Complete Donation Management
- Track Every Dollar Funds are a core principle of non-profit bookkeeping. They're easy to work with in Planning Center Giving.
- Custom Labels for Grouping Use labels to categorize donations by event type, geographical location, or fundraiser name.
- Log Everything Automatically Every action taken in Giving is logged. It's easy to see who, when, and what was changed.
Seamless Donor History
No matter how a donor gives, his complete donor history is maintained throughout the year. Making annual statements a breeze.
Unified Donor Profiles
Our apps (Services, Check-Ins, Registrations, Resources, and now Giving) are all connected by Planning Center People. They work in concert to make sure a donor's contact information and membership data is up to date.
We've built a beautiful, simple interface for your donors. There's no app to download and no account passwords to remember. It looks great on your desktop computer and on your phone.
For new donors, it's easy to give quickly using a credit or debit card. When they're ready, donors can log in if they wish to give by ACH (bank transfer), add new payment methods, manage their recurring donations, view their donor history, and edit their profile details.
Here's a working example of the donor's side of Giving.
"Text any amount to 84321 to give." That's all the information your donors need. Setup takes about two minutes, tops. After that, donating is as simple as sending a text. It's the easiest, most spontaneous way to donate!
Text-to-Give is included in your monthly Giving subscription. Learn more about this feature.
Batches of checks and cash can be split among multiple counters. Keyboard shortcuts, batch defaults, and check reader support make the counting process quick and accurate.
Simple monthly cost
Rather than charge a % of donations, Planning Center Giving is a flat monthly fee. Packages scale by the number of donations processed in a month (whether online or offline donations).
Of churches we surveyed, about 17% of weekly attendees donate. So, if you know how many people attend your church every week, it's easy to estimate your monthly donations.
Low processing fees for online giving
- 2.3% + $0.30/donation for all credit card donations
- $0.25 per ACH bank transfer donation
- 2.9% (or 2.2% *) + $0.30/donation for Canadian Visa and Mastercard donations.
- 2.9% (or 2.7% *) + $0.30/donation for International Visa and Mastercard donations.
- 3.5% + $0/donation for Amex donations
Stripe is an easy-to-use payment processor with instant signup, no setup fees, no monthly minimums, and no cancellation fees. Stripe has the highest level PCI compliance and is trusted by some of the largest companies on the web.
What are the ways people can give?
Cash & Check - Many donation systems completely ignore the "offline" payment types. Chances are, a good chunk of your donations still come in physical form. With Planning Center Giving, you can get these batches counted and deposited quickly and accurately.
Credit & Debit Card - Donors can give using any type of card supported by Stripe.
ACH bank transfer - Bank transfer donations are supported by Planning Center Giving. Donors can set it up and manage their connected accounts themselves, or you can help them get it configured on the admin side of Giving.
Text message - Text-to-Give is included with your monthly subscription. If enabled, this feature allows donors to send a donation using a simple text message! Learn more about this optional feature.
What's the donor experience like?
When you sign up for Planning Center Giving, you'll be able to establish a subdomain on ChurchCenterOnline.com, the public-facing side of Planning Center Giving. Here's an example: https://firstballard.churchcenteronline.com Most churches link from their website to the donor interface.
What countries are supported?
Planning Center Giving works well for churches in the USA and Canada. During the setup process you'll select which currency you'd like: $USD or $CAD)
What's different for Canada?
Aside from Stripe's processing fees (see above) here's what you can expect as a Canadian customer:
- Full Canadian currency support.
- CRA-friendly donor statements (including treasurer signature support).
- Canadian-appropriate street address format.
- Online donations via credit card, Visa Debit, Debit Mastercard, and any other payment method supported by Stripe. ACH bank transfer donations are not available in Canada.
How do I start my 30-day trial?
Just select a package and your free trial period will begin. If you're already a customer, you actually won't see a charge for Giving until your monthly invoice. So, it's really a minimum of 30 days free.
What if I go over my package limit?
Well that's a good problem to have! Here's the deal. These are soft limits and you're going to spike over it occasionally. If it looks like you're constantly going over your monthly package limits, you'll get a friendly email from us asking you to pick a different package level.
Does Planning Center take a % of the donations?
No. We just charge that monthly flat rate. It doesn't matter how much money is donated, the cost to process 100 donations through Planning Center Giving is always the same.
For debit/credit card and ACH bank transfers, there's always a fee charged by the payment processor. The good news is that Stripe has given us a very competitive rate (see above) which we're fully passing on to you.
Is there an additional fee for Apple Pay or Text-to-Give donations?
There's no extra fee when a donor gives using Apple Pay or Text-to-Give. Both types of donations still rely on a payment method (like a credit or debit card) and are processed using Stripe like a regular donation.
Working with Donors
Are donors sent a receipt?
Yes. Every time a member gives, she'll get a receipt showing when she gave, how much, and where her donation was designated.
Can I disable credit card giving?
Yep! If your church doesn't accept donations on credit, it's easy to disable credit card giving. You'll still be able to accept debit cards and prepaid gift cards.
Can I issue donor statements?
Yes! It's easy to generate elegant donor statements for any date range. We'll help you make an informed decision on how to deliver statements based on your donors' contact information. Deliver them by email or print them for mailing. Or even better, save on postage and paper by not printing statements for donors who have accessed statements digitally. You can also generate individual donor statements on the fly.
Can it replace my general ledger (i.e. Quickbooks)?
Although Planning Center Giving is a great donation management system, it will not replace your general ledger software. You'll still need a general ledger to handle payroll, track spending, set budgets, cut checks, etc. To put it another way, Giving gets all the money processed and accounted for; once it's in the bank, that is where we leave you.
Does it work with my general ledger (i.e. Quickbooks)?
Planning Center Giving has a basic CSV export (see below) that should be importable by your general ledger. However, we'd advise against keeping every individual donation in your general ledger. Instead, we'd recommend using a journaled entry strategy where individual gifts are left in Giving and only the deposits are entered into your general ledger (linking back to Planning Center Giving).
Does this support fund accounting?
Yes. Every dollar taken in through Planning Center Giving (whether it's online, or via a physical batch of checks and cash) is allocated to a fund.
How about remote bank deposit?
No. Although online donations are automatically deposited to your bank account, batches of checks and cash must still be physically deposited in the bank.
Importing & Exporting
Can I import my donors and their history?
We don't yet have a way to import a donor's giving history. If you decide to make the switch to Planning Center Giving, you may need to issue two end-of-year statements to your donors this year, one from your old system and one from Planning Center Giving. We'll try to get something better in place for you!
Can I export info from Giving?
Planning Center Giving can export a CSV of donations:
- Within a date range
- Given to a specific fund
- Containing a specific stamp or label
- By payment method
- By transaction status (pending/failed/refunded/succeeded)
Can I use a different payment gateway or Paypal?
Nope. But don't worry. Stripe has no setup fees, no contracts, and no termination fees. Since it's easy to sign up and you can transfer funds to any bank account, we can't think of a good reason not to try it. If you can think of one, please let us know.
Are there reports?
Believe it or not, there aren't any official "reports" in Planning Center Giving. This is because you get almost every piece of information (across any date range) out of the dashboard itself. We have plans for building out custom, automatically-emailed reports. For now, you might be surprised just how much information is presented in the dashboard.
Can I track fund-raising campaigns?
Not yet. It's worth noting that although funds are a core principle in Planning Center Giving, it's easy to get them confused with campaigns. Often, these two concepts are coupled but not necessarily. You could have multiple funds engaged by one campaign. When a campaign is closed, a fund may remain open.
We're looking forward to building out a proper campaign management tool for you, but it isn't part of this initial release.
Which check reader is supported?
Planning Center Giving works with the popular MagTek® MICRSafe Check Reader used by many church management systems.
What about check scanning/imaging?
Planning Center Giving supports check readers but not check scanners. There are security and regulatory implications with storing check images that we weren't willing to take on with our initial release of this app. We think it's in our future, though. Let us know if this is something you'd like to see in Planning Center Giving.
Which web browsers are supported?
Modern web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and IE 11+ are supported.