregation members and workers. This will allow you to continue to focus on donation growth so you can keep spreading the word about your mission and celebrate your congregation’s milestones.

What Is PushPay?

PushPay is a tech platform that helps churches fundraise. On this platform, you can state your mission and detail exactly what you need to achieve it. Then, donors can give what they want based on the easy-pay feature.PushPay is a mobile giving and engagement center.

The donation software offers a custom app. It includes finance tools and donor tools for those in the faith sector. It is also useful for education providers and nonprofit organizations. It is available in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United States. One of the most popular features of PushPay is the ability for donors to choose how often they want to give. They can set up regular monthly, bimonthly, biweekly, or weekly donations.

What Are the Advantages of PushPay?

PushPay is a mobile-friendly platform and allows users to choose their own preferred donation amounts. However, it will take some time to brush up on the program itself and learn to use it to its maximum potential.

The software is a little more complex, but that’s because it also offers other tools for collecting statistics and tracking income. The PushPay app is also customizable, but that comes at a cost. The program is available in different package levels. Each one will cost slightly more than the level before it, but offers more features. To obtain a direct quote, you have to communicate with a member of the PushPay team to discuss which options suit your budget and your needs.

 

Should I Choose NewFire Giving or PushPay?

Before you can make a decision, you’ll have to evaluate the differences between NewFire Giving and PushPay. Which advantages matter most to you and your church’s growing needs?

One of the most significant differentiating factors between the two is that NewFire Giving offers practical education for users. In other words, it provides online resources and personalized coaching designed for pastors, along with their ministries, who have a stagnant or declining budget, and teaches them how to reverse this decline. It also allows for ease of communication among members to help build a solid community. PushPay’s main advantage is that it is customizable, but that comes at a higher cost.

In the end, you’ll have to choose the software program that is best for the needs of your church. The bottom line is all churches need to build a strong community that supports their growth. As churches grow, they can continue to give back and focus on their respective missions. Your software program should be simple, secure, and focused. Although NewFire Giving may be newer, it has several important key advantages that could help make a major difference in the growing needs of your church and its members.

Church Accounting Software

Church Accounting Software May Be Incomplete Without a Giving Solution

By | Alternatives | 2 Comments

Churches hold a special responsibility that is different from a business. Houses of faith are dedicated to a mission. They also rely on donations entrusted to the church to support its good works. On paper, it may appear that business accounting software works just as well for non-profits. In the case of churches, it falls short.

Business software solutions do not take into account the extraordinary importance of fundraising. They also do not include features that are central to many church activities, from running a thrift shop to sponsoring overseas missions.

For these reasons, church leaders should take care to choose an appropriate accounting program. Donor funds form part of a sacred trust. Therefore, a stand-alone tool to optimize the fundraising process is ideal.

We're here to help you find the right program. First we'll review some unique aspects of church accounting. Then we'll devote time to giving software and why it's essential. Finally, we'll review some accounting programs that may work well for your congregation. With these facts, you can choose the right financial tools for your church.

Church Accounting Software

Why Use Accounting Software?

Churches may not focus on making a profit, but they have to monitor cash flow. Every activity of the church is a commitment to the community. Without detailed accounting, it is a challenge to develop five- or 10-year plans — or even an annual budget. That leads to ineffective programs, since leaders cannot roll out plans of action beyond meeting short-term goals.

In addition, a church is a legal entity. It may have to show its books to authorities from time to time. Lastly, donor funds are given in good faith. Diligent accounting methods give congregants the peace of mind that their money is used appropriately.

Dealing With the IRS

Charitable organizations like churches and other religious establishments are not required to file income tax returns. This may lead some to think they do not have to worry about the IRS at all.

However, although churches are exempt from filing even an annual information return, it is just good practice to keep information on file. That way, if the exempt status is ever questioned, church leaders have paperwork to show.

Managing Church Assets

Like all organizations, churches have to keep the lights on. They have bills to pay for their core operations and special programs. Some churches may have capital assets or long-term debt.

By paying close attention to the books, churches can keep their books in the black. Knowing how much money they have can make it easier to get financing for renovations or repairs.

Church Accounting Software

How Do I Choose the Right Church Accounting Software?

In many ways, therefore, the accounting needs of a church are similar to a business. You need to know how much you owe. You need to know how much you have in cash and assets. You need to have a long-term plan to support your work and the people who do it on your behalf.

You also need to pay special attention to giving. In many ways, the overall budget and donor management work together. You can't pay the electric bill if no one donates to the church. At the same time, many churches rely simply on goodwill to get enough money coming in.

The right technology can help them to expand their capacity to accept donations. Some providers, like NewFire Giving, also provide education on how to handle fundraising. This, in addition to a full-suite software program, can help you to manage your budget and engage with your giving community.

Giving Software: NewFire Giving

What is NewFire Giving?

Our goal is to help your church track donations and increase giving opportunities. At NewFire Giving, we want to help you engage your community. NewFire Giving believes in simplifying the process through modern, digital tools. That way, church leaders can focus on their mission rather than on how to increase funding.

NewFire Giving offers a few ways for you to make your fundraising better. Our software helps you to receive payments through a variety of methods, including online, text message, smartphone app, and on-site kiosk. But what makes us different is our coaching program. Together we work to help you improve your fundraising methods. That's all while staying true to your personal ethics.

Church accounting software does not focus on fundraising. In fact, donations are just one feature of many. It's hard to overstate the importance of donor management, so this software is insufficient. Church leaders may want to use NewFire, along with a program from the list below.

Accounting software

Church Accounting Software: Aplos

What is Aplos?

The Aplos Accounting program is for churches and non-profit organizations. Aplos offers “True Fund Accounting.” According to the company, you can “easily track designated funds, such as your missions fund or building fund, to demonstrate to your members that you are stewarding your gifts well.”

Demonstrating strong stewardship is essential for churches. This kind of data and reporting increases donor confidence.

The software includes payroll functionality, as well as tracking of housing allowances and tax remittances through an integrated system called Gusto. Aplos has a number of data tracking programs which may have a significant learning curve.

Aplos Customer Reviews

According to G2Crowd reviews, most users like the Aplos software. However, some users say the system has several bugs. Developers continue to add new features to the software, before fixing the existing bugs. Some have reported problems with bank reconciliation and challenges with report exports.

Church Accounting Software

Church Accounting Software: Church Windows Software

What is Church Windows Software?

Church Windows Software is ideal for beginner accountants and bookkeepers. It is a basic approach to accounting. Ideally, this software works best for small organizations. With Church Windows you can take advantage of several useful tools.

For example, the software tracks expenses and tax payments. You can compare budgets to preceding years and track running balances. Church Windows boasts “incredibly flexible reporting.”

This software does also have the capacity to track donations. It is limited, however, in that this aspect is embedded as part of the larger accounting functions.

Church Windows Customer Reviews

Some features are too complicated for users. G2Crowd reviews list some benefits, like affordability and donation tracking. Nonetheless, it may fail to be user-friendly. The company does offer customer support, but the product does not have the ease-of-use that most church leaders might seek in an accounting program.

Church Accounting Software: FlockBase Church Software

What is FlockBase?

The FlockBase Church Accounting Software system markets itself as “user-friendly church software.” This program aims to help beginners sift through the legal jargon. It also makes for simple and easy tracking of finances. One of the stated complications of church accounting is “fund accounting,” which FlockBase tries to avoid.

The goal is to simplify your day-to-day expense monitoring. FlockBase can help users extract reports for external documents and internal use. FlockBase is for small churches at present, but may have increased functionality in the future. FlockBase is church accounting software developed for your unique financial tracking demands.

FlockBase Customer Reviews

On G2crowd.com, the software system doesn't have many reviews. The only reviewer says the product is user-friendly but its appearance and interface is lacking. For church leaders in search of a simple accounting solution that works alongside a sophisticated donation solution like NewFire Giving, FlockBase may work well.

Church Accounting Software: FellowshipOne

What is FellowshipOne?

The FellowshipOne church accounting software system focuses on integration for proper financial tracking. The website reads, “Partnering with a financial software solution specifically designed for churches allows your church leadership to better align ministry goals with data and financial insight.”

The goal of this church accounting software is to help your church grow. It does this by ensuring you are on solid financial footing, without the unknowns that arise when accounting is incomplete.

FellowshipOne aims to connect all the important factors of your non-profit into one. Their true fund accounting is for non-profit organizations. You can take advantage of customer support programs, or you can speak to a software specialist.

If you want to consider FellowshipOne, you can discuss your needs with a specialist who can help you find the right plan.

FellowshipOne Customer Reviews

FellowshipOne has an average customer rating on G2Crowd.com. Most users cite the ability to track all the information in one place as the main benefit. Some users say the software is not as advanced as it should be, given the current market. Some noted when using the program that changes could take up to 24 hours to take effect.

Church Accounting Software: CDM+

What is CDM+?

This church accounting software is flexible. CDM+ is available in a cloud-based version or a desktop version. This program allows for online and mobile donations. It also works for fund accounting, contributions and donations. It's ideal for small- to medium-sized churches.

CDM+ Customer Reviews

G2Crowd reviewers say the product is a simple one, but some users question its overall value compared to the cost. Its growth potential may be limited. This means users may need new software as the congregation expands. Some users may be able to make the software work for their needs. There may not be a large-scale functionality, however.

Pair NewFire Giving With Your New Church Accounting Software

Before committing to any church accounting software system, make a list of your church's needs. Given your church's size, number of assets, and plans for local and international programs, you may want an accounting program that is streamlined or more in-depth.

At the top of that list, you'll probably include fundraising. While no one wants to take time away from the mission to focus on fundraising, this is a critical component to your church's growth. With NewFire Giving, you can keep your focus where it belongs: on the mission.

Any accounting program is best paired with NewFire Giving's comprehensive donor platform. Users benefit from the latest in giving technology, automated messaging through email and letter support, as well as one-on-one coaching. That way, church leaders can focus on the work of the church. A stronger donation program can take care of itself, keeping the church on a stable financial base.

Visit our website today to book a call at a time that is convenient for you. A specialist can guide you through the process. We can offer advice and support to help you navigate the tools most useful to your church's needs.

ACS Church Software vs. NewFire Giving: Which Best Contributes to Your Church Success?

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Service organizations face a struggle between their core mission and raising funds to support that mission. Ideally, fundraising is a modest strain on church resources. The congregation should spend its energy putting its values into practice. The reality is that church donations are down, even as overall charitable giving is up.

The solution is new technology developed to help churches optimize the giving process. This is a new idea for many congregations but welcomed by leaders who see its massive potential. For many, the choice is between two software solutions: ACS Church Software and NewFire Giving.

A side-by-side comparison of these solutions can help you to assess what's right for your church. Technology can make it easy for people to give. New tools help churches reach a younger, tech-friendly audience. With the right support, you can better assess your fundraising goals. Ultimately, you focus on the mission and not the fundraising.

ACS Church SoftwareNewFire Giving Software

What is NewFire Giving?

NewFire Giving offers digitized options for giving. Many non-profits fall behind for-profit commerce by failing to stay up-to-date with new payment methods. Churches are no different. By bringing them into the world of modern commerce, NewFire removes a barrier to giving. This makes it easier to accept spontaneous, one-time, and even recurring donations.

The solution also supports giving through a comprehensive educational program. With these lessons, church leaders learn how to make the giving process more efficient. This is particularly meaningful for people who are not used to donor development and need extra guidance.

In addition, NewFire Giving's IGNITE framework automates messaging. Church staff stays in contact with congregants without taking too much time away from the essential day-to-day workings of the church. Electronic communications such as emails are quicker and easier to dispatch.

The team behind NewFire has been in the church giving space for close to 15 years. Our data demonstrate a strong track record of success. Using our tools, you can increase your recurring giving rate by as much as 39 percent. We believe this so strongly that the program comes with a guarantee of a two-fold increase in digital giving.

Digital Giving Innovations

Traditional giving methods are lost on modern consumers. In the past, congregants might put cash or checks into a donation envelope. Now, there's less cash and paper money than ever before. People pay online for goods and need digital options to give to their church.

NewFire Giving makes this transition easier on churches. The software enables online giving. There is also a smartphone app to facilitate one-tap donations. Text-to-give capability means a donation can happen through a quick text message. Texting is the method for giving that young congregants prefer more than any other.

There's even the option to put a giving kiosk in your church. That way, your community can support missions and events on the spot. At NewFire, we good-naturedly term these kiosks “ATMs for Jesus.” They facilitate the work you do as a church body.

One-on-One Coaching

NewFire goes a step beyond technical support by offering an education program and direct coaching. The modules help you rethink the giving process. You can feel more at ease with taking a new direction with your church fundraising, lifting up the organization without sacrificing your values.

Once a month, users of NewFire Giving have communication with a giving coach who can provide more assistance. Overall, the platform has built-in components that make sure no client is left on their own to figure it out. We know giving is a challenge for many congregations. NewFire is dedicated to making it easier.

Communication Tools

As part of NewFire's IGNITE framework, church leaders can make their communication easier. Tools include letters, emails, postcards and sermon notes, to inspire and engage your community.

Who is NewFire Giving Ideal For?

Because of its modern interface and a wide range of tools, NewFire may be a great fit for your church. The education modules and coaching support may especially help churches that want to revitalize their giving. Being able to reach out to younger congregants means it's easier to spread the message. It's also easier for them to support your cause with digital donation tools.

What Does NewFire Giving Cost?

NewFire Giving offers several packages, tailored to the needs of your specific church. Options include giving software and IGNITE coaching as one comprehensive solution. Some customers choose to receive just the stand-alone coaching program. This coaching-only package is ideal for people who want help building their church's resources, but do not necessarily benefit from new software.

Ultimately, we aim to create a package that meets your needs. We'll work with you to find what fits your budget and gives you the tools you need to grow.

ACH softwareACS Church Software

What is ACS Church Software?

ACS Church Software is an all-in-one package that focuses on the entirety of church administration. It focuses less specifically on giving. The software, marketed under the name “Realm,” helps staff track attendance, plan events, accept donations and handle all aspects of accounting. Depending on the plan you choose, ACS can provide a way for congregants to communicate with the church through event details and notifications. It is available in a cloud-based or a desktop-installed version.

Among the features of ACS Church Software is a customizable workflow. This helps leaders to develop pathways for specific activities and monitor progress. There is an option for a mobile app for use by the network. Here members can check in, communicate, or post news. Church leaders can track donor history and other essential information.

Who Is ACS Church Software For?

ACS Church Software may be described as a management tool. It is a software solution for churches who want to have everything they need in one place. The software does not focus on bolstering fundraising or giving campaigns. Instead, its main goal is to make the back office more efficient.

ACS has three plans: Inform, Connect, and Multiply. The first is designed for church staff; the second for the staff and congregants; and the third for mega-churches that exist over several campuses. In all plans, the software is best suited for leaders who want an all-in-one solution that does not necessarily prioritize the optimization of fundraising campaigns.

It also may help organizations that have a lot of people they need to contact. Church is about community. In large numbers, leaders may need technology to make sure the right information gets out.

What Does ACS Church Software Cost?

ACS Church Software does not have precise cost information on its website. It does say that for all three packages, price depends on the number of attendees. One can presume therefore that larger churches pay more for the service.

Although there are three plans, one can get the most out of ACS by choosing the largest plan, Multiply. Multiply includes all the features of Connect and Inform. Connect includes all the features of Inform.

What Are Clients Saying About ACS Church Software?

ACS has strong aggregate reviews on SoftwareAdvice.com. Many users praised the completeness of the software, offering everything one needs to run a church. However, some users noted features are not intuitive or easy to use. Reporting features may take some time to learn and it may be hard to search within reports. In addition, the cloud version of the software may have outdated functionality.

What to Do Next?

Each church is a unique community. All do have some common needs. Donations are essential to keep the doors open. It is also important to connect with congregants so the organization is a living and breathing home for people of faith. NewFire Giving and ACS Church Software both aim to help churches in their mission.

Only NewFire, however, has a singular focus on optimizing giving campaigns. This is so church leaders can focus on what's really important to the church body. In order to do this most effectively, some leaders need mentorship. That is why the coaching and education part of NewFire may set it apart from a software application like ACS.

Perhaps the best way to decide what solution is right is to contact NewFire. Visit us online today to schedule a call with an expert who can help you work out the best solution for your congregation. Together we can help you build a community that's living its commitment to faith.

How Transparency Encourages Giving

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People love to give, especially when their gift or donation impacts their community and the world around them. This hasn't always been the case: Giving USA publishes an annual insight into the world of charitable donations and giving within the church has declined rapidly since the '90s. This past year, however, there has been an uptick in religious giving.

This is great news for your congregation, but the question remains: How do you improve on this uptrend in giving? The answer is largely found in transparency.

Transparency breeds trust and trust is essential when you are asking for money–be it tithes, offerings, or a one-time gift. In fact, the Millennial Impact Report indicates that the generation now stepping into adulthood is less likely to give to organizations that lack transparency and accountability.

How do you become transparent with your congregation? Think of it this way: When you share your story–or testimony–with someone else, your vulnerability invites trust and connection. The same is true when you share the story or mission of the church.

Opening up about money–how it is being used and where it is most needed–builds trust between you, your staff, and your church members. It gives congregations an opportunity to be part of the story of growth, financial blessing, and increase in the church and community.

Here are three simple ways to encourage giving through transparency within your congregation.

Categorize Donations

Rather than letting your church members assume their tithes all land in one big pot, give them an opportunity to see the budget categories every time they give. NewFire's church donation management software allows for an unlimited number of giving categories. Showing different categories for online giving lets you encourage giving to a specific area. It also means your church members can see how money is dispersed every time they open your church giving app.

Create a Monthly Focus

Whether your congregation meets once a week or once a month, you can help create an expectation of giving by taking one gathering a month (or quarter) to focus on a specific need within the church or community. Take a week to focus on missions or another to emphasize community outreach. If your goal is to get new seating for the sanctuary, share that with your congregation and add it as a category in your donation software. Let your church join in the fun of accomplishing that goal together.

Talk Openly About Money

While talking about money may be one of the more difficult topics, it is also the area in which transparency is most essential. People love to know that they are having an impact. Talking about how their monetary gifts impact the church is a great place to start. Your openness about building, salary, and property needs can change the way your church members view their tithes and offerings–for the better.

Transparency may look different for each church or congregation, but the goal is still the same: to let people know that the money they give is making a difference. Bring your church along for the ride. Let them be part of the journey of giving and share in the joy of impacting their church, their community, and other communities around the globe.

Learn more about NewFire Giving's digital giving software or how to increase financial giving in your church when you apply IGNITE, the Church Giving Framework. Check out our complimentary course here.

How to Motivate Increased Giving Without Begging

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How to Motivate Increased Giving Without Begging

Stewardship week. The week that pastors and congregants dread the most throughout the whole year. But alas, a necessary evil. At least that's the way it feels sometimes. If you do NOT look forward to standing up in front of the church and explaining how you need money for basic needs, as well as all the extras everyone wants, you are not alone. If you feel like a beggar on the street or a Salvation Army bell ringer, you've come to the right place.

The good news (no, not THE Good News!) is that there's help available. With a little knowledge and a new plan of attack, you CAN increase the level of parishioner giving without the need to stand at the door, hat in hand.

A Little Background

In order to improve the current state of giving at your church, it's helpful to know some of the statistics about who, when, why, and how people give to charities. The following facts are from Nonprofits Source, a company specializing in digital marketing for nonprofit organizations. They give an insight into the giving patterns of different groups of people.

  • 49% of givers use a debit or credit card
  • Only 5% of American churchgoers tithe
  • 80% of Americans give 2% or less of their income
  • Receiving tithes online increases donations up to 32%
  • 37% of regular church attendees and Evangelicals give nothing
  • The average adult gives $17 per week
  • 30% of annual charitable giving happens in December, with 10% in the last three days

By making use of this information, you can start to target your stewardship campaigns to those who give nothing or those who don't tithe.

Know Your Target Audience

Not only do you need to know basic statistics about giving, but you also need a little more specific information on the giving habits of people in different age groups. This can help you analyze your own congregation and target each group accordingly. For example, Millennials tend to respond to texts and social media but not emails, whereas Baby Boomers are regular email readers and will respond to emails more than social media requests. Knowledge like this can help you fine-tune your tactics.

What Motivates People to Give

Another thing that you need to know about your congregants is what motivates them to give. If you're going to tap into that 37% of people that give nothing, you have to know what's important to them. Is it missions? Maybe they have a heart for Community Outreach? Do they have children that need kids ministry or daycare? What they probably aren't concerned with is the state of the sanctuary roof or the cracks in the driveway (until they hit a pothole, that is).

These are necessary line items in the church budget, but they aren't too exciting. Let's face it, the most charismatic preacher is going to have a hard time selling the everyday nuts and bolts of the church budget to a congregation.

When you plan your message on giving, focus on the things that your worshippers are passionate about. You can, (and should) tie the ends together by talking about how supporting the local church makes these other programs possible.

Make Giving Easier

Technology is the key to making it easier for people to donate. Donation software and apps simplify the giving process as opposed to giving through the church website, which often requires several steps. According to research, 40-49% of people, across all age groups, are enrolled in a recurring giving program, where money is taken out of their account monthly to support an organization. What would it mean to your bottom line if you could get your tithers to do this? If it's that easy, you can recruit more tithers as well.

Text-to-Give apps are popular with every generation because they can use their smartphone to donate quickly. This means that as their hearts are moved by a testimony or a special need, they can give right away instead of waiting when they might forget. Striking while the iron is hot, so to speak. It's also effective because they don't see the money leaving a bank account immediately, making them more likely to give more.

The Bottom Line

The keys to increased donations are knowledge, proper motivation, and easier giving. If you can master all three of these, you'll be well on your way to a stewardship message you can look forward to.

church offering

Interesting Ways to Bring Your Church Into the 21st Century

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If you want your church to be as fruitful as possible, you need to ensure that your congregation is as strong is it can be. Many churches work in a traditional fashion, which does not typically fit the needs of today's congregations as well as it did years ago. In order to bring your church into the 21st century, you need to be willing to think outside of the box and try new things. The following guide provides a few ideas your church could implement to make it more appealing to the younger generation.

Don't Waste Money on Useless Technology

There are many different apps being marketed as new and interesting ways to help churches grow and thrive. Some of the apps can seem more beneficial than they really are. Most church offering apps do menial tasks that can be accomplished with standard computer programs. Using simple spreadsheets and a database will cost a lot less money and accomplish the same end results for your church. Using in-house technology can also decrease the chances of your congregation's private information from being hacked or leaked unexpectedly because many apps can be hacked from time to time.

Church offeringUse Social Media to Reach the Congregation

It's important to recognize that not everyone wants to be on an email list or call list for their church, no matter how much they may love the institution. Most people have very busy lives. Using social media to post information for the congregation ensures that everyone on your list can easily access the information you want to share and that you don't have to worry about them losing it along the way. It's important to spread your message across all forms of social media because not everyone subscribes to every form of social media that is available.

Church offeringsLive Stream Sermons

Things come up from time to time that makes it difficult for people to get to church, but you can live stream your sermons. Live streaming sermons allow people to take part in church without being physically present. Facebook Live is a great option for those who have to travel a lot for business, are homebound or simply don't have a way to get to and from church.

Hold Services on Varying Days

While church is traditionally held on Sunday mornings, you should not be afraid to offer more options for people if your church can make it happen. Holding church one night during the week will enable people who have to work on Sundays to still be fed spiritually even though they have to work on the Sabbath.

If you are wondering about any other changes that you can make at the church to ensure it as beneficial for your community as possible, consider adding a suggestion box somewhere in the building. There are many times when members of congregations see great things that other churches have done or are doing, and they may be able to provide you with new and interesting ideas that you can incorporate into your church. Churches need to be fluid and ever-changing to ensure that they can still preach the word while still adjusting to the changes that occur throughout the world and day-to-day life.

How Modern Churches Use Technology to Increase Donations

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All over the world, organizations are using technology to increase revenue. Your church should be no different.

Over the last 30 years, donations to charitable organizations have steadily increased. Unfortunately, donations to churches have decreased during the same period.

Not only are many churches struggling to meet their missionary goals — they're spending valuable time and effort simply trying to stay afloat.

We have our own mission to turn this trend around, and we'd like to share this with you today.

online donationsDigital Giving and the Age of Online Donations

All churches receive donations. Very few have a donation strategy.

Most churches still rely on traditional methods to receive member donations. These often comprise of a humble donation plate, envelope mail-outs, and an old wooden offering box sitting at the back of the church. Sometimes these methods still prove to be effective. But often they can't meet the funding targets churches need to achieve to complete their missionary goals.

In order to modernize their member interaction — as well as increase donation revenues — many churches are moving over to digital donations. This not only removes many of the barriers associated with giving to your church, but it engages a new generation in a more user-friendly, high-tech format.

The act of digital giving is fast, secure and reliable. With an effective message and donation strategy, it can increase both the amount and frequency of member contributions, as well as build a stronger church community.

The most common methods of digital giving take four forms:

Online Giving

The days of mailing a check are all but forgotten, and yet this is still the method many churches rely on to receive donations.

With an online giving platform, members can set up a digital profile on any computer, phone or tablet. With this profile, they can set up a direct debit subscription and make easy donations at a frequency of their choosing.

This completely avoids the “I'll do it next week” syndrome associated with traditional envelope postage and speeds up the entire giving process. Churches receive member donations directly into their nominated bank account and remove the uncertain nature of the postal system.

Many people already use online platforms to pay bills, transfer money and renew subscriptions, so using this same method to donate to their church is a natural and logical progression.

Text-to-give

Especially popular with millennials, this method makes donating to your church as easy as sending a short text message. Text-to-give allows members to donate any amount in a few seconds, using a standard text message format.

This is particularly effective to encourage one-time donations or promote special church-wide campaigns. The simplicity and ease of the text-to-give format makes donating back to the church simpler and faster than ever before.

Donation via App

Mobile apps are one of the most effective ways to receive donations. They also allow people to donate any amount, any time, from any location. NewFire giving provides our customers with the ‘SecureGive' software platform, allowing church members to give regardless of where they are – in church or on the go. The SecureGive app also allows recurring donations, as well as providing users with access to their complete donation history.

Mobile app use is increasing every year, and having a professional donation app available to your members plays a key role in modernizing your church for the current day.

In addition, SecureGive is the only church donation software platform which allows members to make donations via Apple Pay.

Giving Kiosks

Still the preference of many churchgoers, giving kiosks take the traditional in-person donation format and update it for the modern era.

Via a touchscreen tablet, members can quickly log in and make a donation via their credit card. Fast, secure and anonymous, average donations made via giving kiosks are generally higher than those from mobile devices.

Many members still prefer to donate to their church on the premises, and giving kiosks provide a welcome and hands-on method to give back to their local mission.

Technology Alone Isn't Enough

Having all of the newest technology won't guarantee that your funding goals will be met. You also need an effective strategy to engage your members and give them a genuine reason to give back.

Through IGNITE, the church giving framework, you'll see how to develop an action plan which will increase your donations and allow you to meet — and exceed — your missionary funding targets.

With a combination of coaching, development of new strategies and best-in-class software, your church will develop a sustainable donation model to ensure your long-term success.

Featuring 12 modules, the Ignite Giving Framework provides education in areas such as:

  • Understanding why someone would give to your church
  • How to tell the story of your church's mission in a compelling way
  • How to remove the barriers that prevent people from donating
  • How to thank your givers and keep them informed
  • How to help your givers succeed
  • How to prep your givers for economic downturns

A successful mission should be built from the ground up. Your members should truly believe in what you do, what they can achieve as individuals, and that they're part of something special.

For us, helping churches to find success makes our own mission worthwhile. Over the years we've seen some amazing results, and we love to hear feedback from our missionary partners:

NewFire Giving's framework for giving has increased our giving by 20% every year for the last 6 years.” — Kevin Lloyd, Executive Pastor, Leadbravely.org

Combining expert training with world-leading donation software, you'll have all of the tools you need to focus on growing your mission — not just funding it.

online givingHow Struggling Churches Are Learning From the Best

Regardless of who you are or what you do, you can always learn from successful peers. All churches want to succeed, but some are far more effective in funding their missions than others. In the age when church donations are on the decline, it's more important than ever to learn the strategies of successful churches and ensure that your giving model is secure and sustainable.

As part of our free Church Giving Assessment, you'll complete a simple online course that allows you to analyze your current donation strategies and see how these compare to the most successful missions.

You'll learn how successful churches turn one-time givers into regular donors. You'll learn how the best missions effectively communicate their message in person, on social media and via interactive software. Perhaps most importantly, you'll learn how to better understand what it is that you do and how to best convey this message to your followers. This will build better relationships, a stronger church community, and provide the ongoing funding you need to make your mission a great success.

At NewFire Giving we're excited to say we've already worked with over 5,000 churches to do exactly this. We have years of experience coaching and educating missions all over the country. Together, we can help to spread God's word and ensure your church can achieve more than you ever thought possible.

About NewFire Giving

With over 2,300+ churches equipped with digital giving and after consulting with over 5,000+ churches on strategies to increase giving numbers, NewFire Giving is a leader in helping churches counter the church giving epidemic.

We help churches dramatically improve giving numbers while reducing their need to focus all their time on raising funds. The end result is that the church can focus on the mission, instead of focusing on funds to accomplish the mission.

We offer a free church donation course which is designed to counter the church giving epidemic.

Within the course you'll receive:

  • A free church giving assessment, which compares your mission against benchmark churches. You'll see what you're doing right and in which areas you can improve.
  • A free church giving makeover, which will teach you the methods and tactics used by successful churches to increase their donations year after year. There are nine modules containing simple, step-by-step instructions.
  • A free “battle plan” which gives you a church giving blueprint and actions you can take over the next six months to make your mission successful and sustainable.

Take your free 30-minute online assessment.

We believe that every church has a unique contribution and a genuine reason to be funded. That's why we work with churches to find their voice and grow closer to their members. Through stronger relationships with givers, churches can increase donations and spend more time focusing on their mission, rather than on fundraising efforts.

For more information on how we can improve the donations of your church, get in touch.

text to give

Text-to-Give: Giving Needs to Keep Up With the Times

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Stewardship. Tithing. Budgets. Money is a necessary part of ministry. Without it, the church can't function locally or globally. It all starts with the local church congregation.

However, money is one topic no one likes to talk about. Sermons on giving aren't fun to write or to give and certainly not to listen to, at least not too often. They can make your congregants feel motivated, or they can have the opposite effect and have them leaving with the “they're always asking for money” attitude. It's a fine line for sure when you're writing that sermon.

So how do you make the conversation, and the act of giving, easier on your parishioners? The answer could be as close as your smartphone.

Text-to-Give

Chances are, your church already has a way to donate on your website. It works, but it takes time. Givers have to set up an account, put in their credit card information and go through several steps to complete a transaction. While this works for regular giving, it's not that efficient when you want to take a special offering during a service or you have a special campaign you want to fund.

The problem with these special collections is that many of your congregants didn't come prepared to give. Some don't even carry cash these days, and you can forget about a checkbook. This is where Text-to-Give can help.

How It Works

Using Text-to-Give is as simple as sending a text message. You simply create a donation campaign and then publicize the number to text. Users can then text an amount they want to give and complete the transaction in about 7 seconds.

It's that simple, and funds are deposited directly into your bank account. The giver pays for the donation when they pay their wireless bill.

Why It Works

The basic nature of most people is that they want to help others. Sometimes the problem is they don't know how. They don't know from day-to-day who needs help and how to get that help to them. So, when they get inspired and make the decision to give to a cause, Text-to-Give allows them to do so immediately. There's no lag time when they could change their mind or forget about it. It gives new meaning to “strike while the iron is hot.”

When to Use It

Churches and other non-profits can use Text-to-Give any time. You could use it for regular giving if you want, but where it really shines is for special events and campaigns. Here are a few scenarios to consider:

Visiting Missionaries

When missionaries visit and share their passion for their work with your congregation, they often ignite a fervor with your parishioners. Of course, in reality, they are also looking for help funding their work. Getting support from individual churches is often their main source of money. When they visit, set up a code (you can reuse the same one over and over for missionary visits) and publicize it in the bulletin or announce it during the Love Offering you take.

On a side note, missionaries can use this tool as well to create their own on-going campaign. You can give it out at any event, print it on prayer cards, share it on social media and more.

Building Funds

Got a roof that needs replacing, a driveway that's cracked or an AC unit on its last legs? Setting up a Text-to-Give code for your capital improvements campaign can increase giving whenever you bring up the need. Simply share in a special announcement or in a letter to each member outlining the needs at hand.

Community Outreach Events

Reaching out to minister in the community is a great way to bring people closer to God and win souls for the Kingdom. Sadly, these events take money and often lots of it. While you may have a budget category for outreach, a special collection for a specific event can boost your funds. Assign a Text-to-Give code to each one and promote it for several weeks prior to the event. The extra funds can mean the difference between a ho-hum event and one that wows the community and reaches more people.

Compassion Funds

Most congregations have some type of fund available to help out members in need. It can help pay utility bills, put food on a table or pay for rent or medical bills – basically, anything a member might need due to a hardship like a job loss or disability. Set up a special Text-to-Give campaign to help fund this account and periodically ask members to donate.

There might be a special need, or it might just be to replenish the fund. These funds can also help with funeral dinners or meals for families after a medical procedure as well.

The Bottom Line

More money can help keep your church budget in the black and can also help increase the reach it has in the community and the world. Inspiring your congregation to donate to special events and visiting missionaries is easy; the challenge is converting that inspiration to donations. A Text-to-Give program is one way to use technology to do just that, and it's actually the preferred method of giving for millennials.

By making it easier to for members to give, you can increase your donations and maybe not have to give that stewardship/tithing sermon quite so often. For more information and to see if using Text-to-Give is right for you, contact us. We'll be happy to help.

 

 

Key Trends in Digital Fundraising for Non-Profits in 2019

By | Make HOW they give easy, Resources | No Comments

 

Church giving has been in decline. Most churches promote the Biblical directive to give. However, members in U.S. churches average 2.4 percent of income. In addition, approximately 33-50 percent of congregants give nothing at all.

Why? The reasons may sound surprising:

  • Members attend less frequently. If church members are not attending services, the giving declines.
  • A mere 42 percent of churches in 2015 had adopted online giving. This is in contrast to 70 percent for other non-profits. Only 20 percent of smaller churches offered online giving.

As 2018 comes to a close, here are five key trends in online donations and church giving apps. You can take advantage of them in 2019.

1. Using Personalized, Contextual, and Relevant Communication

A church will have a congregation that spans a wide array of financial means. You may have millionaires worshiping next to families of more modest incomes. Your church giving app should enable you to personalize stewardship campaigns. The millionaire receives a message tailored towards larger donations or bequeathing an estate. A low-income family receives a message that fits their budget while making them feel welcome.

A church giving app can collect information on the donor. The app will make recommendations based on their preferences. Amazon uses this technology. Churches can use it too. Your congregation is already familiar with recommendations generated through software. This should make you feel more comfortable with giving software. Your church will avoid the embarrassment of asking an elderly widow on Social Security for a large gift.

Your church donation management will become more agile and sophisticated. Your message will be delivered confidently. Members will feel more comfortable knowing that your church has a clear message. And, you have a unique impact in the community.

2. Facebook Donation Features May Disrupt Church Giving

Facebook has changed many of its commerce features, and this includes features for charitable giving. Recently, Facebook eliminated charitable fundraising fees. This means that a non-profit receives 100 percent of donations made through the social media platform.

This development could disrupt the industry for platforms such as GlobalGiving and GoFundMe that charge fees. Facebook is also considering a matching fund program for disaster relief efforts. This could impact organizations such as Volunteer Match. With its own huge database on donor data and sophisticated artificial intelligence software, Facebook could disrupt even the online donations market for churches.

Still, even with the tools that Facebook offers non-profits and its AI software, churches will likely prefer a church giving app for the personalization features. Facebook can make messages look personal, yet the sheer size of the corporation hinders truly tailored messaging. Your church may want closer control over that aspect of the church donation management.

In addition, your church would need to meet specific criteria, complete a charity verification process, and receive certification from Facebook to be categorized as a non-profit. Using a sophisticated church giving app circumvents that tedious process.

3. Pivoting From Overhead to Outcomes Fosters Investment in New Technology

Churches use stewardship campaigns and pledges in order to plan their budgets. Without those pledges, each week's giving would be an unknown commodity.

This very nature of church giving means that pastors and leadership tend to focus on controlling overhead, especially administrative spending. Staff makes every effort to ensure that each penny is well spent.

In this era of mobile devices, your organization can pivot away from concentrating on overhead. You can now focus on your church mission, vision, and outcome objectives. Frequently, a church finance team gets distracted by the cost of activities. This narrow focus can prevent the church from spreading its message within the community at large. By reorienting towards outcomes, investing in church donation management platforms makes more sense.

What happens when giving declines? The causes could be a lack of vision and message. The result is a decline in church growth and impact in your local community. During times of declining giving, will your church be reactionary and protective or strategic and intentional?

Churches have a tendency to cut budgets rather than concentrate on growth in giving. This reactionary leadership analyzes the ministry on costs, which can ultimately paralyze that ministry. Some typical reactions to decreases in giving:

  • Eliminate promotions. These effectively keep the ministry front and center with the congregation. However, if you end the messaging, people will stop coming. It won't be from a lack of interest. Rather, it will be from a lack of knowledge about your church.
  • Cut staffing. This reaction puts intense pressure on the staff that remains, especially the pastor. If your church cuts too many staff, the ministry suffers and can ultimately fail. Your options become finding and training volunteers. This again misdirects resources into recruiting and training. You should be spending your efforts at increasing giving and engaging members and the community with your mission and vision.

With a church giving app, you can avoid the pain of cutting back promotions and staffing.

4. Giving and Marketing Automation

It is a difficult task to treat each member of your church with equal time and resources. You want to tailor the time and resources to each individual or family. By adopting giving and marketing automation software, your church creates personalized appeals. This puts givers and potential donors onto individualized paths, which drives meaningful engagement with the vision or even a specific ministry.

5. Using Church Giving App to Nurture Recurring Giving

As noted above, churches typically rely heavily upon pledges to plan their budget for the coming year. Turning weekly giving and pledges into electronic recurring giving has significant benefits such as predictable funds and the ability to plan church operations accurately.

Developing an active recurring donor base takes a commitment to technology combined with an engagement strategy that nurtures donors by keeping them connected to the church on a regular basis.

Final Thoughts

Churches in today's digital-driven world must embrace innovative technology to meet the needs of their members. While some pastors and church leaders shy away from talking about stewardship, church donation management is a reality. In addition, the younger generations expect to use mobile technology throughout every aspect of their lives.

Online donations used to mean giving through the church website. Now it means that online donations come through a church giving app. Indeed, churches must face the truth that donor expectations have changed. Now the best online giving for your church occurs through mobile apps.

Addressing the Gender Giving Gap

By | Resources

When it comes to giving to churches, there is a gender gap.

Given the current social and cultural climate surrounding the treatment and support of women by institutions, how your church addresses this gap may likely predict whether or not your church survives into the next generation.

First, several key gender giving facts* you may not be unaware of:

  • Women control the spending of almost 70% of net worth in the United States.  This is a massive consumer block.  Ever wonder why so many ads are focused on women?
  • Women are more generous than men.  In almost every category of giving, when given the opportunity and capital, women out give men.
  • Women are more likely to respond to and engage with “impact giving”….. a key shift in charitable giving that is a key factor in how non-profits are getting a greater share of annual charitable giving dollars at the expense of churches.
  • As a woman’s income rises, she is more likely to give to charitable causes (incomes for women are rising in most industries and sectors) than men.
  • Women are more likely to give to secular causes than men.  So, for example, when organizations fail to confront sexual harassment of women, women donors don’t stick around, they simply find other avenues for their giving.

Combine these facts with the current state of church giving in the United States and there is a potential reckoning for churches who continue the status quo.  They can expect that giving will ultimately fall away from churches that do not embrace women in every aspect of church leadership and direction.

Here are some recommendations to consider as you seek to approach this gender giving gap.

  1. When writing giving appeals, have a woman write the language and even present the appeal (if before an audience).  There are subtleties in the writing and speaking of men and women that women can discern and distinguish.
  2. Unless a giving appeal is direct to men, lean toward feminine language that focuses on impact and empathy.
  3. If you have women and men on your leadership teams and the responsibilities are similar, don’t give a man the title “Pastor” while giving a woman the title “Director.”
  4. Men respond to the duty of “Giving to God.”  Women respond to the request to help fund mission and impact.  Define and describe the impact giving will make.
  5. Have very clearly written and public policies for how the church will respond in the event of accusations and disclosure of sexual harassment by staff.  Often, churches are caught on their heels by these types of allegations.  Note the recent blow-up at Willow Creek Community Church.  You can go a long way by front-running it.
  6. Make your stance on the role of women in leadership clear! There are now websites where churchgoers can search for a church by ranking their “clarity” around social issues. One of those is women in leadership.  This is a relatively new venture and already, over 1400+ churches have submitted scores. https://www.churchclarity.org/scores. How clear is your church?

For centuries, the status of men in the lead of the church has been unquestioned.  The church (like most institutions) has been largely patriarchal for generations.  This is changing.  Today, more and more, women are coming to the front of church leadership and those churches that fail to recognize and embrace this will likely be left behind as funding will follow the progression.

To that end, may we follow Jesus’ example and loft the status of women.  Jesus broke all kinds of social norms to include women in His ministry.   Women like Joanna funded Jesus ministry.  Some of Jesus closest disciples were women (an oddity for a Jewish rabbi).  The women disciples of Jesus did not abandon Him at His crucifixion.  Also, it was to the women that Jesus first revealed His resurrected self.

Finally, (2000+ years later) women are getting the position in the church they deserve.  May God add to the ministry of churches that also embrace these women!

* Giving data from Insidephilanthropy.comLilly Family School of Philanthropy: Indiana University–Purdue

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