Chances are the number of church software options on the market today makes you dizzy. Comparing solutions can feel overwhelming. If you’re unhappy with your current software, the idea of learning to use a new one — and migrating data — can be so daunting that you resolve to just stick it out with what you’ve got.
When you do decide you’re ready for something better, fully-integrated giving should be at the top of your feature requirement list. Why? Because when your giving software and your management software work together, they can support more ministry with less hassle.
Here, we’ve listed four reasons your church software needs integrated giving:
#1 – Integrated Giving Will Lighten Your Administrative Workload
You’ll be able to streamline your administrative work and focus on the mission of good stewardship. No more importing donor lists or struggling through the hassle of reconciling figures. With fully-integrated giving, the moment a transaction occurs it immediately appears your database.
#2 – Integrated Giving Will Help Engage Every Generation
The first challenge in running successful giving campaigns is making sure people actually know about them. Read rates for church bulletins, newsletters, and even emails are dropping fast. While print and email are by no means dead, a fully integrated giving and database will allow you to easily communicate in a format that’s more personalized and more likely to be read.
For example, use your database to segment donors by age and past giving preference, such as millennials and text-givers. Then, send a brief text message to that specific group. Link to a mobile-friendly page about impact and how they can get involved. Similarly, use print to connect with those over 65 and provide step-by-step instructions to give online or via check. Quite simply, church management software with a fully integrated giving should give you the power to communicate and engage with your audience effectively.
#3 – Let Transactions Trigger and Automate Workflows and Tasks With Fully-Integrated Giving
While this may sound very technical, automated workflows and interactions (tasks) are actually advanced tools that support personal connection. They don’t replace human engagement, they foster it. For example, if your giving software and church management software are fully-integrated, you’ll be able to make sure that every time a contribution over a certain amount is made, someone on staff is assigned the task of writing and sending a personal thank you note to the donor. You’ll be able to set up important tasks for particular actions and know they’ll be completed every time. Your staff and volunteers will be more efficient when they can access a comprehensive to-do list right from their mobile device. Here are some more examples of how this can work:
- When a donation to a specific mission is recorded, you can have that person automatically added to a group of donors to that mission, then send that group a quarterly newsletter letting them know how the project is progressing. Perhaps you might include prompts for them to further engage, either by praying for a specific missionary or volunteering to write letters.
- You could set up a workflow triggered to automatically send an email or assign writing a personal note thanking first-time contributors and letting them know about specific church ministries.
- Set up a workflow that puts those who give multiple times in a certain period into a regular contributors group and send them messaging that includes instructions on how to set up recurring giving.
- Nurture occasional givers, by automating occasional reminders about the benefits of recurring giving, or a a digest of opportunities, ministry information, and volunteer opportunities.
- For people who have stopped giving (or attending), you can set up an interaction to have someone write a “we’ve missed you” note so they understand your ministry cares about how they’re doing.
#4 – Integrated Giving Data Means Integrated Customer Support
Let’s face it. Every once in a while you’re going to need a little help getting the most out of your software solutions. When church management software and giving are truly integrated, the team helping you is trained to do so holistically. You’ll want to talk to a real person who is well-versed in both systems and knows how they can be used together to lessen your administrative work and increase ministry. A company devoted to providing a seamless integration becomes an extension of your team dedicated to helping you succeed. The best integration support staff is eager to answer every question and provide helpful suggestions that go beyond troubleshooting software to strategizing your annual plans and meeting your goals.
Is your current church management software fully-integrated with your giving software and supporting the way you serve? Elexio Community Church Management Software has recently released several new features and continues to lead the way with integrated giving. Put your software to the test with this ChMS Report Card to find out where it ranks. If yours isn’t making the grade, it might be time to switch to one that does.