Top Features to Look for in a Catholic Giving Solution

Charities, churches, and faith communities around the world have turned to online giving platforms to reach funding goals. While these digital platforms are useful and widely available, Catholic organizations often crave unique features that fully align with the Catholic faith. To find the best Catholic giving solution, here are some of the top features to look for.

Read until the end for a full-featured Catholic giving option!

Responsive Online Giving Forms

At the bare minimum, your Catholic giving software needs responsive web forms.

Online giving forms are where donors enter their information to send generous offerings and donations. “Responsive” means these web forms are viewable, functional, and user-friendly on both desktop and mobile devices. A Catholic giving software should be versatile and modern, able to meet users’ technological expectations.

Mobile App Options

While responsive giving forms are a must, there’s an even better feature: mobile giving apps. The best Catholic giving solutions offer mobile apps where parishioners can give directly from their smartphones.

Giving apps also allow parishioners to stay engaged with their parish or diocese. With options to provide digital teaching materials, videos, event sign-ups, and announcements, mobile apps empower the whole community can stay connected— no matter where they are.

Accounting Software

Aside from the giving feature itself, one of the best tools an online giving software provides is accounting support. Church accounting software relieves parishes from the burden of manually tracking their funds and brings all financial information into one place.

Budgets, pledges, payroll, donations, mission trips— every portion of your church funds has a purpose. To effectively carry out each purpose with real-world impact, your financial team needs to be able to see all the moving parts.

Catholic accounting solutions integrate with giving software to give you immediate and long-term control of funds. Learn from the past, plan, and minimize funding losses for years to come.

Offering and Pledge Tracking

Catholic churches prioritize offering and pledge contributions, which few mainstream giving platforms deliver. Look for a giving solution that includes pledge support and management. This way, you can easily track family pledges, member donations, and seasonal offerings.

With insights into offering and pledge donations, you can deliver effective reports to the parish office when necessary. You can also access parishioner information to send thank you letters, receipts, community updates, and reminders.

Optional Donor Fee Coverage

As with any payment software, online giving platforms come with small processing fees. For donations submitted via debit, credit, or ACH bank transfer, fees typically cost the recipient 1-3% + $0.35 per transaction. The exact fees vary depending on the platform.

Make sure your giving platform includes the option for donors to cover those small fees for your church. If donors feel generous, they can choose to pay the extra few dollars, so your parish receives the full donation amount.

Seamless Reporting Tools

Accounting is important. Reporting features are similar but offer clergy the ability to fully utilize their budgets and donations for maximum impact.

Reporting details include:

  • Personal donations
  • Transaction errors
  • Date ranges
  • Giving trends
  • Monthly funding
  • Recurring giving
  • Annual forecasting
  • Graphical reports
  • Donor giving history
  • And more

With the right reports and analytics, your parish can faithfully operate, plan, and nurture a culture of generosity year after year. Even if you’re new to online donations or reporting, this feature is a top priority to look for.

Bank-Level Security

Make sure your giving platform complies with financial security standards. This includes PCI DSS compliance (meaning: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). Other security details to consider are:

  • Fraud and intrusion detection
  • SSL transaction security
  • Encrypted transactions
  • Donor access to personal data

To learn about the safety and security of online giving, read more here. Since parishes rely heavily on faithful offerings and donations, you want to make sure funds are in good hands.

Multi-Site Support

Whether you’re a pastor, parish priest, bishop, or archbishop, serving multiple parishes in the community is likely a big obligation. Managing funds between multiple parishes doesn’t have to be challenging. There are giving platforms that support multi-parish organizations.

When considering the best Catholic giving solution, pay attention to the providers that allow for multi-parish support. This means you can view reports, allocate funds, and handle bookkeeping between all parishes to stay organized.

Giving Success Coaching

This is a bonus feature that’s not technically “required” for Catholic giving solutions but will surely help: success coaching.

Some online giving platforms offer Giving Success Program options after you sign up. These provide training, troubleshooting, and sometimes individualized coaching. Coaches work with your team to ensure the success of your parish. They help you set up, integrate, and compel parishioners to use the new giving software with ease.

Excellent Customer Support

Finally, customer support is vital when getting the most out of any giving platform. Whether you’re setting up a giving solution for the first time or switching to a new platform, customer support can help you every step of the way.

This isn’t merely a feature, it’s a necessity— especially if you or your team aren’t particularly tech-savvy. You shouldn’t have to feel limited by outdated technology or ineffective tools simply because you need help learning a new platform. Catholic giving providers are here to help.

ParishSOFT Catholic Giving Tools

Need all the features mentioned throughout this article? ParishSOFT Online Giving offers all of these and more. Made by Catholics, for Catholics, we pride ourselves in helping parishes and dioceses just like yours.

We’re here to fill in all the missing pieces Catholic organizations want and need when it comes to online giving. Contact the ParishSOFT team to learn more.

Related Articles

Marketing and the Parish: Who’s on First?

How do you know about the latest movie release? The sensational book about to hit the shelves? What about the trendiest new gadget? All these things have one thing in common: amazing marketing. The latest movie might be a disappointment, the book less than stellar, and the fashionable gadget far from life-changing – but they […]

ParishSOFT 2017: A Year in Review

Empowering Churches. Changing Lives. ParishSOFT adopted this motto for 2017 to reflect our mission to the Catholic Church throughout the United States and North America.  Empowering Churches means improving our software, increasing performance levels, adding new features and functionality, expanding our support services and strengthening our relationship with over 9000 parishes in 185 arch/dioceses. ParishSOFT’s […]