In the wider charitable sector, new forms of giving are growing fast. This is particularly true amongst younger givers, but many older givers give through digital giving portals too.
Although regular giving is the bedrock of support for most churches, one-off donations are a very useful additional supplement to this. Enabling people to donate a one off donation online can really increase the amount your church can raise for specific appeals and one off events.
There are a number of different ways to encourage digital giving:
* Online Giving via a Donations Platform
There are a number of donation platforms available, which enables people to donate online using debit and credit card, Payment Service Providers (PSP) as well as settings up direct debits and reclaiming Gift Aid.
* Receiving Donations via Mobile Banking
Mobile banking is in its infancy, but is growing fast. Whilst many applications are only for account holders of a particular bank, systems are developing for the mobile transfer of money in within the UK. It may become more likely that people prefer to make a one off donation by logging into their bank account via an app on their smartphone, or simply scanning a QR code than by using cash.
* Receiving Card Payments
If your church plans to introduce accepting card payments, you may wish to rent or purchase a card reader to process payments (both contactless and pin) for the cost of fees, concerts, events even cups of coffee. We are in the process of piloting card readers before considering a national contract with a preferred provider and have attached a parish case study to offer further guidance.
* Text Giving
This type of digital giving has great potential for one-off fundraising events, for churches in areas where tourists drop in, and for events with lots of young people present. Ramblers, tourists and other visitors may these days be more likely to have their mobile phones with them than to have any cash in their pockets!
* Crowd Funding
Crowd funding gives thousands of people the platform to raise money for their great ideas. It can help fundraise for churches and recognise that whilst traditional fundraising methods still work, an online fundraising platform helps combine them, and can engage a wider more varied audience to meet your funding needs.
* A Donation Platform with a Mobile App
Some donation platforms offer the same service but with the advantage of offering a downloadable app for members to use. This enables individuals to donate via their mobile and for the church to access their charity profile via their smartphone. The current providers are Just Giving, Lepton and My Giving.Online
* A Church Management Systems with Giving App
There are a number of Church Management apps available, and many churches are using them to help administrate day-to-day parish life. An app can help to automate tasks and features include member management, event organising, people tracking, social networking as well as making it easier for people to give and manage their donors – both regular and one off.
Individuals can download the app to their smartphone and donate using the same method as a donations platform. If your church is using a Church Management App which enables people to donate directly as well as set up direct debits – you may wish to consolidate your existing donation platform and just use your app for all digital giving.