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Choosing An Online Giving Solution For Your Church Website (Part 2)

In my last post, Choosing An Online Giving Solution For Your Church Website (Part 1),  I presented an overview of what you can expect as you begin researching options for enabling online giving through your church website. Well, that article should have actually been “Part 2”, and this article, “Part 1”.

That’s because, if you’re just getting started with online giving, and read that article first, you may have been left wondering,

With so many options and so many features, how in the world do I choose the perfect solution for my church?

I was asking myself that very same question when I discovered the multitude of solutions available. I learned my church already had options available through Church Community Builder and WordPress, applications we’re already using. So, I started checking them out.

I didn’t get very far before realizing that I’d started the process at the wrong step. D’oh!

Being the geeky gal that I am, I was eager to begin looking at software. However, in my haste, I’d forgotten that the process for choosing an online giving solution doesn’t begin with evaluating options. The process begins with planning. So, I backed up, and regrouped.

These steps are essentially the same ones you’d follow when choosing any software solution for your church.

Steps For Choosing An Online Giving Solution

STEP 1: Plan (Proverbs 2:11)[list style=”list2″ color=”green”]

  • Pray for God’s guidance and for His wisdom (Proverbs 3:6, 16:9; James 1:5)
  • Thoroughly define requirements (what we need) and goals (why we need it)

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STEP 2: Research & Evaluate[list style=”list2″ color=”green”]

  • Determine what solutions are available (including options through software we’re already using)
  • Evaluate those solutions, strictly adhering to the needs and goals defined in Step 1
  • Narrow the list of contenders to two or three options

[/list]

STEP 3: Test Drive & Choose[list style=”list2″ color=”green”]

  • Take each contender for a test drive, if possible
  • Choose the best option

[/list]

Those steps seem simple to me. Time-consuming, but simple.

Now, I realize you may still have many more questions about online giving. So, I’ve gathered a few additional resources together for you. I hope you’ll find them helpful as you plan, evaluate, and choose an option to enable online giving through your church website.

Downloadable Online Giving Guides & Tools

[list style=”list2″ color=”green”]

[/list]

Software Comparison Charts & Lists

[list style=”list2″ color=”green”]

  • Church Management Software Comparison Chart
    Source: Christian Computing Magazine
    Comparison of 40 software Church Management Software (ChMS) solutions. A few of these options have an online giving component. I used this chart to discover that my church’s ChMS includes an online giving tool.
  • Top Donation Management Software
    Source: Capterra
    Capterra is a free service churches can use to help them find the right software. Capterra offers one of the most comprehensive lists I’ve seen of business software solutions on the Web.

[/list]

Image Credit: zhouxuan 12345678 | Flickr cc

5 replies on “Choosing An Online Giving Solution For Your Church Website (Part 2)”

Great resources here, Grace. I’m wondering what you’re seeing these days in Church Giving? We’ve found that being able to support churches with many options is important as folks are diverse and like to give in various ways (eg. text vs online vs app vs kiosk vs. traditional cash/check).

Oh, and I’d love your perspective on wordpress plugins. Do you find that having a great giving plugin is useful for church websites and folks who setup/run church websites on wordpress?

Thanks!

Barn – http://www.tithe.ly

Thanks for stopping by, Barn! I agree with you…options are good.

What am I seeing these days in Church Giving? Do you mean what options?

I don’t keep watch on that market, so I can’t say I’m seeing anything. Honestly, I’m not even sure what all was available at the time I wrote the original article. I was just learning about it then, as I researched the option for my own small church.

Technology evolves so quickly, I’m not sure what innovations (if any) may be available now that weren’t, say, just last year.

Regarding plugins for WordPress, yes, I think a giving plugin for WordPress would offer great value and usefulness. We pointed to a few earlier, here on CWI. Check out 7 Donation WordPress Plugins for Your Church Website

Thanks, Grace! Love the plugin examples. We’ve actually been considering building one to make it simple to use Tithe.ly w/ WP. WP is such an amazing platform and churches should be using it! 🙂

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