Many of us remember putting our coins on the collection plate as it was passed around at church service. But people have been predicting the end of cash for more than 60 years and now, in 2016, that is starting to look real. With more than 50% of all payments in the UK being made by card or online, and with 40% of Brits believing they won't use cash 10 years from now, the church must find an alternative way to collect donations. This is why digital payments, and ChurchDesk’s Contributions, are so important.
There are many reasons why having online donation available is beneficial for your church. For one, allowing your congregation to donate anywhere, anytime gives them more opportunity to give to the church. This often leads to higher donations, and higher amounts donated. Both bank transfers and credit card donations are approximately 8% higher than those that are given in cash. Donors can also set up a recurring donation, which gives more stability in collections. The church now has a steady inflow of funds which it can rely on throughout the year.
Giving a personal touch
Another benefit of online donations is that they can be made more personal. Your congregation can donate to one specific cause, or to the church in general, and either way receive a thank-you message from the church and/or a personalised message with updates on how their money was spent, or what difference it will make. This more convenient and personalised donation process with the church will resonate with the younger generation, making them more likely to include the church in the technology that they use in their daily lives.
Online (or mobile) payments, such as for a cup of coffee in the church, or a musical event being held is once again less hassle for your congregation. Many might not be holding the odd £2 they need in change, and by introducing mobile payments you’re allowing them to participate in supporting the church. Holding less cash on the premises is also a strong case for accepting mobile payments.
Payments made easy
Although there are a few churches already using these functions (perhaps via a third party such as Paypal), it is yet to be a trend with serious uptake in the UK. But it will be. Not only do digital donations and payments have the advantages listed above, but when you use ChurchDesk’s Contributions, you can easily see in the inflows and outflows of money to your church, and collect data on them. This data, on who is giving, how frequently, how much, and the makeup of your bills, can be an incredibly useful tool in church growth.