X ways to manage tithes and offerings

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7 Ways to Manage Tithes and Offerings

Tithes and offerings can make for uncomfortable church conversation. Everyone has their own opinion on how to talk about and engage in Biblical giving, both personally and as a congregation. If you talk to a good church financial consultant, though, they’ll quickly identify this as one of the first areas that you have to address if you want to cultivate healthy finances as a ministry.

Regardless of your church’s specific stance on the role and function of tithes and offerings, one challenge that is the same for every ministry is how they will collect the donations, gifts, tithes, and other monetary contributions they receive. In the 21st century, it’s important to have a variety of giving options available so that anyone can give easily. 

Here are several of the top ways your church can receive its financial support. Keep in mind that just one or even two of these isn’t enough. Ideally, you want to set up a mixture of options that best serve your attendees.

1. An Online Giving Portal

Digital giving is no longer a new concept. We process everything from shopping trips to utility payments online, and tithes and offerings have long been a part of many Christians’ digital financial interactions. According to one study, 60% of churchgoers are willing to engage in digital giving. In addition, nearly half of online donations come from a credit or debit card. 

This makes an online giving portal a must. There are many different platforms that you use, and most of them can plug right into your church accounting setup. Regardless of which one you choose, make sure you have that all-important “giving” button on your website.

2. QR Codes

If you have a website with a giving tool in place, you still need to get people to that landing page. QR codes are a great way to do that efficiently. A QR code can help an individual quickly navigate to a giving page on a website by using their phone’s camera or a similar QR-capable app. 

This method is more effective than simply listing out your phone’s website for a couple of reasons. First, you can fit a QR code in a corner of pretty much any digital or physical asset. Second, you remove the need to type in a URL or navigate to a giving tab on a website. Instead, a giver can jump straight to the online giving portal.

3. Text-to-Give

Text-to-give is another effective way to streamline the digital giving process. It consists of texting opt-in subscribers links that take them directly to your giving page. 

It is a similar technology to that often used when fundraising for emergency crises, such as supporting the Red Cross by texting “HELP” to a specific number. It is a simple and understandable way to use a phone to quickly bring donors to the right spot where they can give.

4. Mobile Apps

Creating a giving portal on a website is an important way to reach an online audience. However, anyone with a mobile phone may want to skip the inconvenience of using a browser when giving. This is where a mobile app can help.

Creating an app for a church has never been easier. In addition, you can count on those who are invested enough to download your app to also include many of those who are most willing to financially support your ministry. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to set up a mobile-friendly giving option right in your church app.

5. Encourage Direct Deposit

While many online givers use credit and debit cards, these come with fees. These are necessary for digital giving platforms to operate, but they’re a reality, nonetheless. Tithe.ly, for example, charges 2.9% plus a flat $.30 per credit or debit card transaction.

Credit cards may be a helpful way to facilitate occasional or one-off donations, but there are more cost-effective ways to facilitate recurring giving from more consistent attendees. Direct deposit is one of these. This is typically something that an individual sets up with their personal bank, but it’s an important option to remind your givers about on a regular basis. 

6. Digital Kiosks

A digital kiosk is the perfect marriage of online and in-person giving. It provides digitally-friendly giving options in a physical giving location on your church’s premises.

This is a great way to enable modern digital financial habits. (41% of Americans don’t carry cash on a daily basis anymore.) At the same time, it serves as a good reminder to give when someone attends a service.

7. Traditional Collection Methods

Finally, don’t phase out traditional collection methods quite yet. The median age of a church congregation is between 50 and 60 years old (well over a decade over the same number for the U.S. population). With attendees aging, it’s important to make traditional collection methods available for those who still want to use them.

This can take multiple forms. You can pass a plate if that works for your congregation. You can also set up donation boxes in the back and let people engage in giving on their own terms. Either way, keep that in-person cash option up and running for the foreseeable future.

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