The word generosity is used a lot in the church giving circles, mostly to refer to givers and the need to increase their giving. At Vision2, we approach generosity from a different angle, one that guides how our online giving platform is built and the way we do business with our church partners.
Where Generosity Originates
Generosity shares space in the Bible with words like abundant, boundless, overflowing, without measure, and unlimited. These descriptions are used most often to describe God’s extravagance toward us. His desire is that when we experience His generosity, we’ll naturally reflect it back to Him and pay it forward to others.
Operating from the Spirit of Generosity
Churches reflect the spirit of generosity when they provide their services and resources freely to their community and the world. Although their good work requires funding, the majority of church leaders aren’t in it for the money. They keep going even when resources are scarce.
The church also relies on organizations which help facilitate their work in the community. Of course, businesses, even those created to serve the church, are obviously created for profit, but can they also be generous?
We believe they can.
Vision2 giving software was built for generosity from the ground up. The goal wasn’t simply to grow generosity in individuals, though we designed our solution to do that. It was also to extend generosity to churches.
Deep knowledge of church challenges—and of gaps in existing online giving platforms to adequately address those challenges—led to innovation in Vision2 that no other platform has, WITHOUT THE LIMITS others impose.
Why Giving Software Providers Impose Limits
Sometimes a vendor’s limits or additional charges are business decisions based on the legitimate need to cover the cost of serving the church. For example, getting your new software up and running is an expense the vendor must recoup.
Other business decisions, however, are simply ways to serve the vendor’s bottom line at the expense of the church. This includes practices such as term contracts that make it impossible for a church to leave even if they’re unhappy, or if they do leave, withholding their giving data from them.
Many vendors’ limits may be unavoidable for that particular vendor because of the way the software and the organization have been structured. The typical credit structure simply doesn’t allow for very large gifts or a high velocity of gifts at one time, so maximum gift amount limits and delays in receiving your funds cannot be bypassed.
Vision2 Exists to Help You Do Good, Better
Vision2 was borne out of creator Carl Tierney’s background in technology and his frustration with the lack of integrity he saw—from the inside—of organizations serving nonprofits and the church.
Carl has a vision for helping the church do more than focus on itself. He imagined a solution that allows churches to more efficiently distribute goods and services to the community. He saw the high risk practices in church accounting and visualized a way to protect congregations with rigorous automatic internal controls. He wanted to save hardworking church staff time and effort, and provide ways to better engage church attendees—beyond their financial gifts.
His goal was to actually help the church have a greater impact on peoples’ lives. Creating a truly innovative giving software platform is just the beginning of this dream. You are already doing good work in the community, Vision2 exists to help you do that good work even better.
How Vision2 Is Different
The starting point of software matters. With inside knowledge of the challenges churches face with giving and accounting—including the pain of switching to a new platform—and with the extension of generosity as our baseline, Vision2 innovates many standard tasks, including:
Migration of recurring gift schedules
You don’t have to risk losing givers or annoying them with requests to reschedule their recurring gifts. With few exceptions, most recurring schedules can be transferred. (Unless your current credit card processor chooses to hold your data hostage.)
Unsurpassed internal controls
We protect your staff and the church’s finances with a detailed audit trail that prevents anyone from changing transactions, ever.
Unique reconciliation mapping process
Free finance staff from the chore of matching batched gift amounts from the bank against individual gifts with true revenue accounting. Vision2 is the only online giving vendor that manages every single step of every single transaction directly with the bank. There’s no need for test files for the bank. It’s easy to reconcile to the penny every day.
Direct and immediate payment of funds
Skip the middleman. With more than a billion dollars in gifts transacted, Vision2 is its own certified Level 1 PCI-compliant payment processor. We collect offerings directly to avoid the usual delay in receiving digital funds (and giving you one less vendor to deal with).
Save time and eliminate frustration every step of the way. Vision2 streamlines every step, from scanning to uploading, to the processing of cash and checks, to reconciliation. It all adds up to significant efficiency gains and a reduction in volunteers needed to assist.
Campus tracking integrates into your Church Management System Too many steps is a primary reason givers abandon their gifts. Remove an unnecessary step that forces them to choose their campus before giving, while retaining the ability to track giving by campus.
Giving forms that allow churches to visually demonstrate ministry details and impact with imagery and descriptions
Vision2 is the only platform that helps you engage givers to learn more, give to and get involved with each of your ministry opportunities right on the giving page.
Giving Without Limits
To truly meet Carl’s goals and serve the church better, he created Vision2 from the outset to remove limits and avoid the nickel-and-diming approach many vendors use. Employing the spirit of generosity wherever possible, Vision2 offers churches true GIVING WITHOUT LIMITS:
Churches don’t have to commit to the long term with Vision2 before they know what they’re getting into. We aim to keep our relationships through extraordinary software and exceptional customer service, not fine print.
No monthly fees
Because your church relies on donations to exist and do its work, Vision2 is committed to helping you keep more of your gifts.
No limit on support/training
Staff turnover is unavoidable. Another way we help your church is by offering all the support and training your staff needs at no cost.
No limit on the number of users
For most software vendors, the more the merrier means additional revenue they earn for multiple individual user licenses. For Vision2, it means another opportunity to accommodate your ever-changing staff and volunteer needs, without charging you for additional users.
No limit on transactions – at any time of the year
Because 30% of annual giving occurs in December and 10% of annual giving occurs on the last 3 days of the year, Vision2’s financial structure was built to accommodate any amount of giving with no delays.
No limit on donation amounts
Every so often a church is blessed with a large gift. You never know when it’s coming or how much it will be. Can you imagine that gift being denied because it’s too generous? It happens! (But not with Vision2. No gift amount is too large.)
No delays in receiving your money
There’s a standard delay in the processing of digital gifts—up to 72 hours. But does there have to be? Vision2 was structured to turn this notion on its head … allowing your church virtually immediate access to your funds.
Fewer staff or volunteers needed for data entry
In addition to financial resources, human resources can be scarce, too. Vision2’s unparalleled automation eliminates the need for tedious manual entry, even of cash and checks, required by most other platforms. Staff saves time and avoids errors, and churches don’t have to spread their volunteer force quite so thin. Our clients report that it takes 60% fewer staff, 30% less time, to process their weekly offering than before implementing Vision2.
No hijacking of a church’s data if they decide to leave
Your data is your data. Generosity doesn’t view a church’s decision to switch software as a chance to coerce a final fee out of them. No matter the reason, if a customer chooses to end their relationship with Vision2, we freely facilitate the return of their data.
The Growth of Generosity
The best part of these tangible examples of the spirit of generosity is the fruit they can produce. When vendors impose limits on churches, those limits are ultimately passed on to individual givers, the true seed planters in the kingdom. Generosity flows in that same way.
With no artificial giving limits, there’s NO LIMITS TO YOUR GROWTH of:
Number of givers
Total amount of gifts
… and much, much more!
Generosity received should result in generosity extended, whether you’re an individual giver, a ministry leader or an organization serving the church.