From unique service times and modern worship styles to completely virtual congregations, things look substantially different for churches than they did a few decades ago. Whether you’re a pastor or any other member of church leadership, you likely spend a lot of time thinking about how you can continue to share the message in a world that’s constantly changing.
You’re definitely not alone.
Even before the pandemic made in-person attendance a significant challenge, many churches experienced decreasing attendance. And gaining funding for operations — much less outward missions — has always been a challenge. Nothing quite minimizes a congregation’s eye contact like the topic of tithes.
But tithes are an important — and ordained — part of a church’s operation. Churches need funds to continue to play their important role in local communities.
But, thankfully, if you’ve seen fewer tithes and donations make their way to your church over the recent years, there may be a solution: online giving.
Accepting tithes online can help the church stay strong when faced with obstacles like reduced face-to-face interactions and the many changes brought on by the digital age. And as the online world grows, it makes sense to provide your congregation with giving options that fit in with their modern lifestyles. In fact, churches that implement online donations see an average increase of 32 percent.
The benefits of accepting online church donations
Accept tithes during streaming services
If your church offers online streaming services, attendees can participate seamlessly with other members of the congregation by donating online at the same time tithes are accepted in person. There’s no need for a special call to action or an irregular break in the service.
Don’t worry about members who forgot to bring cash
Nobody puts their credit card in the offering plate. But if someone who wants to tithe in person simply forgets to bring cash with them, they can still do so during the service by using your online donation system instead.
And, these days, people use less cash than ever. Many physical stores and live events are even encouraging a completely cashless ecosystem. According to the latest studies by Visa and PYMNTS, online shopping behavior combined with the recent pandemic has further driven this move away from cash.
Allow members to donate from anywhere
Members who can’t attend services for any reason can still donate from anywhere in the world — regardless of the time. Perhaps they’re traveling but still want to give. Or maybe they’ve moved away from town and haven’t found a new home church but still want to support the mission. People can’t give if there’s no opportunity, and this provides that opportunity.
Collect automatic payments
Rather than having to remember every week to bring their tithe with them to church, members can instead set up automatic payments to guarantee that they regularly tithe without missing a beat.
Online donations and tithes streamline the church’s record-keeping by automatically creating donation records that would otherwise need to be accounted for manually.
Let members choose how their donation is used
Members can choose from a selection of church missions they want to donate to, such as community programs, overseas missions, and any other initiative that the church supports.
Accepting tithes online is more secure than handling cash and provides additional information to the church about what part of the world donations come from and who has subscribed for regular payments. Regular subscriptions also help churches estimate future revenue for more accurate planning.
How to get started
The very first step to accepting church tithes online is to create your very own website using WordPress. It’s one of the most popular and easy-to-use website building platforms, and you don’t need to know how to code or have a qualification in IT in order to use it. You can designate a single person to oversee it or have a small committee take up the task.
While there are many places to host a WordPress website, WordPress.com’s managed hosting is fast, simple, and secure. Best of all, a site hosted on WordPress.com is managed and supported by WordPress experts. Because your site will need to accept payments, you’ll want to select one of our paid WordPress plans. The good news? Plans are as cheap as $4 per month.
Want more good news? WordPress.com makes it simple to accept donations by providing you with a simple tool to make it happen. Here’s how easy it is.
Accepting donations on your site
With your church’s website up and running, it’s time to add donation blocks, which allow website visitors to tithe or make a donation directly on your site. You can put these on your homepage, service and streaming pages, church initiative pages, and anywhere else you’d like.
To add a donation block, go to My Site → Pages/Posts. Begin editing the page of your choice and click the “+” symbol wherever you want to insert the block. In the search box that appears, search for “donations” and click on the donation icon.
From here, you’ll need to either log into or create a Stripe account, which securely processes any money that you collect. All donations will be transferred and stored in that account before you transfer them to your bank.
Then, customize the donation block with your specific message, payment options, amounts, and payment intervals. This information is what your website visitors will see on their end.
We also recommend creating a mailing list of all of your donors so that you can thank them for their support. If your church has its own leaflets about core messages, community involvement, or other goings-on, then you can send that information in an email to keep everyone in the loop.
With all of this completed, the basic steps will be in place for your website to accept church tithes and donations online.
Monitoring and managing donations
As time goes on, you’ll need to manage your donation system, subscribers, refunds, and more. You can find everything you need for monitoring and managing all online church donations either in your WordPress dashboard or in your Stripe account.
Your WordPress dashboard allows you to see a breakdown of your collections and subscribers or cancel a recurring donation if needed. To see your revenue and subscriber list, click on My Site → Tools, Earn → Collect Payments. To cancel a recurring payment, just select the chosen subscriber by clicking the three dots beside their name and choosing Cancel Subscription.
If someone accidentally sent you money and needs a refund, then you can also refund their money easily through your Stripe account.
Continue your church mission with online tithe and donation options
Adapting for the future might seem cumbersome, but with tools like WordPress, any congregation can easily implement online donations. Whether you have ten members or ten thousand, record-keeping will become easier, funding more predictable, and giving more simpler than ever. Don’t rely on Sunday’s offering alone — accept church tithes and donations 24/7 with WordPress.com.
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