The effectiveness of online donations cannot be denied. President Obama received over $690 million in online donations during the 2012 presidential campaign. With the ability to quickly and safely donate small amounts online, politicians running for office have discovered this tool. Now, the iChurch can harness this powerful force too. It is very simple to add a free donation form using Paypal.com, Jotform.com or Kimbia.com to your website to collect money online. With this online form, a website user can easily select their own amount and donate in seconds using a credit card. Your ministry, however, must still pay the credit card processing fees for handling the transaction. There are also donation programs/modules where an online user can set up automatic recurring withdrawals from their bank account or credit card to give to the church.
eChecks are yet another way for users to pay/donate online. eChecks are payments that you make directly from your bank account. Note that the ability to use debit cards for online donations is not easily done for free at this time so that feature is not prominent in eCommerce.
For some, the convenience factor is a big reason for iChurch online donations. The younger generation is very familiar with donating online. In fact, many young people have never written a check but they are very familiar with online shopping (or donations) from their computer or mobile devices and using a credit card online. If you add a mobile component to the iChurch such as "text to give" or a mobile website/app with online donation capabilities, you can harness the power of impulse donations. When a person is at an event where your church is represented, with a mobile module as part of your iChurch, that person can donate right there as the spirit moves them instead of having to drive home, log on to their computer and then donate. This may be hours later.
Another feature is record keeping. These online donations modules give an instant receipt to the person donating which is often very important to them. For the church, this also saves staff time months later because these online donation modules keep records for the church such as who donated, how much they donated and when they donated. This information is important for the ministry’s financial records.
An online donation eCommerce module added to your website can collect a large amount of money from online users, many of whom may never set foot in your church. These online users may donate smaller amounts, as President Obama showed but volume, not size, is what counts.
For more information on this and other topics, get your copy of "The iChurch Method Volume 1: How to Advance Your Ministry Online." or The iChurch Method Volume 2: Changing the World When You Login or even sign up for the iChurch Method Online School.