Electronic Giving

Part of The Congregational Handbook

Hand holding a smart phone and two dollar bills

Cash is no longer the most convenient form of currency. With the advent of electronic banking and mobile credit card readers like Square, even small businesses can accept plastic, so fewer and fewer folx carry cash. Carrying a checkbook is even more rare.

If dropping a check or cash into the basket is the only way your congregation invites financial gifts, many in your pews can’t participate in the offering even if they feel called to do so.

Luckily, there are many different online giving options, and you can offer all of them!

Types of Electronic Giving

Electronic Payment Service

Members and supporting friends can have their banks set up automatic transfers for their pledge payments.

You can also enroll in a turnkey electronic payment service such as VANCO or Tithe.ly. Doing your own research will help you find the best option for your budget and context.

Payment Portal on the Church Website

Adding a payment portal such as PayPal on your church website is a straightforward way to set up giving on your site. This option tends to be awkward when accessed via a smart phone.

Giving Kiosk

Offering kiosks use a tablet and a card swiper such as Square to make giving quick and easy.


Many of the electronic payment services enable folx to donate via sending a text message with a dollar amount to a number associated with your church account.

Mobile Giving Apps

Many of the electronic payment services offer a smartphone app that you can personalize with your own congregation’s branding and messaging.

Keep Giving Worshipful

The offering has always been a key part of the worship service. To keep electronic giving from becoming transactional, pay attention to wording and take advantage of any ability to personalize the software or app. Many congregations also provide a pew card or an insert for an offering envelope so that electronic givers can add their gift to the offering basket as it is passed.