Welcome to Giving! This article will help you set up your Giving account by adding funds and enabling the donor website, and it will provide you with links to learn more about the app. In addition to this guide, you can check out our Product Tour, which shows you how Giving works for your church.
Replace Multiple Donation Systems
Giving will not replace your general ledger, but it can replace the multiple systems you use to track donations.
The main value is to save you and your donors from having to use multiple donation systems. It's one system to process donations and track donor history no matter how people give--card, bank account, cash, check--or where they give--on a desktop, table, text message, offering bucket.
However, Giving is not to be used for balancing the basic finances of your church like receivable and payable account. You will still need a separate software to cut checks, manage payroll, balance your books with your banks, and account for sales and reimbursements.
Track 100% Deductible Donations (not sales or reimbursements)
Your organization may receive income from baked goods, thrift store sales, small group members who bought books, but those types of transactions are instances where someone is receiving a physical good or service.
Those transactions are not meant to be entered in Giving.
Transactions where someone receives something for their payment need to be entered into your general ledger. If someone wants to pay $100 for a ticket to an event at your church and wants to give $50 to the New Building fund, then they need to give that through two separate transactions. The donation can be tracked in Giving, and if you don't have a place for the ticket to be tracked, try Planning Center Registrations!
Non-Profit, 501c3 Organizations
Giving is designed to support the collecting, processing, and managing of donations for non-profit organizations. Our system is predicated on that notion that donors receive, as the IRS puts it, no goods or services in return for these contributions except intangible, religious benefits.
If this doesn't describe your organization, we don't advise using Giving.
Once you're subscribed to Giving, you're ready to get started setting up the application. This playlist of videos will walk you through setting it up.
When you subscribe to Giving, you'll be given lots of information to get set up. Follow the prompts, and you'll create your first fund and be familiar with the app before you ever get a donation.
View the Initial Setup steps for more information about those prompts.
Follow the green buttons and see the checkmarks as you complete each step.
1. Learn About Admins
In all other Planning Center applications, any Organization Administrator has access to the newly subscribed application. However, in Giving, only those who have been specifically added as an Administrator have access, in addition to the person who signed up for Giving.
We want to give you a heads-up about that, so when you finish setting up the application, you can add Administrators and even remove yourself if necessary.
Click the green button to keep moving along.
2. Set Your Currency
We'll check your currency, and if it's not set, click the green button, which will take you to Accounts.
Giving only supports USD and CAD, but Registrations accepts other forms of currency. Choose the currency you'll receive donations in most often.
Choose your currency from the dropdown options.
If CAD is your default currency, you'll have access to CRA-friendly donor statements and address localization.
If you are looking into Planning Center Giving and need support for one of these currencies, email us.
- Australian Dollars
- New Zealand Dollars
- British Pounds
Once you've chosen your currency, use the app switcher in the upper left corner to go back to Giving.
3. Connect Stripe
To process donations, you have to Connect Stripe, our payment processor.
If you already have a Stripe account, click Sign in in the upper right corner. If you don't have a Stripe account, fill out the information and click Authorize access to this account at the end of the form.
You may already be connected to Stripe if you use Registrations. This information is located on the Integrations Tab of the Accounts page.
4. Set Your Org Info
Before people can give to your church, you need to set your URL and contact information from the Accounts page.
Click the Configure your settings button.
A URL might have already been set up for you from the Accounts Page. Registrations and Groups both use the URL as well.
After you set up the URL (if needed), you will be taken back to the Configure your organization settings screen.
Click the Configure your settings button again to go the Accounts page to fill in your church information.
Use the app switcher in the upper left corner to go back to Giving.
5. Create Your Default Fund
Now that all the Accounts stuff is entered, create your first fund where people can give!
The fund you create on this page is considered your default fund. If you need to change your default fund in the future, our Support Team will need to change it for you.
- Choose a name people will recognize or be comfortable giving to as your default fund.
- Add information about how this fund works.
- Choose to allow anyone to give to this fund or only leave it accessible to Admins.
Click Create Fund to take the last setup step.
Choose to Enable Text-to-Give if you want donors to be able to give via text message.
If you're not sure about Text-to-Give yet, you can enable it later to continue the Setup process.
Add Campus for Text-to-Give
If you select Enable Text-to-Give, you'll need to add a campus, even if you have only one campus. People are able to give based on geographical location, so the campus solidifies Text-to-Give.
Read the instructions, and then click Add a Campus to be taken to the Accounts page to add a campus.
Use the App Switcher in the upper left corner to go back to Giving.
Once you've enabled Text-to-Give (or skipped it to do later) you're ready to get started! Click Open Giving.
You'll be taken to your Dashboard, the main place for donations. It is grayed out behind a message, so you can see what it will look like once you start receiving donations.
When you've gone through the Initial Setup prompts, you'll be in your Giving application! Before you ask donors to use Giving for their donations, follow these steps, so your account will be prepared for people to give.
As the first steps of Initial Setup pointed out, Giving Administrators are different in Giving than in other applications. In addition to having to add each Administrator, those people must also have a phone number and email address listed in their profile. If they don't, you'll be prompted to add one for them before giving them permissions.
Add an Administrator from the Administrators tab on the People page.
Start typing the name of the person. If they're not listed in your database already, you can create a new person to be an Administrator.
Add as many Administrators as you want to have access to Giving. These people can access all donor information.
Funds are all about how the money will be used. Funds are listed online, and donors can choose to put money in specific funds. That designated money must be put in that fund.
Add your funds on the Funds tab on the Manage page.
If you don't already have a list of funds elsewhere, add them as you need them.
How do you want to track donations as a church? That's where labels come in.
Labels allow you to take donations and categorize them in a different way, so you can track money based on different parameters than funds allow.
To get to labels, go to the Manage page and select the Labels tab.
Some great examples of labels are
- days when you have service, such as Sunday or Midweek
- types of services that don't have funds, such as Kids Church or Small Groups
- checks that are mailed or post-dated
- donations that need a follow up, especially if they specify a closed fund
If you're not sure how you want to track donations with labels, wait until donations come in. As they come in, consider if adding a label will help you find information you need, especially since stamps already give you lots of information to filter. You can create a new label in the same place you add a cash or check donation. In addition, you can edit an online donation to add a label.
Some churches use all the features of Giving; some only need a couple. Select settings that best fit your church from the Settings tab on the Manage page.
- Enable credit card donations and, after you've walked through the Apple Pay Setup, verify Apple Pay for donations.
- Enter the email address for Giving communication, and if receipts should be sent to cash and check donors, add those settings to their payment sources.
- Change the disclaimer at the bottom of receipts and statements.
- If your church actively uses donor numbers, check this box to continue using them.
- If you enabled Text-to-give and added a campus in the Initial Setup, this box will be checked. If not, you can enable Text-to-give here, and go to Accounts to add your campus.
In addition to those settings, churches with CAD currency will need to add a Treasurer Signature to their settings:
Once you've gone through those steps, you are ready for your first day to use Giving! When people give to your church, they will be added to your database in People.
If you wanna dive in a little deeper, we have created a training video that will continually be updated. It's 45 minutes long and has chapters for you to jump around easily. It also links to all of our articles throughout the video.
Get Help & Support
If you need any help as you're getting set up, we are here to help you! The best way is by clicking the question mark in the upper right when you're logged in. When you click that, you'll see this helpful dialog box.
- Suggested articles will give suggestions based on the page you're on when you click the question mark.
- Type in what you're looking for. This will search our online manual and return articles on that topic.
- Click browse our documentation to be taken directly to our online manual. You'll be able to see all of our help articles and open them from there.
- Send an email to our Support Team. For the most efficient support, be sure to include specifics about what you're working with. This might include the email address of the donor or the date of the payout or batch you're viewing.