Receiving online donations at your church
Online donations is a catch-all term for any method of donating via the internet (for contactless donations click here). As more and more of our churches grow their online presence, having the ability to accept donations online opens them up to a whole new community of people who want to support their local church.
To help churches considering their online donation options the Diocese has a preferred provider called GiveALittle which you can read about here. It is always worth shopping around and if you would like to read more about other providers you can visit the Parish Resources website which has a price comparison of various popular online donation providers.
On this page we look at various opportunities for accepting and encouraging donations online. Remember that these don’t all have to be independent of each other and you may be able to reach more people by using more than one method. You might also want to take a look at the Parish Resources website which has some excellent ideas and case studies for how to integrate online giving into your church.
On A Church Near You
ACNY donation page, customisable video and charitable certification
You can create a dedicated donations page on your ACNY profile and access a new customisable animated video which explains how giving is important to churches. Click here for a step-by-step guide to setting up a donations page on ACNY and add your donation button. See here for more information about the customisable video.
You can now also download a proof of charitable status certificate from ACNY. This is useful for any excepted churches which do not have a Charity Number. A video showing how to do this can be found here.
On your church website
These days many people, when they want to find out about anything, will first check the internet. This means that having donation information on your website has become essential. Not only does it provide a way for people to give, it also allows you to communicate the importance of giving to your community.
One of the best options is to create a dedicated page about giving on your website explaining how people can support you. This allows you to highlight the importance of regular giving alongside a form for signing up (such as a PDF of the Parish Giving Scheme donation form or a standing order form) whilst at the same time giving the reader the opportunity to donate straight away via an online donations provider.
To look at our recommended online donations providers click here. Once you have registered with an online donations provider you will be given a link which you can add to any page on your website, as well as to A Church Near You (see above).
Online shopping donations
Free Donations from Online Retailers
With more and more people doing their shopping online churches now have the opportunity to access free donations from most major retailers through our new Diocesan partnership with easyfundraising. When members of a church sign-up and complete their online shopping (with any of the 4000+ shops which are part of the scheme) via easyfundraising, the retailer gives the church a small donation as a thank you for shopping with them. These donations don’t replace the need for regular giving but they can help by bringing in a little extra income for church. You can read more here.
Donations through other fundraising websites
If you are running a specific fundraising project you might want to set up a fundraising page on a site such as JustGiving, CAF Donate, or GoFundMe (which can be run in conjunction with Paypal Giving Fund). Once you have set up a page you can then direct people to it through your website as well as in any other communications such as pew sheets, emails, community flyers, and notice boards. NB you don’t have to be running a specific project to use these services, you can set up a page which is simply for the church’s general fund.
Top tips for choosing a provider
When considering your different options you should first check out their pricing structure and then you might like to think about what capabilities they offer, for example:
- can they add a “Donate Now” button to your website or do they provide a link?
- can they collect the information for and/or claim Gift Aid?
- can they set up regular giving (standing orders/Direct Debit)?
- can they accept one-off donations?
Parish Resources has written a list of most of the providers which list them by price and shows their different capabilities. You can read it here.
To help you when considering your options the diocese has two recommended providers for one-off donations. You can read about them here. You should always find the option that works best for you though.
Church and donations management programs
Many church management programs (such as ChurchSuite and ChurchDesk) and donations management programs (such as Lepton and MyGiving.Online) include online donations as part of their package so if you use a management app you may already be paying for the ability to accept donations online. To find out if this is the case you should check with your provider.
Remember, if you have any questions about receiving donations online, the Generous Giving Adviser for the diocese, Joshua Townson, is on hand to provide you advice and support. You can contact him via email at email@example.com or telephone on 01865 208 757.