To help your church transition to Planning Center Giving, we have tips on some best practices for two areas: handling donation records from your old system and communicating the transition to donors.
Handling Donation History
Some churches want their donation information in one system; others prefer to start fresh with a new platform. Because not every church has the same preference, here are a few options for handling your church's donation history records from a previous system:
- Use a Giving integration. Some third-party companies have built software that can sync donations between systems, including PCO Import tool, which works with many donation platforms. Check out our list of current Giving Integrations to see if any would work for you.
- Issue two end-of-year statements to your donors this year. To reflect the total amount a donor gave for the year, you can generate one statement from your old system and one statement from Giving. If you export a record of past donations from your old system, you can keep this as a record outside of Giving so that you don't have to enter those previous donations into Giving.
- Manually enter online donations made through your past system in batches. You can create batches to include a lump sum for overall giving for each donor or itemized donations for each donor. For example, you can enter a lump sum for overall giving for each donor or itemized donations for each donor. You can create a payment source using the name of your past system so that you know where the donations originated from.
- Use the Giving API to build an integration between your current system and Planning Center Giving. You'll need to have a third-party developer set this up for you.
You can import your donors' contact information into People, which you can then access in Giving. Donation information will not be included in the information you import.
Communicating With Donors
Your congregation wants to know that they can give in a way that's secure and easy. Ease their doubts by setting up a timeline and process that will answer their questions.
Here are some tips for a smooth transition to Giving:
- Give yourselves 1-2 full months to complete the transition.
- Use the instructions in the Getting Started Guide to set up Giving.
- Enable the Church Center mobile app for your account.
- Announce your intention to switch to Giving to your congregation, including the dates that the two platforms will overlap and the transition end date.
- Start publishing the URL for online giving and information on the Church Center app in bulletins and on websites. Many churches use video and emails to announce their change.
- Make yourselves available for questions and help in setting up recurring donations, payment methods, etc.
As you encounter issues, check out our Giving help articles or email us with specifics.