The book of Proverbs says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.” (Proverbs 3:9) The Israelites were a society of farmers, so to give the “firstfruits” of their crops meant offering God the very first ripe produce of the land. It was a sign of trust — trust that as they gave God the result of months of hard work, He would provide the very thing they depended on for survival.
Not many of us have quite the same firstfruits as the Israelites, but the idea is the same. We open our hands, offer to God a portion of our harvest, and trust that he will provide what we need, filling our empty hands with good things.
As far as where we can go to find these 21st-century “firstfruits,” the first place we work, play, and live these days is online. If online is where we function, then it’s where we function as Christians. And an important part of the Christian life is giving generously to the Kingdom.
There are tons of good reasons for your church to make the jump to church online giving. But if you’re still on the fence, here are five of the best reasons why online giving is a great idea for churches today:
Reason #1: It’s Easier Than You Think
Seriously. You might think of online giving as this long, scary process full of online forms and digital “paperwork.”
But it’s not! In fact, if you use a quality online giving tool that’s tailored for use in churches, you can usually sign up in minutes.
Reason #2: Online Giving Has No Boundaries
With traditional offerings, someone has to be in the building to feel inspired to give to your ministry. (Even the really proactive ones still had to mail an offering to your church.)
With online giving, these boundaries are no longer in the way. Online giving allows you to meet people where they are through their smartphones and easy text-to-give options.
Not only that, but potentially anyone in the world could get excited about your ministry and come alongside you to support you financially. And with the viral power of social media, your people can spread the word about supporting your ministry ventures far and wide.
Reason #3: It’ll Turbocharge Your Giving
The research shows that churches that accept tithing online increase overall donations by 32%. By providing tech-native Millennial and Gen Z members a way to give that feels comfortable and easy, you increase the likelihood that these members will give consistently. They may not have a checkbook on them, but they always have their phone, and they are much more likely to contribute to the offering when they can do it digitally, right in the moment.
In addition, online giving allows donors to set up recurring payments, facilitating more regular giving. Pretty much every church faces significant slumps in attendance. It happens in the summer when people are off on vacation. It happens in the dead of winter when everyone has the latest bug that’s going around. It can happen when a sports season heats up. The list goes on.
With easy-to-set-up recurring payments, the people in your community can support the ministry you are doing year-round, no matter how hard it is to get to church.
Reason #4: It Eases Pressure on Staff and Volunteers
Right now, you’ve probably got a treasurer, finance secretary, or other administrators, staff, and volunteers who take care of giving. Their job is to collect offerings, tally them, double-check their work, bring money to a bank, provide mutual accountability, communicate with donors, and generally oversee the financial intake of the church. This is a lot of weekly work, and it never lets up.
Thankfully, with online giving, a huge chunk of this labor need disappears. Online giving collects and tallies for you. It’s more secure than our clumsy human hands. It automatically deposits. Best of all, it automatically compiles your donor list, making end-of-the-year donor records a breeze.
And for those few congregants who will insist on still handing you an old-fashioned check, online giving platforms like DigiGiv makes it super easy to process those one-off physical gifts. Online giving even makes budgeting easier, as you can quickly track income with the tap of a finger.
Reason #5: It Connects People to Something Bigger
While our present online age is ripe with potential for connection, there is also a pervasive feeling of loneliness. The Covid-19 pandemic increased our feelings of isolation in ways we never could have seen coming, and we are still experiencing its ramifications.
By utilizing an online giving platform, you are paving the way for people to feel connected to each other again, to feel that they matter and are part of something bigger than themselves. And when you use micro-campaigns to designate funds for specific needs, you connect people to projects that they feel a personal connection to.
Sending personalized thank-you’s to your donors will help them know their generosity is appreciated and may encourage them to pursue a deeper connection with your ministry. Ultimately, switching to an online giving platform helps people feel connected to each other, to the church, and to God. And in this day and age, that’s more important than ever.
Focusing on the Positives Of Online Giving
There are plenty of benefits to reap when you make the shift to online giving. It’s easy, it breaks down barriers to giving. It has the potential to greatly increase the donations your church receives.
Online giving also helps your church staff and volunteers spend their time and energy on what’s most important. Above all, it helps to connect the disconnected and serves as another way to graft people into the community of God.
If your church is on the fence about moving your giving online, keep these benefits in mind as you consider your options and look for ways to keep your church thriving in the future.