Coronavirus: 7 Great, Simple Tools to Use When You Can’t Pass the Plate

For those that have cancelled church services as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), you won’t be collecting any physical form of money on Sundays. While many churches have online giving options in place, there are some that do not. We wanted to offer some options for those that are seeking to give their congregants a way to still tithe even without physically meeting. Of course, these are tips you can use at any time.

LifeWay Generosity

LifeWay’s Generosity platform is a great turnkey solution for the church that needs the cheapest and easiest solution to get online giving started.  It is designed for the typical Southern Baptist church. Listen to what our own Jonathon Gray has to say about the platform by watching the video below.


Here are some other ideas. Each has its own strengths and nuances that may fit your churches needs too.


Many churches that stream might use Facebook live as the location for the live worship service. This is a great idea, because many church members already have a Facebook account. If your church registers as a non-profit with Facebook, you can get access to a button where your congregation can donate right on your page. Click here for more information

If you are not registered as a non-profit with Facebook or need a quicker solution, look at one of these online giving platforms for help:  


For more information: 

Set up price: Free 

Fee: 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction (for qualifying non-profits) This is the least expensive platform on this list.  This organization has been around the longest, which may not matter, but I would imagine any bugs have been fixed by now. They have a customizable landing page for church branding which is nice.  This is the platform currently used by many Georgia Baptist Churches. 


Set up price: Free option, tiered monthly fees depending on the level of services. 

 Fee: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction 

It looks easy to set up and users have shared that account management is very simple. It accepts ACH bank transfers, credit and debit cards, and manual entry. 


Set up price: Free option, tiered monthly fees up to $49 per month 

Fee: 3% + $0.39 per transaction 

This is another easy-to-set-up and manage option, plus it offers the MinistryOne church app, which provides access to not only giving but, sermons, video, event registration, and streaming video. It also has an option that allows you to set up your own online store, which could come in handy. 


Set up price: Free 

Fee: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction 

This is perhaps the easiest to use from the giver side, but it is also easy to set up and manage. It allows you to include your church branding on the version of the app your people see, which is a nice touch.  Keep in mind, this app is designed to work primarily on a smart phone. So, that may limit its usefulness in some areas.   


Set up price: No free option but tiered depending on church size. 

Fee: 2.5% – 3% per transaction 

This is more than a giving platform and offers a wide array of stewardship and development resources.  If you are looking for something more than a virtual offering plate, this is not your platform.  But if you need a wider range of services, this could very well be your choice. 

A couple of these platforms are offering special opportunities to assist churches during the pandemic. Each seems open to offer trials and demos. I recommend you carefully consider your options. Regardless of whether we’re battling the coronavirus, there may be other times when you need to have online giving set up. What other platforms are you using that you would recommend for your fellow church leaders? 

Published March 19, 2020