6 Online Giving Options Churches Should Consider

Now that you are familiar with some of the concepts behind online giving, step 2 is to choose an online giving platform or provider. Once you complete this step, all you need to do is sign up and get started.

Below are some of the platforms available for online giving. This is not an exhaustive list. It includes only services that we have experience with or that have a solid reputation in the industry. The information provided is only to help you get started on your research.

Click here for some eGiving definitions that will make this information a little clearer. 

Here are some of the issues that you may want to look into when fully investigating a provider:

  • The transaction costs listed sometimes only apply to Mastercard and Visa. American Express often has a higher rate.
  • Each service has different policies and charges for refunds and chargebacks. If someone makes an error or decides they want a refund, you may or may not be charged a refund fee. If there is a fraudulent charge, there may be a cost associated with refunding it.
  • You may also need to investigate how different platforms integrate with your church’s accounting software.
  • Some providers have different pricing if you exceed a certain amount of dollars or transactions. Some have monthly charges that kick in if you fall below a certain amount.

You will need to read their own materials to make sure you understand all the charges and policies. Before getting started with any of the services, I would recommend having someone smart read all the fine print.

eGiving NCS ServicesCokesbury e-Giving Partnership, NCS Services – www.ncsservices.org

Plans: Advantage | Ultimate | Elite
Transaction Cost: 3.0% + $0.30 | 2.6% + $0.30| 1.99% + $.30
Setup Fee: $0
Monthly Minimum:  $10 | $0 | $0
Monthly Fee: $0 | $29 | $49
ACH: 1.0% + $0.30 | 1.0% + $0.30 | .75% + $0.30
Text to Give: $5 per month
Kiosk: $19/mo maintenance + hardware
Recurring Giving? Yes
Notes: Methodist churches may be drawn to this service due to the strong name of Cokesbury. This is a robust platform with many features unavailable with other services. For an additional charge, your church can also have a mobile giving app.

online giving vancoVanco Payment Solutions – vancopayments.com

Plans: Start | Sustain | Custom
Transaction Cost: 2.75% + $0.45 | 2.35% + $0.35 | Call for info
Setup Fee: $0
Monthly Fee: $10 | $49 | Call for info
ACH: 1.00% + $0.45 | 0.80% + $0.35 |Call for info
Text to Give: $5 per month
Kiosk: $49 per month + hardware
Recurring Giving? Yes
Vanco is an industry standard in church giving. They are endorsed by the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church. They are not the cheapest but the service is not that expensive. Vanco also offers online event registrations for an additional fee.

online giving kindridKindrid – www.kindrid.com

Transaction Cost: 2.5% + $0.30
Setup Fee: $0
Monthly Fee: $45
ACH: 0.5% + $.40
Text to Give: Yes
Recurring Giving? Yes
Kindrid began as a text-to-give only platform. They have since expanded to traditional online giving and app integration. They also offer some of the best engagement materials to inspire and help your congregation get started.

online givng tithelyTITHE.LY – www.tithe.ly

Plans: Free | Custom
Transaction Cost: 2.9% + $0.30
Setup Fee: $0 | $149
Monthly Fee: $0 | $59
ACH? 1% + $0.30
Text to Give? $19 per month
Recurring Giving? Yes
TITHE.LY offers a no cost plan with reasonable transaction fee. Their custom plan offers a large number of features that go beyond just giving.

online giving planning centerPlanning Center Giving – planning.center/giving/

Plans (based on number of monthly donations):
100 | 250 | 600 | 1250 | 2000 | Unlimited
Transaction Cost: 2.3% + $0.30
Setup Fee: $0
Monthly Fee: $14 | $29 | $59 | $99 | $149 | $199
ACH?: $0.25
Text to Give: Yes
Recurring Giving? Yes
I know a large number of churches that use Planning Center for worship planning.  That is just one piece of the suite of services offered by planning center. They have a unique pricing model based on total number of givers each month + transaction fees. They offer a lot of features and a great interface. If you are already using another Planning Center component, this might be worth trying.

online giving paypalPayPal including PayPal for Non-Profits (For 501(c)(3) registered organizations.) www.paypal.com

Transaction Cost: 2.2% + $0.30
Setup Fee: $0
Monthly Fee: $0
ACH: 2.2% + $0.30
Text to Give: No
Recurring Giving? Yes
Paypal may be the least expensive option out there, especially if you qualify for the non-profit plan. Even without that, there is no cost to get started and a church could be up and running in minutes. It doesn’t have some of the features others offer but it is inexpensive and fast to get started.

Now you have the first two steps to get your church set up with online giving. In my next post, I will talk about some first steps and next steps for upgrading your church’s email system.

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