11 Reasons Not to Offer Online Giving

1. You want to frustrate those who no longer use checks or carry cash. Many today, especially those under age 30, do not carry or use checks. Nor do they carry much cash. Their financial lives revolve around the use of debit and credit cards. So when offering time comes, they are frustrated, even embarrassed that they are unprepared to participate.

2. You do not want to link stories of life change to generosity. After watching a video you’ve uploaded that tells the story of a new life in Christ that occurred as a result of your church’s ministry, why not provide a link to your online giving page? Help your donors connect the dots between their generosity and the impact it is having through your ministry.

3. You would prefer people give to other non-profits who DO offer online giving. Just a reminder – there are over 1.2 million charities in the United States alone. If one is led to give and doesn’t find an easy, convenient way to give to your mission, they will find another one that does and make their gift there.

4. You do not want to tempt your donors to use credit cards. That’s great! You don’t have to. Most online giving providers offer the option of accepting debit cards without taking credit cards.

5. You do not want to pay transaction fees. While there is a small percentage fee (less than 3%) for contributions made from debit and credit cards, those fees are more than covered by the new money you will receive from donors who begin to give to your ministry now that this option is made available to them. Many invite online donors to add 2-3% to their gift to cover the transaction fees.

Know too that electronic funds transfers (EFT) and similar options a donor can select have a small $.25 – $.50 fee, but no percentage fees that credit cards charge.

You will save money in at least a couple of ways, including administrative time saved not having to manually enter gift data or processing checks each week along with occasional insufficient funds charges.

6. You want people to view giving as if they are paying bills. People can use online bill pay through their bank so we don’t need to offer online giving. Yes, they can. I pay most of my bills that way each month. But do we really want our people to view giving to God as if they are paying a bill? That truly is not the heart position from which we want our people giving.

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Rusty Lewis
Rusty has earned certification as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Central Missouri and is a member of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals (AFP) and the National Association of Church Business Administrators (NACBA). He serves as a coordinator for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, teaches courses for Crown Financial Ministries and serves on the generosity team in his own church.