We promote a strong sense of stewardship for churches. When we see a church drop tens of thousands of dollars all to have Apple laptops to watch YouTube videos, writing on WORD, and running their preferred Bible software, we get concerned about stewardship.
While being wise with how we spend money and other church resources has to do with stewardship, it is not the sum of it. There are other areas of we could be better stewards. One of those is with online giving platforms we use. This is because there are processing costs involved with each platform. How do we choose the best online giving platform? What is the best way to compare these online giving platforms?
We discussed nearly five years ago, and more recently from several studies, online tithing brings in more money as people using them tend to be more faithful givers. Also, younger generations are more apt to give through digital platforms. A question to answer: Are apps or platforms like Tithe.ly the best option or should we go the route of simple payment gateways like PayPal?
The Costs Are Not Always Clear
While each platform has different features to consider, we can all agree we must compare apples to apples. We also need to find ones that will cost less.
This is where things get really fuzzy for me. With credit card fees and percentages taken, ACH flat fees, monthly and annual fees, and sometimes everything dependent on volume, etc. Further, you have a difference between non-profit and church giving platforms that might market the same things differently.
Casey Fulgenzi has come up with a great way to remove as much confusion as possible with a website called GivingFees.com. You put in basic information about your church tithing and it instantly compares all platforms, giving you a better understanding of the differences in costs.
Note: This should NOT be the only way you compare online giving options, but it definitely should be an important piece of the process.
If your churches successfully chose a platform, please share how you compared the different platforms and options. What did you look for and what was the main criteria that won you over?