It can’t be said enough: eGiving is more than just letting your members give electronically. For your program to help strengthen your offertory – and for it to be a secure way for people to give their offerings – it must be constantly maintained, updated and improved… and that could require a good deal of time and effort from your church staff.
A full-service, cost-effective eGiving provider like Faith Direct will address the details for you, so your church can focus on your missions and ministries. But if you have a basic system that you’re managing in-house, there are six “hidden” costs you will have to think about:
Transaction Costs: Most eGiving programs charge a percentage of the gross receipts plus a user fee – so the more people sign up, the more it will cost. Consider that in three years, 80% of your donations will be processed electronically, and it might surprise you how much you will be paying a provider to process gifts!
Enrollment: You will need easy-to-use online enrollment forms, and paper forms for those who prefer that option. A staff member will need to devote time to keying the information from paper forms into your system.
Multiple Appeals: You’ll need to be able to customize your system for a variety of collections and one time gifts throughout the year – and this will require time and technical know-how.
Declines: Whether it’s non-sufficient funds for a checking account or an expired credit card, some of your transactions won’t go through – so you will need to be able to coordinate with individual members to determine an alternate form of payment.
Account Changes: Throughout the year, members will want to switch to a new card or checking account, or adjust the amount they give each month. Somebody from your church will need to be ready to help manage that.
Technology: When members switch to the newest phone or tablet, or update their operating systems, you’ll want to make sure your eGiving system is keeping up – and it’s especially important to promptly install any security updates issued for the software you use.
eGiving is a great way to strengthen your offertory, but it’s a complex system that needs constant attention. If your eGiving provider doesn’t handle details like customer service or security, make sure you are devoting the time and resources needed to keep your system up to speed.