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[guest post]: Why You Should Use WordPress and GiveWP for Online Church Fundraising

The following article is a guest post from our partner, GiveWP A church’s mission is to share your message and grow your congregation. The challenge is that to grow, you need funds. A website built for online church fundraising could impact that in a huge way.  Although, churches are usually run by a board or…

Mar 30, 2020

Alliance Staff

The following article is a guest post from our partner, GiveWP

A church’s mission is to share your message and grow your congregation. The challenge is that to grow, you need funds. A website built for online church fundraising could impact that in a huge way. 

Although, churches are usually run by a board or volunteers who aren’t website experts. That is where WordPress and GiveWP come in. The combination helps you build a secure, simple, affordable, and flexible online church fundraising platform so you can focus on what matters.

A fundraising platform can’t just take funds. To work for your church, you also need a few key features included.

  • It needs to be safe and secure, a place where donors can feel comfortable donating. 
  • It needs to be easy to set up and work with on an ongoing basis. 
  • It should be affordable. If you need to raise money online, you shouldn’t have to empty your coffers to do it.

Secure Online Church Fundraising 

If your congregation trusts you with their data, be prepared to keep it safe. Payment credentials, addresses, and more flow through your site. It’s your responsibility to protect them. Luckily, doing so is hassle-free when you use WordPress and GiveWP together.

How Secure is WordPress?

WordPress sites have many levels of security baked in. The key thing to remember is that as long as your website is healthy, it is easier to keep it secure.

But what does that mean? Here are some basic best practices that can keep your site healthy and secure.

  • Log into the site on a regular basis to update themes, plugins, and WordPress itself. Out of date WordPress software can open up vulnerabilities.
  • Firewalls and malware scanners are easy to access and set up as well. Many hosts will assist you or include those features in your plan.
  • Keep your user account passwords secure and don’t create more user accounts than you need. Delete any user accounts that you aren’t using.

Websites with donation capabilities are often targeted by hackers. So it’s important to use this as a website health checklist regularly.

How Secure is GiveWP?

The GiveWP donation plugin’s primary roles are accepting funds and managing donors. As a result, keeping personal and payment information safe is one of the cornerstones of its development.

GiveWP connects with 3rd party gateways like Stripe and PayPal to process donations. As a result, credit card details are never stored on your website. If a security breach does happen, that information is not accessible to anyone.

You need an SSL certificate installed on your site for most GiveWP payment gateways to work. The exception is if you’re using the standard PayPal donations option included in the free version. SSL certificates add an extra layer of security to your website and also help your site rank higher in search. Many WordPress hosts will provide you with one for free and set it up for you.

When you use GiveWP, you have complete control and ownership over all your donor data. Your congregants want to know where their data lives, who can see it, and what is being done with it. Most crowdfunding platforms make it hard for you to ensure your donors that their data is secure.

GiveWP Reporting
All donor data is categorized and easily accessible. You can even update donor profiles after they donate with important contact information or notes.

Ease of Use for Online Church Fundraising 

Often, a volunteer is responsible for things like setting up a website for a church. That means that there isn’t time for a huge learning curve. That volunteer needs an on-ramp, resources, and a frictionless way to get up and running. WordPress and GiveWP were both designed with this in mind.

How Easy is WordPress to Use?

WordPress was built on the idea that people of any skill level should be able to create great websites. It works well for developing large enterprise sites, but also ideal for someone to get up and running right away. 

Adding posts and pages to WordPress is as easy as using Microsoft Word. Once you have the basics down, you can get started publishing content quickly.

“WordPress is software designed for everyone, emphasizing accessibility, performance, security, and ease of use. We believe great software should work with minimum set up, so you can focus on sharing your story, product, or services freely. The basic WordPress software is simple and predictable so you can easily get started. It also offers powerful features for growth and success.” 

WordPress is the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) in the world. 60 million people and 35% of the web use WordPress. 

This means there are tons of resources out there designed to help people get familiar with it. Online courses, videos, articles, and entire websites are dedicated to teaching WordPress. 817 cities worldwide even have events dedicated to WordPress education.

How Easy is GiveWP to Use?

Because GiveWP was built for WordPress, it has the same model of beginner user-friendly at its heart. But it can also be extended and customized by a developer for much more complicated projects.

There is a large suite of detailed documentation available for all GiveWP users. Each article is meant to give you an on-ramp to a specific feature. If documentation doesn’t help, you always have access to 5-star support at your fingertips whether using the free plugin or any of the add-ons.

GiveWP provides you with highly visual, easy to understand Reporting features so that you can see how you’re doing at a glance. You don’t need to be an accountant to see patterns and trends in your fundraising activity. 

The team at GiveWP understands what churches need out of an online fundraising platform. As a result, they developed specific resources that focus on online church fundraising.

The Affordability of Online Church Fundraising 

When operating on a church budget, spending tons of money on a website isn’t realistic. You need it to be powerful, functional, and look amazing. But you also need it to not cost an arm and a leg. 

WordPress and GiveWP together provide an enormous value when it comes to what you get vs. what you pay. You can even spin up an entire church giving website for free, other than the cost of hosting and purchasing the domain.

How Affordable is WordPress?

What many people don’t realize is that WordPress itself is free. The cost comes in when you add hosting and domain names, which a WordPress site needs to live on the web. A simple hosting account and domain name together have very low monthly or yearly costs.

WordPress serves as the base for a lot of other pieces of software called plugins. Plugins let you add specific functions to your website. The majority of WordPress plugins are free to use or have a small cost for premium functions. They provide a lot of quick and easy customization for a very little cost.

An online church fundraising website needs to look good. People want to donate to a site that looks professional and legitimate. You don’t need to be a designer or developer to build beautiful WordPress sites. There are thousands of free, high-quality themes available for download.

How Affordable is GiveWP?

The main GiveWP WordPress donation plugin provides you with donation forms, donor management, and robust reporting. It’s completely free. You can download it to as many WordPress websites as you need. This donation plugin includes every element you need to accept donations online for your church.

Out of the box, you can build robust fundraising forms that include goal counters, multi-level donation options, and multiple payment gateways. Give your donor the option to donate anonymously, leave a comment, create an account upon donating, and more.

If you need more fundraising tools for your church, add-ons allow you to build out more advanced fundraising functionality. GiveWP’s add-on plans give you many add-ons for one price. 

For example, the Pro Plan gives you access to over $12,000 worth of add-ons for less than $500. That plan allows you to use any of those add-ons on five different websites. So if you have a network of churches, you can set all of them up with five unique online donation platforms customized to fit their needs – without additional fees. 

Many of the GiveWP add-ons are also focused on saving you money as well. Fee Recovery lets donors cover your credit card processing fees. And GiveWP itself takes no commission charges unless you’re using the version of their Stripe payment gateway that’s included in the free plugin. So you won’t lose money like you would on most other crowdfunding platforms. 

WordPress and GiveWP Are What Your Online Church Fundraising is Missing

Together, WordPress and GiveWP provide everything needed to set up online giving for your church. They are designed to be easy to use so that you don’t waste time and energy learning the roles. Your congregation can trust you are putting their data security first. And each one is meant to grow with you and your church grows. 
See for yourself how easy they are to use together. Book a free one-on-one demo with the GiveWP Customer Success Team.

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