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Church parishioners have adapted to technology-driven payment methods. People rely upon electronic and credit/debit payments these days. One common problem many churches often find themselves facing is overcoming situations where parishioners arrive for services, only to have forgotten to bring their checkbook or cash. While subtle reminders sometimes work, they are not always the most effective way to ensure your church is receiving the maximum amount of donations and tithes. As a result, churches need to find new technology-driven solutions to make it easy for their parishioners to give, like installing an offering kiosk in the church.

What Is an Offering Kiosk?

An offering kiosk is a tablet device secured to a kiosk stand. The tablet is supplied by the church and configured with software specific for your church. A credit and debit card reader can be connected to the device, so parishioners may swipe their card instead of manually entering their payment information. The donation and tithing process is simple and easy for anyone use.

How Do Parishioners Make Donations and Tithes?

Parishioners walk up to the kiosk where they see your church’s donation page and click on the “Donate Now” button. On the next screen, they select the amount of donation, select which area of the church they want their money to go for, such as tithes, other special church sponsored programs, or missionary work, select how often they want to give, select the payment date, enter in a personalized message, decide on privacy preferences, enter in the billing information or swipe the card through the card reader, and click the “Donate Now” button to finalize the secure transaction. After the transaction is submitted the kiosk is reset for the next person to use.

Other Technology Driven Solutions for Church Donations

In addition to offering kiosks, churches have the option to use a special QR code for people to scan with their smartphones. The QR code can be listed on the church’s kiosk’s home page to give parishioners an alternative method to give. Another way to use your church’s QR code is to publish it in your church bulletin with an appropriate inspirational message. People simply scan the code and are taken to your church’s secure donation page.

On the main page, visitors have the option to share the church’s mobile page on Facebook, Twitter, or through email, as well as to like the page on Facebook. The donation and tithing process is very similar to using the kiosk stand, except people have the option to sign in using their email or Facebook profile, or make an anonymous donation. If someone logs in with their Facebook profile, they can invite friends to also make donations. By utilizing a QR code, a church is able to take advantage of modern technologies and social media to encourage people to make regular donations.

For more information about the Giving Kiosk, or other electronic tithing and donation solutions for your church, contact us today at 800-684-0550.

Kiosk
Posted on: 03/25/2015

Let's face it fundraising can be difficult. You have such a great cause and you are really making this world a better place but you need funding to keep making this happen.

How do you get people's attention and show them that you need help? This is the question charities and personal fundraisers around the world are facing. Fundraising seems to take time away from doing the actual cause itself! Even though fundraising takes your much-needed time remember it’s not time wasted. Without funds you simply cannot help your cause, which is the reason you are taking up fundraising in the first place! So spend the time fundraising but save time by fundraising the right way.

At Continue to Give we help fundraisers just like yours meet their fundraising goals everyday and we are prepared to share with you some of our best tips to make this happen.

1. Make the Giving Process Easy and Accessible without Added Costs

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of fundraising and one of the most important. It is your responsibility to put the “sign here” in front of your audience of potential donors. The best way to do this is to have all giving avenues available for your donor to give through: Mobile, Kiosk, and Online.

Now before you say you’re only a personal fundraiser or you couldn’t afford to have mobile, kiosk, and online e-giving options, know this, all three can cost the same to have as it does to have just one online giving option. Yes that’s right! If you use a personal fundraising account through an online giving platform that setups a WePay you won’t even be required to pay any monthly setup. So make sure you do your research when you choose a provider and check out both the organization’s nonprofit rates and the personal fundraisers nonprofit rates and compare with your situation. Either type should offer you all the giving avenues.

Next, Don’t expect your givers to be caring around cash and checks. According to a Bankrate survey 2 in every 5 people carry less than $20 in cash on a given day! Get easy donations avenues that can accept credit, debit, and ach payments.

Now, one way you could make it easier for givers is to have a self addressed already stamped return letter in your fundraising letters right? Wrong! Instead of eating that extra cost of that stamp and the extra return letter add your Text-To-Donate number and QR code. Chances are most people will have their mobile device right in their pocket! After 10 years of electronic fundraising experience, Continue to Give’s personal data shows that over 17% of donations are made on a mobile device! It’s quick, it’s easy, and you will receive the donation faster. If you don’t have a mobile option for your givers you need to get one.

Secondly, harness electronic giving avenues. Get that donate button on your website that is strategically placed either in the upper right hand corner of the screen at all times or is in your menu bar. Do not make your givers go on a hunt for your donate button! People get frustrated when finding information, such as the donate button, turns into a scavenger hunt. If you already roped them in and they want to donate, don’t make them frustrated with your giving process.

Thirdly, at fundraising events have a point of donation kiosk setup with a credit card swiper or have staff sit at a computer to take peoples donations through your online giving provider. This will make donating with a credit card easy and convenient for your givers. Remember; don’t expect people to be caring around cash and checks. Expect a credit or debit card.

In addition, credit and debit cards are not the only electronic giving method people use. Over 22% of donations made on Continue to Give software is ACH donations. What is ACH? ACH is when people can donate online with their checking account. ACH transaction rates can be a quarter of a credit card transaction. Allow your givers to donate in a way that is cheaper for you.

2. Harness the Recurring Donation

Don’t let the donation process depend on your givers! They have families, basketball games, funerals, medical, and other situations running their life besides your fundraiser. Remember the slogan, ‘The squeaky wheel gets the oil.’ Instead of constantly reminding them about your much-needed funding take time to talk with your givers about setting up a monthly donation to your cause. Remember, one conversation could lead to 12 months of steady donations!

Fundraisers setup with Continue to Give’s services that emphasized setting up recurring donations saw an increase of donations because without consecutive missed months of giving the fundraiser had a steady flow of cash coming in that they could count on.

Make the process of recurring donations easy! When a donation is being made ask if they would make it a recurring donation. Or if the donor gave a while ago ask them if they would extend that donation to become a recurring monthly donation using the same payment information that you already have on file. All they have to do is say yes and your golden!

3. Understand the word “Why?”

There are a few different reasons you should examine the word ‘Why’.

First question, “Why should I give this specific fundraiser my money instead of a different one?” You need to show the giver what their donation will go towards. Give them specific examples that will stick in their mind. For example you might be able to tell them that for every $10 given they feed a child 4 times that week, or $100 a month will ensure a family clean drinking water. Give them something to brag about. They need to know that they are making a difference.

Second question, “Why am I targeting this person or group to get funding from?” This is very important. If you are trying to get funding for an animal rights fundraiser, do not go and try to get donations from people who hunt. Take your time to know your audience. Ask yourself, “Who cares about my cause as much as I do?” Think about the perfect match of link-minded people that would be willing to give.

We hope that you have enjoyed our fundraising tips and that you can use them to increase giving. All you have to remember are these three rules: make it easy, ask for recurring donations, and relay your fundraiser to like-minded supporters.

Posted on: 03/25/2015

Technology touches just about every aspect of our lives, including how we bank, how we find significant others, how we educate our children, and much more. Churches and houses of worship aren’t always quick to adapt to new technology, and in some cases, may be uneasy about it.

Harnessing Technology

Online applications and related technology are like any other tools God has given us – they can be used for good or ill, depending on those using it. For churches, technology can be a powerful force for good, helping to provide information and support, engaging with today’s parishioners in a context relevant to their lives and making the task of fundraising easier and more convenient. Church donation software including giving kiosks, mobile giving applications, blogs, and informational videos can expand the mission of the church and reach out to parishioners where they are – online.

Technology isn’t going away and neither is the church. Churches that embrace technology and make use of the many efficiencies and conveniences it provides will be more effective in reaching out to those in need and helping them with spiritual and other needs.

Churches & the Internet

While some churches and religious organizations are leery of the Internet because of the plethora of questionable content types and online malicious actors, many have embraced it, making the same choice Christians in the Middle Ages did when they embraced the printing press – using new technology to fulfill the commission of the church. Here are a few facts about how churches are using technology:

  • About a third of all churches use PowerPoint or video clips as part of their worship service. These technologies can provide additional content and reinforcement of lessons being taught in the service and are appealing to more visually-oriented young parishioners.
  • More than 98 percent of churches who said they used social media in a recent survey reported using Facebook. Twitter was the second most used social media platform, being used by 77 percent of respondents.
  • About 92 percent of churches said Facebook was the most useful social media tool to engage members. Only about a fifth reported Twitter as being effective.
  • According to a Tyndale University poll, about 74 percent of church members have read the Bible in an electronic format.
  • About 27 percent of all churches make no use of the Internet whatsoever, according to The Clergy Journal.
  • More than half of all churches provide Internet access for their staff to complete church-related work.
  • Nearly all churches use electronic sound equipment in worship services.

Church Online Giving

Blogs and Facebook pages are great tools for outreach, but the Internet offers more than just an online bulletin board and mail services for churches. Churches can also harness the Internet to make online giving and mobile giving easier and ensure that finances are more transparent and accountable for members.

The truth is that fewer and fewer of us carry cash or use checks. According to the Washington Post, about nine percent of Americans carry no cash at all and about half of us carry less than $20 at any given time. Americans are also writing fewer and fewer checks each year. As older generations who relied on cash pass on, this trend will only accelerate as Millennials become the primary donors for churches. Providing a method of giving relevant to how this generation handles its financial affairs is essential to the fiscal health of churches.

Younger generations demand options for mobile tithing, whether it is via offering kiosks where they can swipe their credit cards at church or online through the church’s website.

Setting up online giving options has a variety of benefits, including:

  • Convenience – Members will be more likely to tithe if it is easy. More and more Americans are going online to pay their bills and are enjoying the convenience. Coaxing donations may be easier if donating is easier.
  • Increasing donations – Members may donate more if they’re donating money using their debit or credit card rather than whatever cash they happen to have on hand Sunday.
  • Making tithing easier – Many online giving platforms allow members to set up regular deductions from their debit or credit card account, making regular tithing more convenient
  • Increasing transparency – Churches can more easily organize financial information derived from electronic giving to present to members, making accountability efforts easier.
  • Increased efficiency – Having funds deposited directly into church bank accounts causes less administrative work than depositing checks and cash donated by members.

Facilitating Online Giving

The technology involved with setting up online methods of giving or offering kiosks can be intimidating to many church leaders who may be unfamiliar with such equipment and software. Finding a trusted partner to help facilitate online giving can help ease these worries and create a user-friendly method of giving. Continue to Give is an online giving platform that works with churches and non-profits to facilitate easy, trustworthy, and effective giving. Continue to Give can provide churches with a variety of options for giving, including:

  • Offering Kiosks – These discreet and convenient giving kiosks can be set up at church to give members an easy way to donate using their debit or credit cards.
  • Online giving – Continue to Give can set up convenient giving buttons on church websites and social media pages. This will allow members to give from the convenience of their homes. Churches can also uses this option to facilitate giving campaigns for capital projects or missionary support.
  • Mobile giving – More and more people are using their smartphones to conduct transactions. Continue to Give can print QR codes on bulletins and flyers that members can scan to go to a mobile giving page. Mobile phones are quickly replacing desktops and laptops as users’ primary connection to the Internet. Setting yourself up with mobile giving platform can be an important investment in the future. The text to give feature is easy to use for supporters.
  • Donations to churches and religious organizations have been declining in recent years. According to the Wall Street Journal, churches accounted for half of all charitable giving in 1990. Today, they account for just a third. Incorporating online technology in giving can help to halt this trend, giving parishioners an easy way to increase church donating, and handing churches a more effective way to reach out to their membership.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-samuelson-the-best-stats-of-2014/2014/12/23/8c6b826e-8ad8-11e4-9e8d-0c687bc18da4_story.html
https://www.wsj.com/articles/decline-in-church-building-reflects-changed-tastes-and-times-1417714642
https://blog.capterra.com/church-technology-stats/

Photo: MLB

Posted on: 03/03/2015

Why people are switching?

People are starting to realize that their fundraising platform is not truly free! While there is a cost to using online payment processing systems there doesn't need to be such a dramatic cost that cuts deep into your fundraiser's pockets. This is why people are making the switch from GoFundMe to Continue to Give.

CTG Save U Money

Continue to Give's saves you Money!

When all is said and done using GoFundMe for your fundraiser will cost you 7.9% + .30 for every donations you receive! When people switched over to Continue to Give they saw that their fees (3.9% + .30) were cut in half!

You could be saving hundreds of dollars by switching and not have to sacrifice the quality, security, and easiness of fundraising!

Continue to Give's Fundraisers are set up the same way!

All Continue to Give's fundraisers use WePay just like GoFundMe does. So when people made the switch they just switched over their current WePay account to their Continue to Give fundraising account! It was that simple!

Continue to Give offers you more!

Continue to Give doesn't just stop at online giving! Continue to Give accounts offer Text-To-Donate numbers, QR codes, and a fundraising Kiosk App that's all included in your account!

In addition, Continue to Give also supplies you with all your online fundraising tools you need such as facebook donations, crowdfunding, blog donations, and campaign starters!

So what are you waiting for! Make the Switch and with your fundraising account and start saving today!

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Posted on: 01/14/2015

We are proud to be a partner of VeriCheck, Inc.

VeriCheck provides electronic payment processing for businesses around the country. They equip all types and sizes of businesses with cloud based payment processing solutions that enable them to initiate payments against customer checking or savings accounts by accessing a fully functional merchant console that is available online 24/7.

They also enable merchants to put payment forms on their website so customers can input their own payment information and submit payments. Payment forms are pre-designed, customizable, and can be easily edited to suit a particular business' unique needs.

Continue to Give works with Vericheck to service a more dynamic and cost effective alternative to PayPal and other online payment processors!

Posted on: 01/10/2015

Fundraising is hard work! You have a great cause and you need people to donate to you. You want to meet your fundraising goal, but how do you do it?

Everyone who wants to have a successful personal fundraiser need to learn marketing. Marketing may sound intimidating at first but it is actually very simple and easy for you to do. Here are some basic marketing tips for you to make your fundraiser a success!

If you need to start a fundraiser click here.

You need to Catch the Reader's Attention:

Your Title: The title of your fundraiser needs to point to exactly what your fundraiser is for. For example if you are raising money for a friend who has cancer make your title. "Help Ashley Beat Cancer"

This catches the readers attention with key words. "Ashley", this is someones name. By putting the persons name in the title you bring a personal relationship to your readers. "Help", this is a call to action that the reader will see as "what is my part in this tragedy". "Beat Cancer", this is the specific reason for your fundraiser. You want to raise money for medical and more specifically cancer.

Your Mission Statement: Your mission statement is extremely important for the sake of your fundraiser. It is what shows up when someone shares your page on their twitter. Limit your mission statement to one sentence. You can even repeat your title if it clearly defines your fundraiser. Remember key words are what people will pull away from your fundraiser. If you want to tell a story or write a paragraph do so in your description statement and not your mission.

Videos and Pictures: Give your fundraiser a picture or video. Let your readers know that this is a real fundraiser and you really have a genuine cause.

Share, Share, Share: If people don't know about it how will they know to donate? Share on facebook, share on twitter, and bring attention to your fundraiser. Start a blog. Sell t-shirts or wrist bands. The point is to keep people talking and thinking about it.

If you have comments share them below!

Posted on: 11/19/2014
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