Online Giving

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by SmalltownPastor, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. SmalltownPastor

    SmalltownPastor
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    Do any of your churches offer online giving? What's your experience with it?

    At our last business meeting, our church approved implementing online giving unanimously, except for one for - the treasurer. He didn't speak up during the meeting as to why he voted against it, but I spoke with him afterwards. He said he believed it was too similar to the money-changers that Jesus drove out of the temple (he was referring to how every online giving service charges a fee per transaction, usually around 2-3%). I expressed my disdain for the fees as well, how I really don't like the idea of a portion of church donations going elsewhere, but also that people simply don't use cash or checkbooks like they used to.

    I was thinking some more about all of this today, and I'm pretty sure the transaction fee is nothing like what the money changers were doing. The money changers were being dishonest about conversion rates and pocketing the difference. We're not doing that. We're paying a company for a service, just as we pay someone to mow our church's lawn.

    But now I'm kind of in a sticky position. If it were any other person in the church who objected, I could go ahead and implement the online giving. But it's the treasurer. He would by necessity be involved with it, as he would need to have access to the account and be able to transfer funds from the account. I don't want him to have to violate his conscious in doing so.

    I think I'm going to need to talk with him about it, but I don't want to come across as "I'm right, and you're wrong." I also don't want to give him the impression that I want him to resign. Knowing him, he will probably be okay with monitoring the account, and I don't think he'll ever cause a stink about the decision the church made, but I'm just not sure how to go about having the conversation with him.

    If any of you have implemented online giving at your churches, did you run into any roadblocks along the way? What online giving solution do you recommend? Have increased donations made up for the 2-3% transaction fees?
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Our church doesn't passing an offering basket; we have a box at the back of the church
    To often there was miscommunication between my wife and I about giving.

    So I began using online giving to contribute to the church.

    I've set it up to give a certain amount each month.

    Works well, no one forgets.

    I about 15% of our church's weekly giving is online.

    Rob
     
  3. SmalltownPastor

    SmalltownPastor
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    How long have you all had online giving as an option? I'm assuming some of that 15% is from people who were giving by cash or check before you implemented it. Has the online option increased giving or just caused some people who were already giving to give using that option?
     
  4. SmalltownPastor

    SmalltownPastor
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    Does anyone else have any experience with online giving?
     
  5. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    We do online giving and have been using it for about seven years now. It is highly successful and we have benefitted from using it.

    The accusation about "money changers in the Temple" isn't accurate for a host of reasons. Not the least of which is that the transactions being made were not proper as it was supposed to be brought by the individuals making the sacrifices. Also, these were Gentile and Jewish traders who were charging usury up to 300%.

    We had a bit of the same challenge, but our church is mostly younger so the transition was easier. The meager (3%) charge for using the service is not comparable to the money changers example either.

    For what its worth, once we implemented an online giving our giving rose immediately (about 45% in six months) and has sustained a growth mark consisent to our overall church growth every year. Frankly, it is a better way for families and individuals to give. We also provide a basis for designated funds, regular giving, and special offerings while also having two kisoks up in our main thoroughfares for those who wish to give onsite. Mobile giving is also something we've leveraged which has really aided our 20 and 30somethings crowd in their giving opportunities.

    Its a win overall.
     
  6. SmalltownPastor

    SmalltownPastor
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    Thanks for your input, preachinjesus. How large is your church? I ask because having two giving kiosks at our church would seem like overkill lol. I guess we could put one in the foyer and one in the fellowship hall, but they're only about 15 feet apart :D

    A 45% giving increase is huge! Was this increase primarily from people who attend, or from elsewhere? I'm curious if it's allowed/encouraged members to give more regularly/generously, or if it's primarily been an avenue for new givers.
     
  7. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Well, we have a large facility that meets our needs as a large congregation. Having two kiosks works for us, though it might not work for others.

    The increase in giving was primarily from consistent attenders and covenant members. We have seen giving rise in guests and inconsistent attenders since then. The great thing about online giving is that it stabilizes the routine of giving and one can set a monthly, weekly, or whatever kind of giving dispersal. The integration of mobile giving apps has also helped, especially with out 20 and 30somethings crowd. :)
     
  8. Deacon

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    We're a smaller church (200-225)
    We've started the on-line option about two years ago.

    Our treasurer is an elderly gentleman who had similar reservations about on-line giving and held back implementing the program for years.

    His buy-in was crucial to it's development and success.

    It's rather low-key.
    We don't have any "kiosks" set up in the church - but I'm told that you can donate via smart phone.

    You can check out our church's website and see how it's presented if you like.
    Crossing Community Church, Newtown PA "Donate Now"

    P.M. me if you think your treasurer would like to contact ours and talk things over.

    Rob
     
  9. agedman

    agedman
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    Why don't folks just use an "automatic bill payment" from the bank.

    It doesn't cost anything.

    The church would receive checks from the bank, or a special account can be set up in which the members are given the number to deposit the check.

    This kind of thing is often done in the rental housing market, in which a renter sends an online payment to a bank account held by the land lords agent.

    No body is charged, and giving is at the total discretion of the assembly members.
     
  10. quantumfaith

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    We are a moderately sized church,, having approximately 1100 adults in two services. We have been doing Online giving for about 4 years. We have two Kiosks, which seems to serve our needs well. My observation is that most online giving is done away from the Kiosks, home or by phone. I cannot provide any stats as to increases or decreases in giving as a result of our online program, although I often perform ushering and offering counting duties. Based on the funds that come through the more traditional method, I would suspect a very large part of our giving is done electronically. I have been requested to serve on our Stewardship board. If in the future, I have knowledge of stats regarding our experience with online giving that I CaN share, I will.
     
  11. SaggyWoman

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    The church I attend uses it. A lot of younger than me people attend there and find online giving a preferred method. I guess I am old school in that regard.
     

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