The essential guide to text-to-give for churches

June 25, 2020

Online giving for churches is increasingly common, even to the point of becoming essential for receiving tithes and donations. At the same time, traditional giving via cash and check has been steadily decreasing. Church text giving is one of the primary online giving mediums, with the others being through websites and mobile apps.  

Text-to-give (or SMS giving) works just as its sounds: Your donors send a text to a phone number on their mobile phones, enter the amount they want to give, and submit their donation. Their gift is then drawn from their bank account, debit card, or credit card, and sent to your organization’s account.


Text-to-give offers many benefits for churches.

Benefits of text giving for churches

Text giving should be an important part of how your church collects donations for two major reasons: convenience and security. It’s convenient because all that’s required is a smartphone—meaning your church community can donate anytime, anywhere—and takes just a few seconds to donate. It’s secure because all transactions are handled digitally with state-of-the-art safeguards. 

Let’s explore these benefits some more:

Text giving is more convenient than cash or checks

It’s essential to make the donation process convenient for your donors. Your congregation is increasingly making payments digitally, so they might not even have the means to put tithes and gifts in a collection plate. 

According to experts, less than 10% of people attending church carry cash, and less than 2% prefer to use checks. The number of mobile donations increased 205% from 2018 to 2019, and now the majority of donors prefer to give online with a credit or debit card. 

Text-to-tithe is convenient because 96 percent of Americans own a mobile phone and collectively  send over 6.5 trillion texts every year. This makes texting the most widely used feature on their phones. Sending a text donation is as simple as sending a text!

Most of your regular donations are likely collected during your weekend services. While people don’t usually carry cash or checks, almost everyone carries their smartphone with them. Making the giving process more convenient will delight your donors and increase generosity.

Text giving is more secure than cash or checks

One of the main benefits of church text giving is its superior level of security. Cash is the least secure form of receiving gifts by far, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). They predict that church fraud will reach an all-time total of $80 billion by 2025. Because it’s so easily “misplaced,” they estimate that cash accounts for 34.5% of all nonprofit fraud.

Encouraging text-to-tithe through a secure digital giving platform helps keep your church and donors safe. When considering a giving provider, make sure they are compliant with the most current security requirements. This greatly reduces the risk of fraud, donor data breaches, and mismanagement of any funds. For example, Subsplash Giving offers the highest level of information security, and is PCI Level 1, SOC1, and SSAE 16 compliant. 

Text donation transaction records can also assist your team in watching out for any financial irregularities. You can access your text giving reports at any time, such as when reconciling your bank statements and examining your books. 

Text-to-give saves time with automatic record keeping

Another major benefit of using text-to-give is your ability to generate and deliver statements for your donors. Here’s how:

  • Rather than taking hours to send out giving statements individually, you can email all of your donors their giving statements with the click of a button. 
  • You will also be provided with an email delivery report to confirm the successful delivery of your statements. 
  • You can access and manage current and previous statements with ease.

Text-to-give solutions automatically generate analytics, providing insight into things like how your giving has changed over time. Subsplash Giving also makes it simple for your donors to view their gift history, manage their payment methods, manage their donations, and more!


Try out text-to-give for free

How to set up church text giving

Setting up text-to-give works differently for each giving provider, but it usually involves these four steps: 

1. Set up your giving account

To open a giving account, you will need to select a giving provider, and then submit your church’s contact, tax, and banking information. Not sure which online giving solution to use? Check out this giving comparison chart.

2. Set up a giving webpage

After your giving account is opened, your giving provider should provide you with a giving webpage link or embed code to add to your website. Only use a giving provider that provides you with a mobile-friendly website so that people can also donate on their phones.

Pro tip! People are seven times more likely to donate to a digital page with their church’s name, logo, and branding design. 

3. Set up your text giving keyword

  • You will receive a unique toll-free phone number that donors will use when sending their gifts. 
  • Your organization can choose a unique giving keyword for donors to include in their text to your toll-free number. 
  • Your giving keyword should be easy to remember and related to your ministry. For example, if your church is Restoration Church in Phoenix, you could choose something like “restorationchurch” or “restorephoenix”. Consider adding numbers to your keyword to set it apart from other organizations, such as “GRACE98122”. 
  • Pro tip! Avoid words that autocorrect to something else in your phone. Try typing the keyword into your phone to make sure it doesn't autocorrect.

4. Promote text giving in your church

Share your text-to-give phone number and keyword with your church, on social media, and on your website.


Find out how donors a with text-to-give

How to donate through text-to-give

The text-to-give process for your donors is designed to be simple and straightforward. After donors text your church’s keyword to your toll-free number, they'll get a reply with a link to the giving page on your website. This is a simple way to share your giving page link with people who haven’t downloaded your app or visited your website before. 

Here are the four steps for first-time donors to set up their giving account.

  1. Fill out a quick signup form with their first name, last name, and email address 
  2. Confirm the verification code they receive via email
  3. Enter their debit card, credit card, or bank account information
  4. Provide their mailing address

To make their donation, they will just need to select the amount, choose one-time or recurring donation, and submit their gift. 

It’s that simple, and it gets even faster after their first donation. For example, returning Subsplash Giving donors can text-to-give their donations in just six seconds!

Some giving solutions allow your church to create multiple fund options for your donors to choose from when making a donation. Then donors can choose if their gifts are tithes, special fundraising events, or other types of giving campaigns. If your church has multiple campuses, you can add those campuses to your donation options as well.

Try it out for yourself

See how text-to-give works using this demo of Subsplash Giving! Text the word “giving”to 1-888-364-GIVE (4483), and you'll receive a reply with a link to a demo giving account. (Don't worry, we've disabled the ability to give on this account.) 

Whether you want to make giving more convenient, simple, or secure, setting up text-to-give will help encourage generosity in your church. 

While some giving providers charge an extra fee for text giving, Subsplash Giving text-to-give is a free and convenient feature that helps churches grow their giving. 

We’re so confident that your donations will increase if you start using Subsplash Giving, we guarantee growth

Already using the Subsplash Platform? Log in to your Subsplash Dashboard to schedule a call with your Client Success Manager and learn more.

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