What to do Before Launching Your New Online Church Giving Platform

What to do Before Launching Your New Online Church Giving Platform

Even before the pandemic, online spaces for church communities have become ever more important. With online services and small groups, many who had limited access to their church community can now enjoy the teachings and fellowship in full. People are even being generous with online church giving.

With online giving, people who want to express generosity have easier options to tithe and send gifts to the church. Small and large churches alike are turning to online giving platforms like easyTithe to streamline the process that allows the congregation to give how (and when) they prefer. 

In this guide, you’ll learn the many reasons why online giving can improve church operations and enhance the giving experience. We’ll explain how to switch to a new or upgraded giving platform, step-by-step, so your ministry can serve members well. 

Does Your Church Need Online Giving?

Whether your church is still growing or has been established for some time, switching to online giving allows more people to give as they feel called. 

Perhaps your church already has an online giving method but it isn’t serving your church administrators or congregation as well as it could. Churches can greatly benefit from the convenience and features that support generosity by using an online giving platform. Don’t miss out on this technology, which can be easy to use and plug into your existing church software systems.

This guide will cover:

What are the Benefits of an Online Giving Platform for Church?
Churches New to Online Giving
How to Choose a Platform
Churches Switching Online Giving Platforms
Reasons for Switching
How to Prepare for a Platform Switch
Timeline for Completing Action Steps for the New System
Steps to Successfully Switch Your Online Giving Platform
Communicate Upcoming Changes to Your Team and Congregation 
Encourage Leadership Buy-In
Initial Leadership Platform Testing 
Encouraging Congregation Buy-In
Training, Resources, and Troubleshooting After Full Launch 
What Happens When the Congregation Makes the Switch
Church Transitions from a Present Giving Platform
What Information to Provide the Congregation
Explaining the Benefits to the Team and Congregation 
Different Ways to Give
More Than Just a Giving Platform
Do People Like to Give Online? 

What are the Benefits of an Online Giving Platform for Church?

There are numerous benefits to implementing online giving at your church. 


Most people go online every day, and almost everyone in your church undoubtedly uses a smartphone many times a day. Ensuring they have online giving tools in hand makes it easier for people to give when it’s convenient for them.

Safety, Security, Privacy

Personal privacy and online security are going to be built into any online giving app or web-based giving platform. It is important to ensure that people’s financial, banking, and personal information remains safely stored in secure systems. 

Generosity Impact

Accessible giving options mean more people will give more often. This increases the impact of your congregation’s generosity. Some churches that have switched to online giving have seen a donation increase of 32%.

Reach Goals and Grow 

Every church has specific goals, values, and missions toward impacting its community and the world. Achieving those goals that require funds. Online giving supports your broader goals of reaching the world for the gospel and providing for those in need.

Manage Your Church’s Giving 

Online giving apps allow streamlined operational management of funds and finances in a church. These platforms provide transparent, comprehensive giving reports and easy ways to manage giving. 

Churches usually fall into one of two camps:

  1. Your church is new to online giving altogether
  2. Your church wants to switch online giving platforms

Read on for recommendations to launch this process from either position.

Churches New to Online Giving

Even if your church is new to online giving, this guide will set in place the basic infrastructure you’ll need. But first, your team will need to consider which platform is right for the church. 

How to Choose a Platform

Here are criteria to bring to the decision-making process:

  • Consider your church size, budget, and current collection methods.
  • Look into the top online giving platforms and compare them to church needs.
  • Find a platform/software that has ample support and training available.

Once you have a shortlist, there are a couple of ways to dive deeper and understand what each giving platform offers:

  • Schedule sales calls to talk directly with your favorite prospects.
  • Try out your top choices with a designated team for road-testing and feedback.

Once you have picked the best online giving platform for your church, you’re ready to press play.

Churches Switching Online Giving Platforms

Whether it’s your first time setting up online giving or your church wants to switch online giving platforms, there’s a method to set up a new giving software system.

Reasons for Switching

If your church already has an online giving method that isn’t satisfactory, switching companies can help. At easyTithe, we address the many concerns of church leaders and attendees in regards to their current online giving system’s shortcomings. 

It’s time to make the switch if your current platform is:

  • Glitchy or outdated
  • Disappointing with a lackluster user experience
  • Limited in payment methods 
  • Overwhelming with excessive processing fees
  • Out of touch with ministry values
  • Lacking customer support 
  • Confusing to manage or track
  • Can’t offer the reports your team needs

How to Prepare for a Platform Switch

Now that you’ve chosen your new platform (or at least done some research on which platform you’ll likely go with), it’s time to prepare. Before you switch, certain aspects of your current system will need to be carried over and merged into the new interface. 

If possible, get tech-savvy members to help with this process. If you don’t have anyone on your team who’s capable of this task, consider hiring a professional or choose an online platform that offers extensive technical support so you don’t get lost in the transition.

Compare the Old with the New

Before you flip the switch, you want to know what improvements the new system will be putting into place and which frustrations your church will be happily saying goodbye to. Set aside some time to communicate with leadership the benefits that are coming with the new platform. 

Keep in mind: you don’t want to simply delete the entire existing system and call it a day, only to realize you’ve lost important information or data. Proper transfer and setup of the new system are key to your success. 

Important factors to consider before merging: 

  • What is your current system? How does it work?
  • Where is the current data stored? How will your team transfer that data?
  • Are there software or services connected to the current platform? What steps do you need to take to make sure the new platform can integrate? 
  • What does the new platform connect to? Do you need to set up new integrations?
  • How will people in your church use the new online giving? 

Set a Timeline 

Teams that make a plan have shared goals to work on together. This change will affect everyone, so involve all individuals on the foreseeable timeline. 

When mapping out a timeline, make sure your team takes these things into account:

  • How long will the new system take to set up?
  • Do you need to transfer data from a previous platform? Factor in that time.
  • Does the new platform need time to become active? 
  • How much wiggle room should you allow during team integration to allow for troubleshooting? 
  • How far in advance do you want to inform the entire congregation? Is there a need to prepare and leave time to answer questions? 
  • How long should you test and familiarize yourself with the new platform before integrating it with the rest of the church attendees? 

Maybe you plan to launch within one year. Maybe you want it done already or no longer than one month. Perhaps the goal is to start the switch by January to have the new platform up and running by Easter. Consider the seasons and any special dates you wish to plan the official launch around.

Timeline for Completing Action Steps for the New System

Here are some in-depth examples of what a timeline looks like. The first table is a 1-month preparation example and below is a more lengthy 3-month action plan. It’s up to your team to decide on how much time should be invested into planning and executing the launch for your new platform. These illustrations can help you understand how to task out time-based aspects of the project.

Steps to Successfully Switch Your Online Giving Platform 

Here are some more specific steps to make sure your church leadership team includes during your planning and action process. 

Communicate Upcoming Changes to Your Team and Congregation 

Once you know it’s time to make a change to online giving options, let people know the general “why”. Communicate with your church community and team members about the upcoming switch. Include any secured timelines and the positive changes your church will experience from the upgrade. 

Encourage Leadership Buy-In

If you want the new platform to work effectively, you’ll need the whole team to be on board. Not everybody likes change, but that doesn’t mean that this necessary update to your current giving platform has to be met with resistance. The best way to encourage team buy-in from church leaders is to communicate clearly with anticipation from the beginning. 

Get the Team Involved Beforehand

Before dropping the news about a giving platform change, get your team involved. Let them voice their struggles with the current platform (if applicable) so as a team you can brainstorm ways you want the upcoming change to improve the whole church community. 

  • In a leadership meeting, announce the need for a platform change.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of your current tithing platform.
  • Distinguish what new features your church could benefit from most.
  • Set a team to research the best alternative platform with better features.

Communicate Final Decisions 

Keep everyone up to date about the final decision before trying to implement it. You’re all learning about the new possibilities while experiencing the same projected timeline together. This helps build anticipation for all while encouraging buy-in from leaders. 

  • Explain which online giving platform your church will be switching to. 
  • Go over the new features everyone will have access to.
  • Overview of the current tithing and giving issues this platform will provide solutions to.
  • Get the team excited for the changes.

Include Leadership in the Switch Process

Remind everyone on your team — whether pastors, elders, deacons, community group leaders, etc. — that they are each an essential part of making this upgrade work. Give each team member specific tasks they can fulfill as it relates to their department. This helps everyone work together and promotes buy-in of a platform that makes the team feel needed.

Maintain Consistent Meetings During Integration Process

Once you’re ready to integrate and merge onto the new platform, keep communication clear with the leaders involved. See the timeline tables in this guide for the basic steps of the integration process. Hold regular meetings to answer questions, train the team on the new platform, and resolve any troubleshooting issues that arise. 

Supply Training & Demos from the New Platform to Your Church Staff

It will take some time for everyone to learn and begin to use the new systems you plan to set up. A lot of quality online giving platform companies offer group training, onboarding webinars, and live demos for the team. They want everyone to be on the same page when it comes to learning the new software. Take advantage of the opportunity to give your team all the support they can get, especially during the initial integration process. 

Initial Leadership Platform Testing 

Understandably, some churches have a tight schedule, which means transferring to a new online giving platform might feel rushed. Even if this is the case, it’s crucial to keep the church staff and leadership involved in using the new platform before it’s released to the entire congregation. 

If a bigger time cushion is allowed for planning the switch, it may be a good idea to include a full leadership test run of the new platform. This method can have great success because it allows the leaders to become familiar with how the platform features work (such as the website or app). 

Most importantly, it allows any problems to arise and be dealt with by the team without worry of unexpected issues affecting the whole congregation in the beginning. 

Conducting a leadership team trial run automatically promotes buy-in because:

  • When leaders know how a new platform works, they can teach the congregation.
  • Leaders will know where and how to resolve common areas of confusion on the platform.
  • The leadership team feels more confident working together to learn the new system.
  • The team has plenty of time to discuss, set up new platform management, and contact platform support for whatever they need.
  • Broad leadership buy-in means there’s a higher chance the congregation will welcome the new platform change as well.

Encouraging Congregation Buy-In

Just as leadership buy-in starts with open communication, it’s also essential for encouraging buy-in from the congregation as a whole. The attitude of the leaders trickles down into the rest of the church community, which is why establishing leadership buy-in with a new online giving platform is so important. Once your team is accepting of a new tithing app, text to give, or another resource (and knows how to use it) it’s time to get online giving into the hands of the congregation. 

Inform Church Members of Upcoming Change

Your pastors and leaders should express the upcoming change to the congregation before it’s put into place. Weekly announcements are appropriate, sometimes months in advance, so people are aware that their methods for giving extend beyond the collection basket. 

Example Announcement:

Here’s an example of a weekly announcement you can give from the pulpit while your leadership team is in the process of setting up the new online giving platform to be released.

We at [name of church] are making some improvements to our online giving platform which can be expected to launch by [estimated upcoming month]. It will allow you to give from your mobile device or from your computer at home. It’s a very approachable way to tithe or give to your church family in whichever way you feel called. 

Everyone has different financial situations and we all have unique gifts for specific ministries. We’ve chosen an app specifically designed to help ministry and outreach-focused churches, with options to set your giving preferences and even categorize any offerings you make.

Our pastors receive many questions from those of us who cannot attend church in person during these challenging times but who still wish to give, and this new app will be an awesome way to allow that opportunity to all. In the next coming weeks, we’ll introduce you all to the platform so you can get set up if you wish. Just know that this exciting update is on its way.

You may announce this during the general weekly announcements or while taking the offering during service. 

Deliver Consistent Announcements and Reminders

It’s best to keep announcing and reminding the church about this change. Make it a weekly announcement so any newcomers or anyone who missed last week’s information can get up to speed. 

Explore the Subject of Tithing and Giving

It might be a good time to explore topics such as charity, tithing, and giving in upcoming sermons. With changes in your church’s giving methods, finances, and donations will be on people’s minds. 

This could be a chance to address common digital fears or money concerns among the community. Remind your church they don’t have to rely on technology, but it is a powerful tool we can all use to further God’s message and plan for our lives. It could also open a new opportunity to share church goals, ministry needs, and encourage the positive impact church members can have on advancing the Kingdom of God.

Provide Information on the New Giving Platform

As the time gets closer to the official launch of the new giving platform, include information about what it is. 

Inform the congregation about:

  • What platform or software you’re planning to switch to.
  • Top features the new platform will include.
  • Where they can learn about the platform (website, training video, app store, etc.).
  • When they can expect to begin using the new online giving methods.
  • Any designated help center or support team they can call if they’re confused .
  • Safety and security standards the new platform abides by.
  • Benefits of the new platform (online-only attendee access, budgeting options, automatic tithe and recurring giving payments, etc.).

Promote Online Giving Changes on all Channels

Since not everybody can physically attend church services all the time, simply announcing the change from the pulpit may leave many members still uninformed. 

Be sure to include updates in all information avenues:

  • The church bulletin
  • Church website
  • Email lists
  • Sermon slides
  • Physical banners or greeting signs
  • Weekly study material 
  • Social media 
  • Snail mail letters or postcards 

Training, Resources, and Troubleshooting After Full Launch 

Church members will want access to helpful resources once they begin using the new online giving platform. Individuals will have varying levels of familiarity with technology, so providing detailed information about every step of using the platform will greatly increase its success.

What Happens When the Congregation Makes the Switch 

People want to know why changes are happening and what they can expect. They want to know what they will need to do if any issues arise, who they can talk to if they have difficulty paying online, and how they can properly set up the new platform for their benefit. 

Church Transitions from a Present Giving Platform 

First, church attendees need to transition themselves from the old online giving to the new platform. They might need to:

  • Sign up for the new platform and create an account.
  • Update their profile with personal information such as their address, phone number, volunteer role in the church, and more.
  • Add their bank account or credit card information so they can send money to the church.
  • Download the mobile app.
  • Watch training videos or contact support for any issues that may arise.

What Information to Provide the Congregation

If someone is new to online giving or new to this specific platform, there might be some Frequently Asked Questions. 

Make the most of the planning stages and formulate a helpful guide on how people in the congregation can access answers to these FAQs:

  • What is this new platform?
  • Where does the money I give through this app go?
  • Where do I find the page that allows me to give?
  • How will this new platform change what I’m able to do for my church?
  • What information do I need to provide?
  • What happens with my online information?
  • Is there an app do I need to download?
  • How do I set up my account?
  • How do I use the new online giving platform?
  • Is this a secure way to give to my church?

Special questions you’ll most likely need to address with your new platform:

  • Individuals who want to pay a one-time gift 
  • Church members who want to set up recurring automatic payments
  • Options to set custom preferences/settings in the app or website
  • Notification options (phone and email)
  • Security preferences 
  • Website terms of service on data and user privacy 

Explaining the Benefits to the Team and Congregation 

Sometimes, people won’t understand the reason for offering online giving. Some aspects of technology can be confusing to your elderly members, but the good news is, it can be exponentially used for good. Take some time to explain the benefits of online giving to your congregation so they know their giving is secure with your leaders and they know their offerings are going to the causes they believe in. 

Different Ways to Give 

Churches use online giving platforms because of the ease of use and a wide variety of ways to give. These different ways to give make it easier for everyone.

Give Through the App

Platforms like easyTithe allow in-app giving. The app lets people give to your church and its ministries online using the secure mobile app.

Online Giving 

For anyone sitting at their computer, or those who don’t love being on their phone all the time, online giving is just as simple. Create custom web forms for individuals to pay online, available 24/7.

Text to Tithe Text Message

Church giving made simple: members can give through quick text to give text messages. While standing in line at the grocery store or sitting in service waiting for friends, one can text your church’s code and the amount they want to give. 

Kiosk Giving

Kiosk giving lets you connect to a secure card reader, so people can swipe their cards to give to the church. 

More than Just a Giving Platform 

There are more benefits to using online giving in your church than methods for payment via congregation. Here are some modern features included in many online giving platforms, apps, or software systems:

  • Reporting
  • Event Registration
  • Mobile App
  • Recurring Giving Options
  • Online Forms 
  • Administrative Features
  • Fund Management and Tracking
  • Custom Features 

Opportunities to Scale Up With the Online Giving Platform or App

There are many ways you can maximize the use of your online giving platform or app. It may be used for much more than collecting weekly tithes online. 

Churches use online giving platforms to give for additional ministries such as:

  • Missions Trips (local and overseas)
  • VBS (Vacation Bible School)
  • Merch (t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs)
  • Books and pamphlets 
  • Church community outreach funding
  • Retreats, Camps, Special Events 
  • And more

While these additions are by no means necessary, they allow churches to scale up and provide more value to their congregations and communities. If you’re going to have an online giving platform in place, choosing one with the option for a wide range of integrations and support is a future-proof decision. 

Do People Like to Give Online?

Is it true that some churches should only pass the plate? That’s up to your team to decide. But even though we are not of this world, we still live in it. Utilizing digital giving tools can make it easier for members to live obedient to the call to give generously. 

We’ve found that most people enjoy the option to give online. 

easyTithe: Supporting Generosity Through Online Giving

Over 15,000 churches are using easyTithe online giving as their preferred platform. It’s our vision to help churches around the world remain connected with their congregation, whether from the pulpit or over WiFi. Since giving is a fundamental part of faith for many, making it more accessible online is one way we can continue to serve the Lord, whether near each other or far apart. 

Get started with easyTithe for free today to see how you can switch your church’s online giving platform to grow your church. 

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Posted On:

March 16th, 2022



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