As a church leader, you know the impact that online giving has had on the financial stability of your church through the Covid Pandemic. It has been a life-saver.
As we've collected giving data and interacted with many of you about how to use it to help your ministry team, three online giving related reports stand out. Here are those reports and why your team will grow to depend on them.
Recurring giving. The meat and potatoes value of online giving is the ability for people to automate their stewardship plan. This makes their giving consistent and even predictable over time - the dream of your staff and/or volunteer finance team.
Our Contribution Summary report gives this team the number, amount and percentage of contributions by each method (ex. ACH, credit card, text, check, cash) plus the number, amount and percentage that are recurring.
Our newest Recurring Giving report helps this team see recurring giving details including: the number, amount, projected income, designations, frequency and start/end dates with totals by frequency and designation. There's even a report that projects future income for the date range you choose!
If I were in charge of stewardship development, our team would communicate at every opportunity the personal benefits of setting up recurring giving through ACH. One of our churches gets 86% of their income online, 76% through ACH, and 43% through recurring transactions. That's a pretty solid financial foundation and a picture of healthy giving for the future church.
Notification for new or cancelled recurring contributions. Our Scheduled Reports allow you to automate most reports so that they essentially become notifications. But, we also built all kinds of notifications into the system along the way. These are really nothing more than real-time reports. This report is one of them (Giving > Settings > Online Giving > Online Giving Options) and it can be super helpful to your pastoral care team.
Last week's blog looked at the Lapsed Donor Report. The difference between that report and the notification is simply timing. The lapsed donor report is useful for any method of giving. The notification of new or cancelled recurring donation applies only to online giving, but it gives you a real time indication of the donor's intent. With it, you don't have to wait 3-4 months to recognize a potential pastoral need. You have it immediately.
Generally, the financial admin gets this emailed notification. They often don't really know what to do with it. So, why not put a system into place for them to pay attention to recurring cancellations by watching to see if the person creates a new recurring donation. If they don't, then have them notify a designated pastor or elder that this family cancelled their giving. Last week's blog examines the pastoral care reasons and responses.
Online deposit reconciliation. Within months after releasing our online giving platform years ago we recognized the challenge of matching individual online donations with actual bank deposits. It took a lot of work to reconcile these. When we created this report (Reports > Financial > Online Depost Reconciliation), we made the job of your church bookkeeper a whole lot easier.
Here's the problem. When an online contribution is given, it is automatically posted into the donor's giving record. But it generally takes two days for the bank to deposit that as income into the church checking account. So, the date on the donor giving record doesn't align with the date of the actual deposit.
This report takes this into account and fixes the problem. Occasionally a transaction slips through making the report slightly off. But that is much easier to reconcile. We were surprised to find that many of our competitors did not provide this report.
Hopefully, what we've learned related to reporting on the unique problems and potential of online giving will be helpful to your team. If you're not using Churchteams and find yourself looking for a fully integrated online giving solution that you can also use for registration payments including Text-to-Church, email Bryce@churchteams.com or call / text (817) 405-9750 ext 2. Our team would love to help yours.