The pandemic affected our lives in so many different ways as we all had to adapt to changing and challenging circumstances. As churches we had to move much online as meeting up was temporarily suspended. This had an impact for many church finances as some people were unable to give or gave less due to a change in their financial circumstances. 60% of charities reported a decline in donations representing a massive hit at a time when charities were often trying to do more. Now, with the cost of living crisis putting a strain on everyone's finances, donations to charities are once again squeezed as churches also struggle under the rising bills whilst also trying to do more to support their communities.
During the pandemic, as offering baskets were confined to the cupboards, many churches quickly adapted to new ways of accepting donations with large numbers allowing online giving, many doing so for the first time. This meant that people could donate to their church via the website at any time of the day or night with money usually appearing in the church bank account within a few days. With online donations there is little or no admin for donations as there are no cheques to pay in, cash to count, bank statements to upload or card details to enter - the donor can do this themselves safely and securely online. However with an online donation there is the added consideration of the processing and platform fees involved with transaction rates from some providers at up to 5% per donation.
Recent research from iKnow Church shows that over 56% of people choose to cover the transaction fee when given the option. By covering the transaction fee the donor chooses to pay a little bit extra meaning that the charity will get 100% of the donation value and it will cost the church nothing to process it. The transaction rate from iKnow Church is already one of the lowest, but by covering donation fees, the average transaction rate through iKnow Church from May - July 2022 was just 0.97% per donation. This was with an average donation amount of £105.
Based on 56% covering donation fees, a church which received 500 donations totalling £50,000 over the course of the year could save over £600 compared to a provider that charged 2%. Compared to 3.6% charge the saving is over £1,300 per year - that’s enough to buy a decent keyboard, noticeboard or a good supply of coffee for your congregation and community.
With Gift Aid tools built into iKnow Church it means that the church could claim an extra 25% on eligible donations in just a few clicks
Whilst one-off donations are always welcome, having someone set up a regular donation helps churches being able to budget better knowing that there will be a frequent source of income coming in. iKnow Church has recently released an update where donors can choose to give a recurring donation every week, month or quarter and choose to have it automatically increase after a certain number of donations. This not only helps with regular donations but also means that the giving can increase over time. These regular donations have the option for the donor to cover the fees as well.
Fnd out more about the donations module within iKnow Church.