The end of the year is almost here and an important task looms on your calendar: "Create and send Contribution Statements to our donors"
If you're doing this without an all-in-one church donation software, you know this task can be a major headache. If you've tried to create these statements from scratch on something like Microsoft Excel, I'm sure you'll agree with what we often say around the office:
But what's the best church giving software for the job? With so many out there, let's go over some basic things to look for in software to help you with this part of your job.
Below are the 7 basic things you need in software for creating giving statements:
If producing contribution statements is your goal, the software shouldn't make the task feel like a chore. The software should be doing the heavy lifting, not you!
For "user-friendliness", here are some things you should look for:
Too many companies are willing to take advantage of even small ministries to make a buck. You shouldn't have to spend an arm and a leg just to create and send a document once a year. The software you choose should either be inexpensive or have giving statements already included in their package at no extra cost.
An affordable church management software like ChurchTrac will go a long way to save your church money and make your job easier.
If the software doesn't have any support resources, it probably isn't worth choosing. Here are a few things to look for in a software company:
The process to generate these forms should be quick and easy. Ideally, you should have a report in front of you in 5 clicks of the mouse or fewer once logged onto the software. Anything more than that is unnecessarily complicated.
The same goes for sending the document to your donors. While it's possible to download the document, then open your email account, attach the document, and send it, you shouldn't have to go through that rigamarole. The best program will allow you to send a contribution statement right from the program itself.
With everything you have on your plate, you don't need to use software that consumes more of your time. Being able to navigate quickly to what you need and send it where it needs to go is non-negotiable when it comes to the software you choose.
It should be easy and intuitive to use while still custom fit to your needs. The software should provide you with tools to make this report unique to your ministry without asking you to reinvent the wheel or build the report from the ground up.
You don't want to get bogged down by the details. Using software that requires hours of your time to build a contribution statement defeats the purpose of using dedicated software for this task.
Your members already have to read a ton of legalese and tax jargon this time of year. Don't choose a program that adds to the confusion by producing a contribution statement that is cluttered. The information should be laid out plainly and be easy to read.
Read What Needs to be on A Contribution Statement? if you would like to know how to avoid the clutter while ensuring the donor has everything they need.
The process to update a member's contribution should take seconds, not minutes. If it asks you to fill out a donor's information every time that person donates, that software is taking too much of your time. Even if you are adding several months of contributions in one go, you shouldn't have to spend all day doing it.
Again, user-friendliness is king. Whether you are adding a few contributions one at a time or loading a lot of giving data all at once, the software should ask for only a few pieces of information. All the better if the software has a donor's information already saved so all their information loads automatically. This will save you a lot of time in the long run.
The easiest way to keep giving data updated is to use an integrated online giving platform that reports donations automatically! Watch this video to learn about the best giving platform for your church:
Whether you are a church planter or seasoned church leader, here are some more articles that answer your questions about contribution statements:
The best software will make dreading contribution statements a thing of the past! It should be user-friendly, customizable, affordable, and have a great support team behind it.
ChurchTrac makes it easy to import your church's giving and generate year-end statements for all of your donors. Start your free 30-Day trial and see why 10,000+ churches have already made the switch and simplified their ministries.