by Jason Todd
I read somewhere that 75 years ago, 95 percent of church offerings were received in cash, and only five percent of the offerings were received by check. Today, we are observing another financial transition taking place as more and more people in our churches handle their finances electronically. With an entire generation of Americans accustomed to online bill pay and using their debit cards, there is little need for carrying cash or checkbooks.
As new churches are being planted, many are automatically beginning to offer these new ways of giving. In my view, churches need to be looking for ways to help people be faithful in their giving (through whatever methods possible). We should train people to give, and to give faithfully.
Giving members an opportunity to set up electronic giving means their giving will be more consistent even when their pay schedule does not coincide with their church attendance. In other words, members who travel on business or frequent vacationers can know they are still giving faithfully and consistently. You can truly give the first-fruits through electronic giving before anything else has a chance to make a demand on those resources.
Churches that do not have electronic giving available to their members are no doubt missing opportunities. According to data from the Federal Reserve, the trend toward electronic transactions in churches mirrors a trend in American culture at large. By 2007, 53 percent of U.S. households used online banking. That represented a marked increase from four percent in 1995. Similarly, by 2007, 80 percent used direct deposit for income or benefits payments, up from 53 percent in 1995. This is why we encourage our church planters to start with an electronic giving plan as soon as it is affordable.
Another major attraction for electronic giving is the ability for churches to allow their members’ electronic gifts to be done in one transaction with multiple designations. With all of this in mind, the NCPO has partnered with Electronic Ministry Resources in Springfield, MO, to provide complete and affordable solutions for electronic giving transactions, both online and using an in-church kiosk. Some of the features of their online giving include:
- Designated giving – easily managed by the church
- Customizable and secure online giving page
- Easy to understand reporting
- The ability for church members to give a one-time donation or initiate automatic recurring giving. Giving can be cancelled or designations/amounts easily adjusted by members.
- Quick and easy setup with no setup fee
- Affordable transaction fees
If you are searching for an easy and affordable solution for electronic giving online or through a stand-alone kiosk, please email the NCPO at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Electronic Ministry Resources.