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.