All right, this post is getting out a little later than expected because I hit yet another snag in my quest to find the right online giving option for our new church plant. But I regress, now back to the story…

I have spent two, make that three, weeks researching the right online giving solution for our new church.

I never imagined 1) there would be so many options, 2) that it would take so stinkin’ long to sort through all of them!

I’ve included below a list with a few notes of the online giving solutions I discovered and considered. The purpose of the list is not to offer an in depth analysis, but to present a general overview with a few details that may assist if you have yet to go through this process – and you should go through this process. But before the list, a couple of things:

It’s my belief that online giving is a critical, non-optional, piece to church planting success. But not just any solution will do.

Here’s why:

  • The interface must be friendly/easy to use both for the giver and the new understaffed church.
  • It must look reputable. Of course it must be reputable, but people will not trust it and use it if the company does not look good online.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Although I’m not a finance guy and don’t want to be a finance guy, I do care, a lot, about finances as it relates to church planting.
  • For those of you who have made online giving your ministry and/or business – THANK YOU! I put the miracle of online giving right up there with the calculator. You provide an incredible service that is making a huge difference.

Here’s the online giving options I discovered during my research along with a few notes.

I’ll start with the ones we liked the most:

1. eGive (www.egive-usa.com)  This is the company/ministry that overall we liked the most if we are just considering the online giving piece.  Here’s why:

  • They gave us the best response from my initial inquiry email.
  • Customer service is way above normal. They have a marketing edge like a company hungry for new business, yet they are relaxed in tone and courteous in responses.
  • Dialog was not overly business, but was friendly.
  • Although we are a just starting church with a limited budget, we were not treated small.
  • We were sent an extra email with very well explained details + the forms to sign to get going right away.
  • During our research we found several other churches we greatly respect that were also using eGive.

2. Fellowship One (www.fellowshiptech.com). In the movie Open Range, Boss Spearman (played by Robert Duvall) talks about what type of gun he prefers and says “I like a pistol with some heft.” Fellowship One has a lot of heft. This all-in-one church managment system includes a great online giving component. The backend of this technology is extremley effective and deep. Although it requires a good amount of time to learn, from what I’ve heard its well worth it. Hope we can use these folks one day. **Special note: They offer a special price to church planters/new churches.

3. Church Community Builder (www.churchcommunitybuilder.com). Another church management system that also includes online giving. I really liked the look and interface of this solution. Could end up using them one day. **Special note: They offer a special price to church planters/new churches.

Here’s the others that we looked at. They may be great solutions, but we choose to not go very deep in researching them for a variety of options.

4. Ministry Give (www.ministrygive.com). Mobile giving, kiosks, the works.

5. MyTithe (www.givemytithes.com).  Mobile giving, iPhone app, and more.

6. Qgiv (www.qgiv.com).

QUESTION: Are you using online giving? Which online giving solution do you like?

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10 Responses to Online Giving For Churches

  1. Bill Robbins says:

    Barry,

    Thanks for the round up. I get asked about online giving quite a bit and now I'll just send them to you. Also I noticed at the Velocity Conference that Fellowship One is actually giving a year of free service to church plants.

    • barrywhitlow says:

      Thanks Bill. Fellowship One is a great service. My understanding is that the "one year free" refers to the 'monthly' charges. There is still a $350 system set-up charge, and $100 charge to set-up debit/credit card giving abilities. Still a pretty sweet deal considering the amount of technology you receive. Trust your http://www.organizedthemes.com is still rockin'!

  2. barrywhitlow says:

    Great info Matt – thanks so much!

  3. barrywhitlow says:

    Great info Lauren. I was not aware of ServiceU Corp. Thanks so much!

  4. Ed says:

    I too spent many weeks researching on-line giving. I started with paypal which by far has the best pricing structure for non-profits and is well known world wide, however, their service and flexibility for web-design and options available were limited. I ended up using Vanco. Great low price, flat fee for credit card, easy to use design and great service. I am in the process of looking to upgrade once again. I love the idea of Kiosks. We are a checkless and cashless society. My only concern is the lack of usage at our church and the limited budget to take on any expensive programs. I’ve created a comparison that I will publish.

  5. Jan says:

    Just wondering if you’d do an update on this now that you’ve been using it for a couple of years.  Thanks!

  6. Alsobrooks says:

    Barry,

    Check out Forward – http://www.forwardgive.com – it just launched a few weeks ago and looks fantastic.  The pricing is great too.

  7. RevShev says:

    So who did you end up using? And are you happy with them?

  8. Diana says:

    what are everyone’s thoughts on the paypal donation for church giving?

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