September 9, 2019

Are you stuck in the same old routine when it comes to managing your online giving? It happens. Once you’ve found what works for getting daily tasks completed efficiently, you may never step outside your comfort zone. By not exploring the features available to you, you could be missing out.

New developments are released often, and online giving software continues to advance in ways designed to help you. The best online giving companies create features (and update them) based on feedback from actual users—people just like you.

When you examine giving features a little closer, you’ll discover surprising ways they make the experience better for givers and admins.

If you’re wondering what you might be ignoring, here are seven overlooked features that grow giving, save money, and reduce administrative burden:

#1 – SINGLE TRANSACTION GIVING FOR MULTIPLE CAMPAIGNS

When people donate to multiple campaigns in a single transaction, the church saves money. This is because churches are only charged one transaction fee when donors give to numerous funds rather than a separate fee per gift. Givers aren’t boxed into splitting the gift into exact amounts either. They can donate $50 to one fund and $25 to the next in the same transaction.

For instance, when someone gives to your church’s building fund, general fund, and youth ministry in one transaction, the fee is only 39¢. If they had to do this in three separate transactions, the charges would add up to $1.17. While saving 78¢ may not seem significant, as people give throughout the year, these savings can really accumulate.

#2 – VIRTUAL TERMINAL

Some churchgoers prefer the convenience of filling out their gift information on paper and having the church administrator complete the transaction. The Virtual Terminal allows you to give on behalf of the donor and is accessible for credit cards and ACH donations. By not utilizing this simple feature, you could be missing out on a chance to increase giving.

#3 – FORMS

Forms simplify event registration and giving because there’s less manual tracking and entries. Create an unlimited number of forms to collect specific information based on your goals.

  • Contact information
  • Giving
  • Events & retreat registration
  • Fundraisers
  • Prayer requests
  • Volunteer sign-ups
  • Tuition payments
  • Sponsorship purchases
  • Mailing lists
  • Payment tracking and management
  • Other ministry needs

Customize forms with images, colors, and text to reflect your church’s brand. When building a form, drag and drop fields like payment and contact information, checklists, and more to capture data.

While you can copy an existing form or build your own, save time by choosing a pre-made template like Children’s Event or Volunteer Sign Up. You can still customize the template, but the bulk of the work is already done for you.

#4 – CONVENIENCE FEE OPTIONS

People are passionate about the mission of the church, and that’s one reason they give. But they don’t often consider those small expenses the church absorbs. That’s where convenience fees come in. Convenience fees can be used to help cover processing fees, shipping costs, and more.

Add convenience fees to any form, whether it’s for selling t-shirts or donating to a specific fund. You choose to make this fee an option or a requirement. You also select whether you want this fee to be a flat dollar amount or a percentage of the gift.

#5 – PAY LATER

Allow people to bypass entering payment information when registering for events or ordering items like t-shirts. Instead, they can check the “Pay Later” box. Submissions with Pay Later selected will be labeled as such in your CSV export.

This option increases participation because people can commit to the event, purchase a t-shirt, or enroll their kids in VBS in the moment. They can then pay when it’s more convenient for them to provide the funds, like when they sit down to budget their monthly bills or on their payday.

#6 – CUSTOM REPORTS

Chances are, you’re using the reporting tools needed for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that keep church finances functioning like clockwork. Go a step further and run custom reports that provide insight into giving patterns.

Review custom reports by person, fund, and date range. This information helps to identify giving trends and provides insight when choosing dates for outreach events. With this data, you’ll be better prepared for dips in generosity and have a clearer picture of what yearly giving and participation looks like.

#7 – PLANS AND ADD-ONS

As your ministry grows, you may search for more robust features that you don’t think your giving platform provides. Often, tools that further your vision are right under your nose. Transitioning to the next plan up or utilizing powerful add-ons provides those additional features your church needs.

Digital giving solutions like ShelbyNext Giving have three convenient pricing plans and integrates with a church app, ChMS, and more.

Source: Valerie Russell – Content Specialist for Ministry Brands

Shelby Systems is committed to helping churches large and small streamline their giving process. We provide the software and the plan that can help your church make the leap to digital giving. To find out how, contact one of our Ministry Consultants today.

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