We are living digitally; we are also giving digitally. Churches must offer digital giving options and communicate via websites and social media or we lose out on opportunities for people to give every week. Guidance and practical advice is freely available. Hear about how Mossley Hill have embraced Digital Giving.
This page gives information on:
- Online giving
- Contactless giving
- Telephone giving
- Text giving
- Diocesan JustGiving Scheme
- Resources to promote Digital Giving
Online giving platforms have huge reach and much potential. Online giving platforms can be used by congregation members but they broaden the giving invitation to the wider community, those who love and value you, near and far, but may rarely attend.
You can link from
- your church website
- A Church Near You page
- your social media
to donation pages hosted by Give A Little (using SumUp), JustGiving, VirginGiving, GoFundMe or give.net from the Christian charity Stewardship. All these work well and also have a good look at the online giving solution from Parish Buying.
New to online giving?
Parish Buying is a Church of England resource website where you can find digital advice, support, buying guides and purchase/sign up for online giving at specially negotiated rates. Another perk of using Parish Buying to sign up for your digital giving, is that they are at the end of the phone to help and support you through the process.
- How to set up Give A Little for online giving - here
- How to link your online giving to your church's 'A Church Near You' page - here is a 'how-to' guide
- Purchasing a contactless giving device - here
Many of our churches now use Give A Little to facilitate their donations (integrated with either SumUp or Stripe who are the payment processors), here are a few reasons why it is a good solution:
It takes all major payment methods and is used in popular contactless solutions. Compatible with Wallet Apps (e.g. Google Pay or Apple Pay).
You can use your account for multiple contactless donation devices and online giving accounts.
GAL generates QR codes which help donors rapidly link, using their smartphone camera, to your online web campaigns for fully contactless giving.
Multiple fundraising campaigns for different purposes gives donors access to a list of these to make their choice.
The service can facilitate Gift Aid claims - but please note that this option is only available if you have signed up through parish buying. One way to make sure of this is to use the log in givealittle.co/parishbuying
Integrating your GAL account with a payment processor
GAL facilitates the donation, while a 'payment processor' puts the money in your church bank account. You can integrate GAL with the following through Parish Buying at discounted transaction rates:
- SumUp: a SumUp account can facilitate both contactless and online donations. You can also use your SumUp account separately with the SumUp app for taking payments.
- Stripe: a Stripe Express account can facilitate online donations at a much lower cost than SumUp. It can accept Apple Pay and Google Pay for online donations and also has a high donations threshold (up to £1m) in a single transaction.
(If your church is beginning to use MyFundAccounting/MyGivingOnline for their accounts, there is also an integration for this with Give A Little. Instructions coming soon.)
With huge changes in how we make our day to day payments it will also be important when churches open again to provide a contactless way to make our gifts to God and the ministry of our church. This will be true for our regular Sunday and midweek congregations. It will also be true for occasional offices and for those who visit the sacred space of our open churches.
- Start with Parish Buying who have negotiated deals with various providers of card readers and have advice on contactless solutions.
- Watch a video on the use and value of contactless giving in churches; a 60 second version is available here
- View a wide range of contactless solutions at Parish Buying. They range from cheap and cheerful (see below) to high end units which don’t need internet wi-fi in the building and can be customised and offer Gift Aid.
Below are solutions we have tried and tested across the diocese. If you would like advice about which device might be best to suit your church setting, please contact with our digital giving advisor firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SumUp Card Reader - One of the cheapest of these options is a SumUp card reader, just £19 from Parish Buying, * Note you will need a smartphone or tablet to use with the card reader. If there is no Wi-Fi in the building you can use your phone as a mobile hotspot* or a SumUp Solo for £59 which has it's own touch screen and doesn't require a mobile phone/tablet. (This card reader can also be used to take contactless donations say in a church café or shop or even after church coffee. It also has Chip and Pin functionality so can be used to take fees but remember there will be a small transaction fee.
- CollecTin More - CollecTin More would be the next step up, and arguably, a more donor-friendly device than a card reader. A built-in tablet screen uses Give A Little software with a SumUp card reader to take donations. It is portable, easy to use and not too expensive.
- Payaz Giving Station - Payaz Giving Stations are sturdy, come with a dark-wood base which blends in better with the churchh environment, and similarly to the CollecTin, uses Give A Little software with a SumUp card reader to take donations.
- GWD - GWD are a high-end line of donation stations that can be customised with decorative banners bespoke to your church. These are a more expensive option that would suit a church with a high footfall, large events such as graduations, mayoral services, tourist sites etc.
More options available on Parish Buying. Please note that donations and purchases need to be recorded separately if you are claiming on GASDS.
One option to receive gifts from church members is to set up a facility that enables gifts to be made over the telephone. This is high tech on the part of the service provider but very low tech for the person who wants to make the gift. All that is needed is a bank card (credit or debit) and a telephone. One big advantage is that telephone gifts from church members are made to a person who has trust in the church and may well be known personally to the giver.
Getting started with telephone giving
Accessible telephone giving for churches is made possible by SumUp, suppliers of contactless and chip and pin card readers. If you set up online giving with Parish Buying you set up an account with SumUp and telephone banking through the Virtual Terminal is an additional facility you can add to your SumUp account. See these instructions for setting up a SumUp account.
Gift Aid on telephone giving
Gift Aid can be claimed on eligible donations made over the phone. Telephone gifts are not anonymous;
SumUp will generate a receipt which shows the giver’s name and can be married to an existing Gift Aid donation where the church already holds a Gift Aid declaration. If there is no declaration and the gift is eligible for Gift Aid verbal Gift Aid declarations can be made. The HMRC guidance can be found here. Please exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings when making payments over the phone.
Text giving offers a low tech, high impact and accessible way to give to the local church. You don’t need a smartphone, bank cards, online accounts or passwords. If you can text, you can give.
Registering with Donr
The registration process is quick and easy at www.donr.com. If the church is registered with the Charity Commission have to hand your CC registration number and a pdf of a recent bank statement to upload. If the church is not registered with the Charity Commission all is well. You will need a scanned copy of a document from HMRC which has the church name and Gift Aid reference number which usually has the prefix X. You can blank out personal details. You will also need a pdf of a recent bank statement.
- First, email Donr at email@example.com stating that you want to register, that the charity is excepted from registration and that you have attached the Gift Aid X document. Donr amend the application process at their end to accept the X number.
- Wait for email confirmation from Donr that the necessary changes at their end have been made.
- When you have email confirmation from Donr, visit www.donr.com and start the online application process. At the request for a CC registration number you insert the Gift Aid X number.
- Complete the online application, uploading the bank statement when you get to that screen.
If in doubt you can ring Donr (0333 444 4777).
Keep it Simple
Campaigns (as they are called) can invite one-off or monthly donations, can be set to any amount or set amounts, you can promote just one campaign’ or a few at the same time. You can set up campaigns and then easily delete them if it does not feel right. Explore the options that might work best for you but keep it simple.
How does text giving work?
When a donation is made the giver receives immediate text notification and a thank you text from the church. Your church is notified of the gift.
The cost of the gift (plus the standard rate message cost) is added to the giver’s monthly mobile phone bill or is taken off their credit if they use Pay as you Go. The church receives the money into the church bank account but please note there is a delay of 45 to 60 days before the gift is actually received.
Is there a transaction cost?
Yes. There is an effective transaction charge of 6p per £1 made up of 5% platform fees and 20% VAT on the platform fee.
So for a £10 gift the platform fee is 50p and VAT on the platform fee is 10p – your church would receive £9.40 from a £10 gift. (See here for a summary of charges).
Is Gift Aid possible?
Yes. In Donr Dashboard you can set up Gift Aid as an option; there is a 3p surcharge per donation but this is suspended until August.
When the gift is made a text invites the giver to Gift Aid their gift by following a link to the Donr website.
Donations made on the fundraising pages are collected by JustGiving and tranferred to the LDBF. Once per month, the amounts received from each page are forwarded on to the respective PCC's bank account. This does mean there can be a delay of around 2 months between the time when the donor makes their donation and the gift arriving in the parish's bank account.
All donors are asked at the time of their donation whether they would like to Gift Aid. If they do, JustGiving collect the Gift Aid and forward it on as a separate transfer.
To set up a fundraising page for your parish using the diocesan scheme, go to the Diocese of Liverpool's JustGiving page and click on the 'Fundraise for us' button. Then follow the onscreen instructions, logging in with your own personal JustGiving account.
Any parish can, if they choose, register themselves directly with JustGiving. To register directly go to the JustGiving Charity Registration page.
Print out a Contactless Giving Poster to accompany your contactess machine to help draw attention to the device, and show people how to use it.
- Goodbox Core Poster
- CollecTin Poster
- Payaz Poster
- SumUp Poster
- File background for GiveALittle - download each page separately