About the author  ⁄ Jay

Jay has 20+ years in various technology sectors of industry and currently uses his expertise at Icon Systems, Inc to help churches further their mission. Jay blogs at http://churchsoftware.iconcmo.com

6 Avoidable Donation Mistakes

No church sets out to make mistakes in how they handle donations. In fact, many churches input their donations in a donation software to ensure donors are provided a statement at the end of the year — not only for tax purposes but to communicate to the donors how their donations were used. Typically the statements are run for the entire year (calendar year) irregardless what the church uses for it’s fiscal year. When inputting this information, it can be easy to make mistakes that can miscommunicate and misappropriate donations. Listed below are some examples of common donation mistakes: 1) Missing Important ...

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3 Quick Tips to Use Technology to Increase Contributions

As we come up on the end of the year, that time is here for churches to send out contribution statements and start focusing on the year ahead. Here is a simple yet effective way to encourage people to donate again next year: 1) Include a sincere thank you letter with contribution statements. Recognition and appreciation help motivate people to contribute again. In addition to giving them credit for helping the church accomplish its mission, explain how the gift was used so they can see how they fit into the overall picture. Skipping an evening out and donating the money ...

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5 Common Security Attacks to Avoid

Many users don’t give online security much thought. However, without knowing the basics, a person can be vulnerable when they are online. When we don’t make informed decisions about online security, many areas of our everyday lives (e.g. social networks, online financial records, email) are at risk from attackers. Below are five common security attacks to be aware of and avoid: 1) Social engineering. This is when someone tricks you into giving them information they shouldn’t have, such as someone pretending they are from Icon Systems and asking you for your password. Another example is phone scams where people call ...

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5 Considerations When Converting Data to New Church Software

There are many reasons for churches to change the software they use to track membership and financial records. Software companies can go out of business, or their views of technology trends may not match the church’s views. Also, changes in church leadership can have a powerful effect on what software is used. These matters are only some reasons churches change their software vendors on occasion. If a church has been managing its records with any given software, and if that church decides to use a new vendor and new software, it may be a good idea for them to convert their data ...

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Increase Online Donations Through Donor Feedback

When donating, a person should never expect anything in return; however, many nonprofits are missing out on future donations by failing to give any feedback to donors. A simple thank you (email, newsletter, personalized note, postcard) goes a long way with donors. Traditional giving (eg. offline via a check) has long been the standard and currently represents the largest percentage of giving (79%). However, online donations (10%) are gaining traction with the younger generation as technology advances and demographics change. Simply put, the younger generation uses what they know—electronic devices. And most of them don’t have checkbooks! A greater understanding of online ...

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