The online giving industry is an ever-changing and exciting market for churches. With digital giving becoming the norm, it is critical for online giving platforms to be accessible and affordable. A new service, RebelGive, is shaking things up with a unique business model.
RebelGive was created by Pro Church Tools, the company behind Nucleus and other digital resources for churches. RebelGive claims to be “The most affordable digital giving solution for churches.” This assertion is made possible by their promise that churches will always receive 100% of every gift.
RebelGive focuses on offering a mobile-friendly giving page called GivingFlows. You can embed GivingFlows on any page of your church website and pop up with just a tap instead of taking time to load another page.
GivingFlows make the giving process simple. Once a donor adds their payment information, they can create an account and securely save payment details for future gifts.
RebelGive’s powerful admin panel allows churches to set up multiple users with permissions, create several GivingFlows, and access recent donations on-the-go.
The panel automatically sends end of year giving statements, so church staff does not have to.
While the panel is simple and solid, it’s clear RebelGive is leaning heavily on their promise that churches will always receive 100% of every gift to entice more churches to use the platform.
How does online giving normally work?
Online giving platforms typically charge three fees:
- Monthly fee (based on church size or donation volume)
- Percentage fee (typically around 2.9% per gift)
- Per-gift flat fee (around $0.30)
Using these numbers, we can estimate a church that receives $30,000 per month via online giving would receive approximately $29,100 after these fees. Factor in about $150 each month for the platform and the church will get $28,950.
So RebelGive is fee free?
Not exactly. Instead of charging churches a transaction fee, RebelGive passes on a 1.9% convenience fee to the donor if they pay by card. If the donor pays via ACH transfer, there is a $0.25 flat fee per transaction. RebelGive prides itself on having the lowest fee in the industry. This is possible because RebelGive does not take a portion of the transaction fee. While many other online giving platforms take a portion of the transaction fee for profit, RebelGive has committed to only charging donors the fee required by the payment processor.
While RebelGive isn’t literally “fee free,” your church will receive 100% of each gift. Using our last example, a church that receives $30,000 per month in gifts would get $29,801 after RebelGive’s $199 per month flat rate. In this scenario, the church would receive an additional $10,212 per year by using RebelGive.
It’s important to remember that in our scenario, donors would give an additional $570 per year out of their pocket for convenience fees that your church is not receiving. This means that churches are not truly receiving 100% of the gift. The transaction fee is going entirely to RebelGive’s payment processor, meaning they are not profiting from this fee.
Can you get more features for less money elsewhere?
RebelGive comes with good intentions and certainly puts a creative spin on their business model. However, what about churches that pay $15 per month for their giving service? RebelGive advertises pricing of $199 per month or $159 per month billed annually.
Platforms such as Kindrid, Planning Center Giving, and Deka Giving all offer a plan for small churches for $15 per month. They also offer features such as text giving and in-app giving, features RebelGive does not offer. Additionally, Planning Center Giving offers the same 0% + $0.25 flat fee on ACH donations, which is identical to the fee charged to the donor by RebelGive.
Would your church be better off choosing a cheaper option?
Brady Shearer, the founder of RebelGive, said, “Our promise is to always be the most affordable option for every single church. So if our monthly flat cost outpaces the fees you’re currently paying, we’ll give you a scholarship to make sure RebelGive will always be the most affordable option for you.”
After talking with Brady, it is clear that RebelGive’s maximum price a church would pay is the price advertised on their website, but the company is open to offering discounts to make sure their platform is a fit for each church.
RebelGive is confident in their design and feature set, downplaying features like text and app giving. Their mission is to offer ministries features that matter by cutting out unused features or “gimmicks” to lower the price your church pays for its giving service.
Their website states the following information about text and app giving:
According to the 2018 Global Trends In Giving Report, 54% of donors prefer to give online via credit/debit card. Just 4% prefer to give via mobile app. And just 1% prefer to give via text message. Bottom line: giving online via debit or credit card is 5X more preferred than any other option and 50X more preferred than an option like text giving.”
What Other Services Have to Say
We reached out to several giving services to get their thoughts on RebelGive’s push against giving platforms taking part of the transaction fee for profit.
Ministry Brands, the parent company of Kindrid and EasyTithe, said,
Ministry Brands appears confident their giving services are well fit for churches of all sizes, regardless of the higher transaction fees.
Is RebelGive right for my church?
When choosing any church software, it is important to evaluate the cost, features, company reputation, and how the transition from your previous software will take place.
RebelGive’s promise to make their service the most affordable option for your church through price matching makes it a serious competitor, but its lack of features like text giving and in-app giving may leave you searching for a different option.
Pro Church Tools has built up a good number of satisfied customers with their flagship platform, Nucleus, so it’s safe to say that RebelGive is likely here to stay.
If your church is fed up with the large transaction fees of other giving services and is looking to make a change, RebelGive might be worth a shot.