Make sure your church website provides an easy and accessible way for people to donate online. If you do not yet have a donate button on the home page of your website, now is the time to add one. If you are holding virtual services, participants can give online during a time of offering. Check out our digital giving resources to help you and your congregation assess and adopt useful digital giving methods and tools.
The information below provides detailed information about CanadaHelps.org and Tithe.ly, two online giving tools, as well as a comparison of the different ways of giving.
Tithe.ly Donation Forms
Tithe.ly is a comprehensive giving platform tailor-made for churches and ministries. Tithe.ly provides churches with a suite of tools to facilitate online giving. Simply put, Tithe.ly makes it easy to provide a donation form on your church’s website. A programmed “donate” button opens a secure, easy-to-understand donation form, either on your church’s website or on the Tithe.ly website. Tithe.ly accepts donations from credit cards (and debit cards that have either the VISA debit or Debit Mastercard symbol). There is no monthly fee and the cost per transaction is competitive. To ensure that your church receives special PCC rates, Tithe.ly has created a PCC registration page: tithe.ly/rp/pcic/register
CanadaHelps.org Donation Forms
CanadaHelps.org is a highly respected and secure charitable foundation that enables donations to charities across Canada. If your church’s website does not already have a “donate” button, donors can still give to your church online by searching for your church on CanadaHelps.org. Every registered charity in Canada is listed on the site. *Having found your church, donors can donate using a credit card (or a debit card with a VISA debit or Debit Mastercard logo). CanadaHelps.org will provide the donor with a tax receipt and send the donation to your church within a month.
It is a good idea for Canadian churches to claim their fundraising account on CanadaHelps.org as the foundation reduces its fee and transfers donated funds more quickly for charities that sign up. Once your church claims their profile on CanadaHelps.org, a button can then be inserted on the church website that points to a customized CanadaHelps.org donation form (though not if you’ve decided to use Tithe.ly).
* Sometimes a donor may find it difficult to search CanadaHelps.org by name, since churches in different cities share the same name. However, if the first search fails, a donor can search by other criteria, including location.
Which is better, Tithe.ly or CanadaHelps.org?
Since CanadaHelps.org is a foundation, it is CanadaHelps.org that issues the tax receipt. The church merely receives the funds and, unless the church claims its account with CanadaHelps.org, the church is not even informed as to who gave the funds. On the tax receipt, the donor is considered a donor of CanadaHelps.org. This is usually not a problem for smaller churches that are happy that the tax receipting responsibilities have been delegated to CanadaHelps.org. However, your church may prefer to use Tithe.ly for the “donate” button on your church website as the donor remains your church’s donor and your church provides the tax credit receipt.
Does my website need to have special security to use donation forms?
Most church websites do not have SSL protection. Without this extra level of security, you cannot embed donation forms directly onto your church website because the forms would not be secure. To overcome this limitation, the “donate” button can be linked to a form hosted on Tithe.ly or CanadaHelps.org. If your website does not have SSL protection, when someone clicks on your church’s “donate” button, they will be taken to your church’s form in a new secure tab/window. When the donor submits the form, that window can return the donor to your church website; so it is a good idea to create a “thank you” page on your website.
What will my church need to get started for online donations?
Here are the things needed to set-up Tithe.ly:
- Legal business name
- Charitable number (business number)
- Bank routing information for depositing gifts received (transit number, institution number, account number)
- Digital scan (.jpg) of the driver’s license or passport of one of the officers of the church (this is an anti-fraud measure implemented by Tithe.ly to ensure that a real person associated with your church has authorized the account)
- The URL and Username/Password for your church website in case you need to contact Jim MacDonald, Development Manager of Stewardship & Planned Giving, to add the button linking to the Tithe.ly form
Can I get help setting this up?
Whether you select CanadaHelps.org or Tithe.ly for the donation forms on your church website, Jim MacDonald, the Development Manager in the Stewardship & Planned Giving Department, can help you set-up your account(s) and your donation form(s). Jim will either embed the form on your secure website or program a button on your website that points to your church’s donation form on Tithe.ly or CanadaHelps.org.
You are welcome to contact Jim MacDonald for consultation and assistance setting-up donation forms on your church’s website. Through screenshare, Jim can walk you through the entire process as you set it up together.
Contact Jim MacDonald