Let’s face it—online giving platforms aren’t all the same. What worked for your church years ago might not be the right solution today. After all, churches grow, strategies change, and technology advances.
Often, the only thing holding you back from making a switch is the process of transitioning (even if another platform has better features). But, to ignite generosity and reduce admin burden, moving to a new solution may be what’s best for your ministry.
Here we explore why and how to switch online giving platforms, and provide a few tips on how to make the best choice for your unique church.
1. Why do churches switch online giving platforms?
Every church has different reasons for switching online giving platforms. At the end of the day, the primary reason they switch is because online giving simply isn’t working or could be more impactful. This is often due to a poor user-experience or lack of awareness that online giving options are available.
With a better system (like easyTithe!), a user-friendly interface makes navigation easy for admins and givers. Resources like email templates and Success Coaches help you strategically spread the word, so you can engage 100% of your church during launch and save time in the process.
2. What features are important when choosing a new platform?
For the best possible experience, it’s crucial your platform’s features make sense for your ministry. While easyTithe offers all the features listed below (and then some!), make sure whatever platform you choose also provides multiple ways to give, seamless integrations, and everything in between.
- Seamless (and automatic) ChMS integrations
- Accepts credit, debit, and ACH (eChecks)
- Customizable forms for event registration, prayer requests, volunteer sign ups, and more
- Unlimited funds
- Multiple ways to give: text, in-app, online, and kiosk giving
- Easy-to-manage recurring giving options
- Powerful reporting features to track and manage giving
- Branding options
- Add-ons like a church app
- Onboard and ministry success training from experienced Success Coaches
Beyond these features, make sure you have the support your church requires for onboarding and training. At easyTithe, support doesn’t stop at sign up. We consider you a partner and we’re dedicated to helping you further your mission. Our team is quick to answer questions, address concerns, and help your church utilize all our powerful features designed to inspire giving. Our current hold time is 45 seconds and we have a 97% satisfaction rate. We also have Success Coaches available to help you make the most of our platform’s features and functionality.
3. How much does it cost to switch online giving platforms?
When it comes to giving platforms, pricing is a challenge because what looks like an affordable rate may not be once fees are added. Consider the total for processing fees and monthly fees to get a better idea of bottom line cost.
Know that ACH payments have lower fees, so be sure you switch to a platform that accepts eChecks and facilitates bank giving. Another way to help with fee costs is utilizing money-saving features that let donors choose to help cover processing fees or give to multiple funds in one transaction.
You should also shop for deals from reputable platforms. Contract buy-outs, lower processing fees for switching, and no software fees for 3 months (or more) while you transition leave the most money in your church’s bank account.
4. What are the steps to successfully switch giving platforms?
It takes time to change things in your church, so it’s important you have a plan for the transition. Here’s a rundown of what to expect when switching online giving platforms.
Step 1: Choose a “switch-by” date
The first step is to choose a hard date to turn off the old platform. Most churches take 1-2 months to phase out the old platform, so they have plenty of time to inform everyone and those people, in turn, have time to make the change themselves.
Step 2. Recruit your launch team
- Decide who’s in charge of updating your website and communications
- Involve your leadership team and choose who will conduct the live launch
- Enlist volunteers to test the giving experience and help inform others about the new platform
Step 3. Update your website and communications
- Add your new giving link to your church’s website
- Explain the transition on your website
- Make sure new gifts (especially recurring) cannot be created on the old platform
- Communicate the change to your church using emails, social media, slides, and more
- Send special messaging to recurring givers with steps to transition gifts
A final note on switching giving platforms
Don’t be intimidated by the live launch of your new giving platform. This is an exciting time! Remember, by launching a new giving platform, you have an amazing opportunity to remind people about online and text giving options, reach those that have never given before, and even inspire recurring givers to set up a new schedule! Want to learn more? Take the complete course How to Switch Online Giving Platforms!