Online Giving - Worth the 'Cost'?
Let me preface this post with the fact that I am a little bias toward the online marketplace. After all, it is my job, and because it is my job I believe I can offer a good perspective on the matter whether it is bias or not...
As usual, the non-profit world is behind the times when it comes to technology and, more specifically, digital transactions. Non-profits, including organizations and churches, tend to shy away from anything that costs money and offers no tangible return on that investment. This is a strange phenomenon. I'm not quite sure if this is a result of having so little money that they clench on to every penny with an iron clad fist, or if they simply don't know any better. I tend to think it is some conglomeration of the two.
The reality is, at the heart of every financially successful business is a wise businessman. And likewise, at the heart of every financially successful non-profit (church or organization) is a wise businessman. As a Christian, I believe that faith is the rock on which we should build our ministries, but faith in the absence of wisdom and responsibility is nothing more than foolishness. Wisdom, in this circumstance, means giving your donors 24/7 access to deposit their blessings into your bank account. And, to take it a step further, the ability for you to take their blessings from their bank account on a monthly basis (recurring giving).
I know, I know, what about the costs involved?...transaction fees?...set-up fees?...monthly fees?...fees...fees...fees. Let's take a step outside of our non-profit box for a minute into the realm of 'Profit'. Yes, the 'P' word. When was the last time you walked into a successful business and heard the words, "Cash or Check only please."? I remember, and I also remember turning around, walking out the door, and driving down the road the closest competition that would take my debit card.
Convenience is everything in our society. If you think today's 20 - 30 year olds would rather drop a check into a shiny aluminum plate with the whole world watching, than sit at home in their jammies and process another payment online, you're wrong. Today's giving generation, and much of the older generations, want to handle all their monetary transactions from one place...their can't-live-without...life sustaining...desktop, laptop, or PDA.
The question is...is your bank account open for one-click business? Or, are we going to have to write out a check, put it in an envelope, and put a stamp on it or stick it in our bible til next Sunday?
Poieo Design highly recommends Ministry Give for your online giving needs. Check out their website for more information.