Digital Giving

As churches have had to explore alternative giving options to the collection plate and envelope giving we have information on a range of digital tools.

This page gives information on

Online giving platforms

Online giving platforms have huge reach and much potential. Online giving platforms can be used by congregation members but they broaden the giving invitation to the wider community, those who love and value you, near and far, but may rarely attend.

You can link from

  • your church website
  • A Church Near You page
  • your social media

to donation pages hosted by Give A Little, JustGiving, VirginGiving, GoFundMe or give.net from the Christian charity Stewardship. All these work well and also have a good look at the online giving solution from Parish Buying.

New to online giving

If you are looking for an introduction to online giving see the online giving page at Parish Resources. The national church offer practical guidance and regular webinars to help get started with online giving: book online here.

Visit vimeo.com to view customisable videos to place on social media, for us in digital worship and to add a donations page to your A Church Near You web pages.

Consider the Parish Buying online giving solution

Parish Buying is the national church procurement service, a goldmine for money saving options for churches. You can register for free to get the best deals.

With their partners, Parish Buying have developed a simple and accessible online giving service. There is easy to follow video guidance and it is one of the cheapest around with a number of related benefits. If you don’t have an online giving platform this simple Parish Buying solution will get you up and running quickly.

The service can facilitate Gift Aid claims but please note that this option will cost £10pcm if you are not linked with the Church of England's special deal for parishes and this solution cannot claim the Gift Aid for you. You must claim for Gift Aid on online donations in your usual way. If you have a lot of online Gift Aided donations you may want to consider another option.

The engine that gets your online donations into the church bank account is SumUp.

SumUp account

Online giving platforms have huge reach and much potential. While they can be used by congregation members, they also broaden the giving invitation to the wider community, those who love and value you, near and far, but may rarely attend.

You can link from

  • your church website
  • A Church Near You page
  • your social media

to donation pages hosted by Give A Little (using SumUp), JustGiving, VirginGiving, GoFundMe or give.net from the Christian charity Stewardship. All these work well and also have a good look at the online giving solution from Parish Buying.

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Telephone giving

One option to receive gifts from church members is to set up a facility that enables gifts to be made over the telephone.

This is high tech on the part of the service provider but very low tech for the person who wants to make the gift. All that is needed is a bank card (credit or debit) and a telephone. One big advantage is that telephone gifts from church members are made to a person who has trust in the church and may well be known personally to the giver.

Getting started with telephone giving

Accessible telephone giving for churches is made possible by SumUp, suppliers of contactless and chip and pin card readers and the company that provides the donation engine for the Parish Buying online giving service.

If you set up online giving with Parish Buying you set up an account with SumUp and telephone banking through the Virtual Terminal is an additional facility you can add to your SumUp account. 

Please note, the national stewardship team is waiting for some guidance from SumUp with regard to the process of setting up Virtual Terminal. There are steps you can take now but there might be a pause before Virtual Terminal and telephone donations can be implemented. 

1.    Make sure your church is registered with Parish Buying. Registration is free and the benefits significant.

2.    Click to the online giving webpage and the Contactless web page to see the services SumUp offer.

3.    Set up your SumUp account. (If you already one, skip to step 4.) Do this via this online giving page on Parish Buying; don’t go to the SumUp website.

Watch the portion of the 10-minute video with step by step guidance to setting up your SumUp account. Then, at the bottom of the page, login to Parish Buying where there is additional guidance alongside the video. After application, SumUp will send a request to verify the new account.

4.    Log in to your SumUp account. You must request the Virtual terminal facility before it appears in the Dashboard; not it is subject to approval. Click Support at the bottom of the Dashboard. Then under Send us a Message select Account Setup and Login. Send a message from this support page requesting Virtual Terminal access. 

5.    SumUp will respond with an email requesting information about the church: type of business, link to website, estimate total amounts and monthly transactions. You won’t know the figures in detail, so make a conservative guess. The national church team are working closely with SumUp who will expect applications from parishes. Please note, as above, we are waiting for some clarification of process from so watch this page for updates.

6.    Once approved, Virtual Terminal will appear in the dashboard and can be used

Gift Aid on telephone giving

Gift Aid can be claimed on eligible donations made over the phone. Telephone gifts are not anonymous;

SumUp will generate a receipt which shows the giver’s name and can be married to an existing Gift Aid donation where the church already holds a Gift Aid declaration. If there is no declaration and the gift is eligible for Gift Aid verbal Gift Aid declarations can be made.

The HMRC guidance can be found here.

Good practice in telephone giving

Telephone gifts offer another way for people to give to their church and they will often know the person they are speaking to on the phone which engenders trust and confidence. That trust and confidence can be underpinned by some good practice. 

•    Make sure you cannot be overheard or overseen as a gift is being made. Check that the person making the gift is alone in the room and that you are alone.

•    Close the door, observe windows; exercise caution around virtual personal assistants (Alexa, Siri etc) and don’t use speaker phone.

•    Be careful not to write down card details on pieces of paper and never enter details at a later date.

•    Don’t read back details to the giver to check you have entered correctly. Ask the giver to repeat the card details and double-check that way. 

•    Be as sure as you can be that the giver has full cognitive ability and is confident they want to make the gift and what is involved. There is some helpful guidance from the Institute of Fundraising.

•    As you would expect, the SumUp login should be restricted to a main account holder who should be an officer of the PCC and perhaps one or two others with PCC approval. 

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Text Giving

Text giving offers a low tech, high impact and accessible way to give to the local church. You don’t need a smartphone, bank cards, online accounts or passwords. If you can text, you can give.

Text giving may appeal to older church members who are uneasy with online solutions. It may also appeal to those who prefer to use their phones to manage their money.

To use text giving you will need to register with a commercial provider. The national stewardship website Parish Resources recommends two providers; our guidance relates to,www.donr.com.

Please note that the old Just Text Giving service which some parishes have previously used was discontinued in March 2019.

Registering with Donr

The registration process is quick and easy at www.donr.com. If the church is registered with the Charity Commission have to hand your CC registration number and a pdf of a recent bank statement to upload.

If the church is not registered with the Charity Commission all is well. You will need a scanned copy of a document from HMRC which has the church name and Gift Aid reference number which usually has the prefix X. You can blank out personal details. You will also need a pdf of a recent bank statement.

  1. First, email Donr at hello@donr.com stating that you want to register, that the charity is excepted from registration and that you have attached the Gift Aid X document. Donr amend the application process at their end to accept the X number.
  2. Wait for email confirmation from Donr that the necessary changes at their end have been made.
  3. When you have email confirmation from Donr, visit www.donr.com and start the online application process. At the request for a CC registration number you insert the Gift Aid X number.
  4. Complete the online application, uploading the bank statement when you get to that screen.

If in doubt you can ring Donr (0333 444 4777).

The Donr dashboard

Once you have registered go to the Donr Dashboard and select the Text Giving option. Navigation is easy, you will quickly grasp the words used like keyword (e.g Lukegift) and shortcode (e.g 70058, the number people text) and your options are clearly presented.

There is one GDPR related marketing screen: “Want to contact donors following a text campaign?”. You must click “I agree to this” to progress further. Later you can choose to include or exclude a marketing opt-out.

You must also note carefully and agree to the regulatory wording. When publicising text giving you must include a statement that the giver will additionally pay the standard rate message cost of their mobile account provider. So a typical campaign message might be:

Text Lukegift 3 to 70085 to donate £3 plus one standard rate message

Keep it Simple

Campaigns (as they are called) can invite one-off or monthly donations, can be set to any amount or set amounts, you can promote just one campaign’ or a few at the same time. You can set up campaigns and then easily delete them if it does not feel right. Explore the options that might work best for you but keep it simple.

Your basic choices are:

•    a simple campaign with no set amount so the giver chooses the gift.
Donr generates a sample compliant message with an illustrative amount: 
Text Lukegift 3 to 70085 to donate £3 plus one standard rate message”. 

•    a simple campaign with a single pre-set amount, say £5:
Text Lukegift to 70085 to donate £5. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message

•    two or three campaigns with a selection of pre-set amounts: 
Text Luke2gift to donate £2.  Texts cost £2 plus one standard rate message
Text Luke5gift to donate £5.  Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message

How does text giving work?

You need to let people know the keyword for your church and the shortcode they text. This can be done in a letter, on-screen in worship, your website and social media. Capitals and £ signs are optional, the text will work with or without. And that is all there is to it. 

When a donation is made the giver receives immediate text notification and a thank you text from the church. Your church is notified of the gift. 

The cost of the gift (plus the standard rate message cost) is added to the giver’s monthly mobile phone bill or is taken off their credit if they use Pay as you Go. The church receives the money into the church bank account but please note there is a delay of 45 to 60 days before the gift is actually received. 

Is there a transaction cost?

Yes. There is an effective transaction charge of 6p per £1 made up of 5% platform fees and 20% VAT on the platform fee.

So for a £10 gift the platform fee is 50p and VAT on the platform fee is 10p – your church would receive £9.40 from a £10 gift. (See here for a summary of charges).

Is Gift Aid possible?

Yes. In Donr Dashboard you can set up Gift Aid as an option; there is a 3p surcharge per donation but this is suspended until August.

When the gift is made a text invites the giver to Gift Aid their gift by following a link to the Donr website.

Use our customisable leaflet

Please download this leaflet to customise and send to people enquiring about text giving. 

Please

  • edit carefully to include the church keyword and shortcode.

  • pay particular attention to the central section titled How do I text my gift?  
    The given text presumes no pre-set gift amount. You will need to edit this if you have used pre-set amounts or have made possible monthly gifts.

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Contactless giving

With huge changes in how we make our day to day payments it will also be important when churches open again to provide a contactless way to make our gifts to God and the ministry of our church. This will be true for our regular Sunday and midweek congregations. It will also be true for occasional offices and for those who visit the sacred space of our open churches.

  • Start with Parish Buying who have negotiated deals with various providers of card readers and have advice on contactless solutions.
  • Watch a video on the use and value of contactless giving in churches; a 60 second version is available here
  • View a wide range of contactless solutions at Parish Buying. They range from cheap and cheerful (see below) to high end units which don’t need internet wi-fi in the building and can be customised and offer Gift Aid.

Using a SumUp card reader

One of the cheapest of these options is a SumUp card reader, just £19 from Parish Buying.

This simple card will get you started with contactless and you can purchase a more expensive reader via Parish Buying as needed. Note you will need a smartphone or tablet to use with the card reader. If there is no Wi-Fi in the building you can use your phone as a mobile hotspot.

This card reader can also be used to take contactless donations say in a church café or shop or even after church coffee. It also has Chip and Pin functionality so can be used to take fees but remember there will be a small transaction fee.

This SumUp card reader cannot be set to a default amount (e.g. £3) so givers touch the screen to choose their gift; have sanitiser to hand just as you would for cash donations.

Note also: the SumUp card reader comes with its own interface app for Android and iOS. There is also a free interface app and a paid app which includes Gift Aid claiming – these are from Give a Little but currently only work with Android.

There are other reader options on Parish Buying.

  • The Goodbox mini costs around £125, a tidy, all in one unit that does not need a signal for contactless giving (it encrypts and uploads when signal available). It can be set to a default amount which can be adjusted by touch and fits with the £220 GoodBox plate
  • The high end GoodBox Core costs about £350, and like the GoodBox Mini does not need a signal for contactless giving. It has a large integral screen, a physical presence, can be set to a default gift and is easy to change. There is no chip and pin functionality.

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Diocesan JustGiving Scheme

To quickly create an online giving page with minimum fuss, we have provided a scheme that allows our parishes to create a fundraising webpage linked to one of our Diocesan JustGiving pages. Although technically the page is raising money for the Diocese, we have committed to transferring all donations received through this scheme back to the respective parishes.

Donations made on the fundraising pages are collected by JustGiving and tranferred to the LDBF.  Once per month, the amounts received from each page are forwarded on to the respective PCC's bank account. This does mean there can be a delay of around 2 months between the time when the donor makes their donation and the gift arriving in the parish's bank account.

All donors are asked at the time of their donation whether they would like to Gift Aid. If they do, JustGiving collect the Gift Aid and forward it on as a separate transfer.

To set up a fundraising page for your parish using the diocesan scheme, go to the Diocese of Liverpool's JustGiving page and click on the 'Funraise for us' button. Then follow the onscreen instructions, logging in with your own personal JustGiving account.

Any parish can, if they choose, register themselves directly with JustGiving.  To register directly go to the JustGiving Charity Registration page.

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