When the online giving platform at your church isn’t meeting your needs for whatever reason, it might be time to switch over to something new. Many churches have chosen to switch from secular online giving tools to church-specific platforms like Kindrid. If you’re disappointed in your current platform, you’re probably wondering the best way to switch over to a better one that works. But before you pull the plug and switch online giving platforms, there are a few things you need to do.
Choose a New Online Giving Platform
First, do an ample amount of research before deciding on what new platform you want to switch to. You don’t want to rush into anything you might regret later, so ask for help from the rest of your team if you need to.
As a team, you can talk about what features your church needs, how you’ll go about setting up the new digital giving tools and gather the feedback you need regarding what falls short in your current giving methods.
Some details you can explore to find which platform is best for you include:
- The size of your congregation and how much data storage you need.
- Existing software your church uses. How can a new platform connect with it?
- The amount of customizable branding you want the platform to allow.
- Important features your congregation needs, such as mobile apps or text messaging.
- Your church team’s budget when it comes to monthly plans or transaction costs.
When doing some more research on the available platforms, make a list of your favorite companies. From there, you can start testing out specific platforms and setting up trial runs before making a decision.
Plan the Switch
Planning can help your church team achieve success when it comes time to switch from your old online giving system to the new one. Making a plan including the timeline, data transfer, and any other important details will help you and your team stay on track throughout the process.
Online giving affects more than just the financial aspect of your church. Technology must be set up in a way that helps your church operate, as well.
When making a plan for the online giving platform change, here are some things you can keep in mind to include in your plan.
- What current software does your church use to receive donations online? Is there someone on the team who knows how to set it up and access the software?
- If your church relies on a church management software (ChMS), what online giving platforms will it allow you to integrate with? Dig into those a little deeper and see which one will work best for your whole system.
- What about data? How is donor data stored, and how will you be able to transfer this data effectively in a secure way?
- When do you want to officially launch your new platform for your church to use? Create a schedule in advance.
Sticking to a plan helps your staff and congregation adapt to the changes as they happen. Including your team in the change allows them to learn new tools before they’re released church-wide, which can help your community adopt the new platform with ease.
Educate Your Leadership Team
When you involve your leadership team, it helps the entire community hop on board with the knowledge and implementation of new tools. The new software will likely come with a learning curve for both your team members and the congregation members. Equipping your team ahead of time can create a trickle effect, where churchgoers have more people to turn to if they have questions about the new online giving platform.
Here are a few ways you can encourage your leadership team and church staff to use the new platform:
- Schedule pieces of training and live demos from the new online giving company, if they offer it.
- Get team members involved— assign them to designated tasks so everyone can help with the process.
- Conduct a pre-launch trial run among team members before you release the new technology throughout your church.
- Gather feedback from team members upon using the new tech, and resolve any troubleshooting details along the way. That way, everyone learns together.
The more you educate and empower your team to embrace the new online giving tools, the better chance your community has at feeling supported in the new setup, too.
Communicate to Your Audience
Normally, some people in your community might experience some hesitation to the new online giving changes. People can be wary of giving to the church online for a wide variety of reasons— the important thing to remember is that the more time you allow for preparation among your congregation, the more receptive they’ll likely become.
Communication is key when introducing the new online giving platform to your audience. Here are some ways you can present the announcement early and get everyone on board.
- Make ongoing announcements. Months and weeks before the official switch, you can announce to your congregation what will be changing. Explain the new platform, set a launch date, and encourage givers to download the app early so they can try it out.
- Answer Frequently Asked Questions and provide online resources. There will likely be common questions that come up when people are learning how to use the new online giving platform. Make an FAQs page available so people have easy access to answers to their questions.
- Focus on giving as a spiritual practice. Tithes and offerings are a normal part of spiritual discipline, and many people enjoy giving what they can. Talking about the importance of giving can spark new and recurring givers alike to reflect on their giving habits. This can also inspire action upon making new giving tools available.
Making your community feel they are a necessary, valuable part of your ministry is key to healthy spiritual development throughout the year.
Get Support When Making the Switch
When it’s time to switch from an outdated or disappointing online giving platform to a new and effective one, there are many steps involved. It’s not an easy task to fully convert an entire software throughout your church community, but it’s necessary and possible.
We hope you find these tips helpful. For a much clearer step-by-step understanding of how to switch your online giving platforms, download the free guide: The No-Fear, No-Stress Way to Switch Online Giving Platforms today.