Transforming Church Giving for the Digital Age

7 Minute Read
Posted by Overflow Team on November 20, 2023

People of faith have been tithing a certain percentage of their income to their congregation for generations. Tangible contributions like cash or checks have historically been given during a worship service or other religious events. Online giving alternatives have increased church contributions by 32%, whereas the decline of traditional tithing has coincided with the rise of technology (Vanco Churchgoer Study, 2023).

After all, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 emphasizes, "The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” And digital giving sustains these values and efforts in our modern society.

Inevitably, technological progress will lead to simplified and more secure donation options. In the future, digital giving will become much more embedded in our daily lives than it now is. The convenience and safety of using online payment systems and making charitable contributions via mobile applications and websites will only increase over time.

Exploring the Advent of Online Giving

Members of the church may contribute financially via an online donation platform. This may be done via multiple channels, such as online banking, credit card, or a digital wallet. Online giving is a flexible and handy alternative for church members since it may be done at any time and from any location. 

Recently, a steady increase has been observed in online contributions to churches over the preceding years, demonstrated by a 25% growth in digital giving in 2022 alone (Nucleus Church Giving, 2023). Now, almost half - 49% of all church gifts/tithes are facilitated through electronic means, such as credit cards, with 44% of adults participating as digital donors (ChurchTrac, 2023). 

Concurrently, shifting generational attitudes, particularly among tech-oriented millennials—54% of whom prefer online giving while 47% favor mobile devices, as per a Nonprofit Source report. In turn, this evolution not only amplifies the reach and financial inflow for technologically adaptive churches but also presents a caveat for institutions resistant to technological integration, as 17% of donors could retreat due to unsatisfactory communication or a perceived lack of transparency, indicating a Blackbaud report.

Uncovering the Benefits of Digital Giving for Churches

Why should churches consider adopting the digital path? Well, there is more freedom and comfort for churchgoers. Technology removes boundaries of distance and time, allowing individuals from all over the world to participate in the life of the church. As a consequence, those who miss a Sunday service may still contribute, those who have relocated but want to keep ties to their local church financially can do so without feeling compelled to give just what they have on hand, etc. 60% of those who engage in tithing are inclined to utilize online giving platforms (Donorbox, 2022).

Donations are accepted at any time, not only during services, and frequent givers can set up automatic payments. Besides, donation monitoring and recording may be made easier, saving time and decreasing room for mistakes. In addition, since online contributions may be made on the spot in reaction to particular requests or events, the overall amount donated may grow.

Then, if the church can establish a solid foundation of regular online donors, it will have a predictable source of cash for planning and budgeting purposes. Recurring giving guarantees a steady stream of funding throughout the year, rather than the ups and downs that often characterize older ways of giving due to things like attendance or the seasons. Because of this consistency, your church may put resources into things like outreach to the community, activities for young people, and mission trips.

4 Steps to Integrate Online Giving

  1. Choosing the Right Platform - The transition to digital should be seen as a process, not an endpoint, but one of the first things to do when introducing online donating is to choose the online fundraising platform. Take into account the platform's cost, security, convenience of use, and ability to integrate with your church's current infrastructure.
  1. Establishing the Platform - Next, creating an account, arranging payment processing, and establishing preferences for monetary contributions are the steps involved. You must also choose the payment methods you will accept (such as debit/credit cards, bank transfers, and digital wallets).
  1. Providing Regular Updates to the Congregation - As vital connection points, church representatives have the power to provide periodic updates to the congregation on the successes of online contributions. Such updates may be communicated via official newsletters, formal announcements during worship sessions, and detailed accounts of how digital giving has propelled the church's objectives and positively influenced individual lives.
  1. Consistency in Promoting Online Contributions - Frequent opportunities might be introduced for the congregation to contribute digitally, whether during church services, by spotlighting designated projects and causes, or by advocating for consistent monthly giving plans. Additionally, annual appeals at the end of the fiscal year further facilitate this objective. When presenting these opportunities, it is paramount to furnish detailed information regarding specific needs and campaigns. Such clarity ensures that contributors are fully aware of the utilization and impact of their generosity, reinforcing their vital role in furthering the church's mission.

Partner with Overflow to Streamline Digital Church Giving

As a successful online fundraising platform, Overflow has increased the average gift amount and yielded up to a 32x return on investment for churches. With IRS-compliant contribution acknowledgment letters, churches can streamline compliance and acknowledgment with a click. This straightforward management makes inspiring and generous contributions easier for churches. 

Overflow integrates simplicity and beauty to inspire and boost your church's online giving experience. Online payments via ACH, debit, or credit average $128, but Overflow exceeds $10,000 per gift, as your donors are empowered to choose which giving channel is best for them. Whether it be cash, debit, credit, ach, stock, crypto, ETF’s, mutual funds, DAF’s and more, Overflow presents more giving options than any other giving platform. Our technology integrates seamlessly with current donation systems, reducing the need for onerous software swaps beyond finances. Thereby, adding non-cash choices to churches' repertory has been shown to boost church giving- in other words, we are better together.

Even more, Overflow's specialized success team helps facilitate easy onboarding and strongly encourages “above-and-beyond” giving among church members. Concierge-level service quickly answers all church and donor queries (without a need to call a 1-800 number), creating a pleasant and enjoyable experience for all parties. 

More details about how Overflow can help Churches streamline their online giving pursuits can be found here: