With the current disruption of corporate worship assemblies, many congregations are beginning to consider adding the ability for their congregation to give online. We want to share our thoughts below and answer some common arguments against online giving.

If you have questions about setting up online giving at your local congregation, please get in touch. We’d love to talk with you.

Why You Should Consider Using Online Giving

Online giving helps with cash flow issues

Many congregations suffer from lower-than-normal contributions over the summer and holiday months due to families traveling. While it is true that many families will leave their contribution before they leave, or “double-up” when they return, some simply forget. Online giving helps maintain a steady stream of contributions, so the work of the church can continue each month of the year.

It helps people worship

Giving people the ability to give from their phone actually helps them to worship, wherever they are. 

Online giving allows for members to give on the first day of the week to their local congregation, whether they are in the pews, at home due to sickness, or if even worshipping with another congregation while traveling.

Most online giving platforms allow for members to set up auto-recurring donations that can draft their account each week, bi-weekly, or monthly. This helps some Christians as they “decided in his heart” (2 Corinthians 9:7) to set aside first fruits and have the funds automatically be given. 

Even if they don’t elect to use auto-recurring donations, online giving helps church members give even if they are in the weekly worship assembly. Even if a member forgets their checkbook or wallet at home (guilty!), being able to pull out a cell phone and give helps him/her take part in the giving portion of worship. 

Tax Reporting

Tax reports for your members and your treasurer are a snap.

Members are able to log into their accounts, and within a couple of clicks, have their entire tax report generated for the entire year. Leadership can also be comfortable knowing that they won’t get involved in potentially difficult audit situations.

Some Common Arguments Against Online Giving
(and how to answer them)

“Well, I don’t think it’s right to give online because the money doesn’t leave your bank that day because the banks are closed.”

Does he/she have an issue with dropping a check in the plate? If anything, online giving is faster than writing a check, as it verifies the availability of funds in real-time. If a church member is ok with placing a check in the collection plate, that check won’t be deposited until Monday (at the earliest), and the funds wouldn’t be transferred until Monday night or Tuesday morning.

We like to think of it like this: What about when you leave the building after Sunday morning worship services and head down to the Cracker Barrel or local Mexican restaurant for lunch? Do they take your money then, or do they ask you to come back on Monday when the banks open? 

“I don’t think it’s right to set that to autopay. I like to focus on my giving during the worship service. I don’t even think about some of my auto-drafted ‘bills’ being paid.”

There is some truth in this question, but let’s think about it a little deeper.

When is the decision made on what amount to give? Can you only decide that on Sundays? 

“Give as they’ve been prospered”—some people only give on the weeks they get their paycheck, but many people will divide their income into four weeks and give that amount each Sunday. 

If a member setups online giving, they can’t help but think about the choice they made to give back to God each week. The physical act of dropping something in the plate might be absent, but the mental focus will still happen each week.

You can always not use the auto-draft feature and just give manually each week from your phone or computer (this is what I do).

“I wouldn’t feel comfortable not placing something in the plate on Sunday,” OR “I want my kids to see me contribute on Sundays.”

Some people don’t want to potentially offend or be misunderstood by not giving on Sunday. We suggest printing their receipt or dropping a note in the plate stating how much they gave online. This isn’t necessary at all for your treasurer but might help your membership feel better.

It’s important to teach your children to give. Even if you give online, you can still give a small sum of money into the plate each week (and give them some to give, too!) Children can’t tell the difference between a 1-dollar bill and a 100-dollar bill, but they will remember seeing you drop something in the basket each week.

If you have questions about setting up online giving at your local congregation, please get in touch. We’d love to talk with you.

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