The hunt for a church giving software is complex. You want to offer a convenient online tithing payment option in this credit-card, low-cash world, and you need it to be cost-effective. We understand the desire to be good stewards of your resources and your need for an efficient solution, unlike Venmo and Paypal, which still require heavy oversight to catch all payments and record them accurately.

Sure, we’re biased, but we believe we’ve built an ideal online giving resource for churches and religious organizations — especially smaller congregations with smaller budgets. Our basic features are free, and premium upgrades are minimal. You can also upgrade on a monthly basis, meaning you can purchase additional features only during your busier months.

Why we don’t recommend Venmo or PayPal for churches

Full disclosure: We use each of these for personal needs, but they don’t always meet groups’ capacity and regulatory needs. How so?

1. Your payments aren’t automatically categorized.

Every payment your institution receives goes into the same “pot”, leaving a staff member to sort through and itemize. The solution isn’t to create separate accounts for every ministry or program — that adds even more to manage! Instead, with Cheddar Up, you have only one account, and within that account, you make separate collections to detail what you’re collecting. In our backend reporting center, every payment gets automatically sorted by the item(s) the payer selected.

2. You may receive unidentified payments.

Think: a check’s blank memo line. You can ask people to include their contact information and details about their payments, but inevitably, some forget, and you’re left to follow up. Is it an event payment? Is it offering — and is it weekly or for a special campaign? Cheddar Up allows you to create item questions or forms coinciding with payments, and you can require responses in order to check out.

3. You may face transaction limits.

PayPal’s generous single-payment cap likely won’t pose many problems, but Venmo limits the amount an account can receive each week — which may impact your church during a stewardship campaign or a busy registration period.   

4. Venmo doesn’t have nonprofit-specific features.

You can’t specify if your group is a 501(c)3 — and your account could be frozen if Venmo suspects unapproved activity. Venmo also doesn’t provide tax receipts.

5. Venmo doesn’t allow multiple users.

Only one email address per account means that church leadership or volunteer changes could affect access to your church’s account — and if you have to make a new one, it could confuse your congregation. Cheddar Up not only allows multiple account managers, but you can also set restrictions, such as who can and can’t withdraw money. This feature also helps lighten the load on small church staffs: The burden of managing money and sign-ups doesn’t fall solely on one pastor.
We’ve been astounded by the adoption and positive feedback about Cheddar Up from our members.
Marika Bergsund, Senior Director of Membership, Girl Scouts of Northern California
cheddar up affiliate program

How Cheddar Up can benefit your church or religious organization

In short, significantly. In addition to collecting money, Cheddar Up is an efficient management tool. Here’s a (nonexhaustive) look at how our features support churches specifically. 

1. Online and automated church giving

Here, your “collection plate” becomes a Cheddar Up collection, which is what we call the customized giving pages on our platform. Within your tithing collection, you can create various items: Perhaps for weekly giving, seasonal offerings, or special campaigns. (Need fundraising help? Click here for all those details.) You can give members the option to give one-time or recurring payments at their designated amount. 

In the reporting center, you can filter by giving emphasis (Christmas missions offering or weekly giving, for example) to see who gave and the totals for each.

Anyone can pay on Cheddar Up without creating an account, and we offer a friction-free paying experience (think of it as your own cash app for giving!). They can scan a QR code and pay right from their mobile phone during the offertory (no app necessary)!

2. Simplified and comprehensive accounting

By simple, we mean we essentially do the accounting for you. Cheddar Up’s online giving software helps eliminate the margin of error in reporting financials received online because it automatically logs and sorts every payment that comes through the system. Our robust reporting center allows you to view reports by collection, date or payer — and our account-wide reporting consolidates all your Cheddar Up activity for a specified period. An excellent resource for church business meetings!

Interested in seeing who your largest donors were year to date across all your events and campaigns? Our reporting center will have the answer. To see some of our reporting center in action, click here.

Use Cheddar Up for:

• Church giving
• Fundraising
• Youth retreats
• Mission trips
• Communion
• Vacation Bible School
• Potluck meal
• Service projects
• Event costs


…the sky’s the limit!

3. Small group and program management

In addition to money-collecting, Cheddar Up is a pro at registration. Host online sign-ups for Sunday School classes and/or small groups with a separate collection in your account. Simply list each class you offer, and members can select the one that meets their age group or interest. You can export spreadsheets to send each group leader, or you can communicate with those who sign up (everyone, or filtered by specific criteria) right in our messaging center.

You can also create collections for special programming, like youth retreats, mission trips, communion, Vacation Bible School, potluck meals, and community service projects — for signups, to collect event costs, even to sell merchandise! We have a point-of-sale card reader that allows you to sell products in person, as well as accept any remaining payments “at the door.”

We also offer a free e-signature tool, which is critical for special event permission slips and waivers. Why choose ours? Because, true to the Cheddar Up M.O., it isn’t a separate app — it integrates seamlessly with the other information and payments you collect.

(Does your church offer camps? Click here for our camp features!)

4. Serving opportunities and volunteer management

Use a Cheddar Up collection as a central location to list your church’s serving opportunities and allow volunteers to sign up. Some churches ask volunteers to complete an “application” with past ministry experience and/or reasons you want to serve. Thanks to our forms features, you can seamlessly integrate that with the signup! (Click here to read more about our forms.) Our free waivers work well here too for volunteer agreements — and signed copies will be saved right alongside each individual’s other information. If you make all ministers account managers, each one can log in to view who has signed up and all form responses, plus contact volunteers directly from the platform. 

If your church requires background checks, you can use our customizable receipt to include instructions and links for next steps. We love automation!

5. Parents’ Day Out or weekday preschool registration and tuition software

Does your church offer a weekday childcare program? We’ll help with that too! With our payments + forms power duo — including free e-signature forms — you can offer online registration on our site, and you can set up a collection for tuition. You can even set an automatic collection closing date for the tuition deadline. Our users tell us an online payment option has significantly helped with on-time payments!
“Most folks just learning about Cheddar Up might initially focus on its ease of payment for their community. It’s amazing that Cheddar Up provides this easy way to collect funds. But the experience for the organizer is also a huge value, because it makes record keeping so easy.”

Mike Cappabianca, Vice President of Finance, University of Windsor, Student Law Society

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More reasons to choose Cheddar Up

Our church giving software is FREE or low-cost!

It’s a low learning curve.

Our dashboard walks you through creating a collection step-by-step, plus we have an extensive learning library (with videos!).

It’s convenient for everyone.

Make everyone’s life easer — church staff, congregation, church business committees.

Straightforward yet detailed reporting promotes transparency and trust in your religious organization’s accounting.

Our robust reporting center allows you to view reports by collection, date or payer.

We can create a customized experience for your organization.

That’s what our partnerships are all about. We’ve already teamed up with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)!

You'll want to ask your group's organizer for a link. For privacy reasons, it's not possible to search for this on Cheddar Up.

Learn more about paying on Cheddar Up

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