Online giving can increase donations from people who do not normally give; from those who donate by cash; or from occasional and new givers. It can also raise funds outside services when churches are closed. As more of our churches grow their online presence, being able to accept donations online opens them up to a whole new community of people who want to support their local church. It has never been more crucial.
'We saw an uptake in giving overall just from going digital, despite the church being closed.'Greg, Treasurer at St Anselm, Kennington Cross
Recommended platforms are safe and secure to use, some can claim Gift Aid on your behalf, and you can usually embed a donate button or QR code on your website. Fundraising pages are a key way to raise money and enable giving during fundraising events.
Choosing a provider
The PCC should consider:
- costs: set-up, transaction, and monthly fees vary
- benefits: can include Gift Aid reporting and automated ‘thank you’ messages.
Parish Buying has negotiated a very good offer with Give A Little (in partnership with SumUp), offering you the lower transaction rate we have seen (1.95%) and free premium membership until the end of 2021. To set up an account with Give A Little, follow this step-by-step video.
There is a comprehensive list of providers with with Parish Buying’s special rates, and many church management apps also provide online giving options, although these can be expensive.
'It really has been a game-changer for us… the amount of work we have to do has been vastly reduced.'Alistair, Treasurer at All Saints, Kingston
Setting up an online giving page
Different providers have slightly different requirements for signing up so please check with the provider you select. We suggest having the following to hand:
- your Registered Charity Number, your HMRC Gift Aid Reference (if you are an excepted charity) or proof of charitable status certificate from ACNY
- your bank details and some recent bank statements
- details of your Churchwardens and Treasurer.
Setting up your online giving account through Parish Buying is free and easy. Watch this walk-through video to help you step-by-step.
Ensure your PCC Treasurer and Gift Aid Secretary are aware of how and when online donations will reach your church bank account, and how Gift Aid will be claimed on them. This Good Governance Guide provides a common sense approach to issues arising from online giving.
Sharing your online giving page
Once you have set up your online giving page, make sure spread the word, sharing the link widely. For ideas on how to promote your online giving page, watch this video.
For more help with sharing your online giving page well, read our top tips in this blog post.
Using QR Codes
QR codes are a free and easy way to point people to your online giving page, both in and out of the church building. Explore out resources and read more about using QR codes to enable generous giving on the blog.
Using ‘A Church Near You’
You can create a dedicated donations page on your ACNY profile and access a customisable video which explains why giving to your church matters. Watch this video for help with using your ACNY page to encourage online giving.
You can 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.
Online shopping donations
Churches now can access free donations from many major retailers through registering as a good cause on easyfundraising. Anyone can sign up and complete their online shopping with easyfundraising, and the retailer gives the church a small donation.
If your church is a registered charity, you can also sign up to AmazonSmile. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price of any shopping (excluding VAT), at no cost to you or your shoppers.