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Faith Direct Resources to Help Parishes to Safely Reopen

Faith Direct has always been about more than just providing software for Catholic parishes, dioceses, and organizations.  At our core, Faith Direct staff are a community of faithful believers who want to help the Church share the Gospel with others and support the ministry of churches everywhere.  That’s why our mission is “Inspiring eGiving Today for Tomorrow’s Church”

Remaining focused on our shared mission has been crucial over the last few months at Faith Direct. We have empowered parishes and dioceses coast-to-coast and around the world with our complete Faith Direct eGiving solution and some knowledge sharing and support along the way too. It has been our hope these efforts would help them continue their ministry while many parishes and diocesan offices needed to remain temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Here’s a recap of just some of the resources available to parishes and dioceses as you begin the process of reopening:

Updated guidance from the CDC for churches was released on May 21, 2020.  You may access the link for that updated CDC guidance for churches here.

Reopening Church: Touchless Tech for a Safer Reopening webinar recording. The webinar was hosted by Faith Direct’s parent company, Ministry Brands, on May 21, 2020.  Contact Faith Direct if you have any questions about the software and resources available to help your parish and the webinar recording is available here.

Free Text-to-Give is now available for All Faith Direct customers to help your parishioners and donors another convenient safe way for them to make donations and provide their weekly tithing without having to turn in an envelope.

Best Practices for Parish eGiving webinar recording from April 7, 2020.  This webinar was co-hosted by Faith Direct and ParishSOFT and shows how to fully utilize their eGiving and church management (ChMS) software. The webinar recording is available here.

ParishCast is Faith Direct’s mass communication tool that will allow you to communicate with your parishioners through voice, text, and email due to emergencies or schedule changes. To learn more, contact your Customer Success manager.

Prepare Your Parish for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) webinar recording, webinar slides, and free eBook. The webinar was co-hosted by Faith Direct and our partner ParishSOFT on March 18, 2020.  Just submit thisonline form to request your free COVID-19 resources.

With servant hearts, Faith Direct remains focused on helping Catholic parishes, dioceses, and organizations find the best possible solutions to help them during this challenging time.  To see if Faith Direct is the right fit for your parish or diocese, we invite you to call 866- 507-8757 or contact us online.

Summer Reading: Your 2017 eGiving Program Checklist!

Are you deciding on the best eGiving program for your church, or reviewing your current provider to make sure it’s still the best fit?eGiving Program Checklist

Faith Direct wants to help you make the most informed decision possible.

Below you will find our 2017 eGiving Program Checklist.  This easy-to-download PDF covers every aspect of your eGiving needs from Program Administration, Communication and Customer Service to Administrative Services and Security.

eGiving Program Considerations
  • Does your eGiving provider charge a percentage of donations along with added user fees – or does it feature a flat fee inclusive of all services?
  • Can your members use the program to give to all collections, and to register for parish events?
  • Will your church be responsible for introducing and promoting the eGiving program to your members – or does the program have a full-service stewardship  component?
  • Does the program offer dedicated customer service for users by phone, email and online chat?
  • Is your church responsible for contacting members regarding needed updates to their credit card information, or does the program handle this task?
  • How does the provider protect donors’ sensitive financial information – and how much responsibility will your church bear in the event of a data breach?
  • Who is the Merchant of Record:  your church or the processor?

This 2017 eGiving Program Checklist covers a lot of ground, because there’s plenty to think about as you make this important decision for your church. Faith Direct wants you to make the best choice for your church’s eGiving program. We hope this Checklist helps!

Download the 2017 eGiving Program Checklist Now!

Recognize Lent by building a community of faith through social media.

“Each life that we encounter is a gift deserving acceptance, respect and love.”
– Pope Francis

Faith Direct is leading a new #LentenGift social media campaign, with the hope that many will encounter the spirit of Lent online. We hope your parish will be part of this unique initiative!

Inspired by everything from cherished bible verses and Pope Francis’s 2017 message for Lent, to words associated with this season of reflection and penance, we’ve chosen a special theme for each day that captures the meaning and significance of Lent.

Throughout Lent, our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts will reflect each day’s theme, with the hashtag #LentenGift.

Here’s how you can join us:

  • Start by posting the attached Lenten calendar on March 1 with the #LentenGift hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram.
  • After that, simply follow the calendar and take inspiration from each day’s theme. Post whatever you are moved to share, whether it’s a photo of a cross from your church on the first day of Lent, or a quote from Pope Francis on the final day.
  • Whatever platforms you use, you can post images from your church and community, or you can share inspiring quotes that reflect the day’s theme – and you can encourage your parishioners to post as well.
  • You’re also welcome to share our daily posts, as we spread the message of Lent.

Together we can build a community of faith across social media in recognition of Lent. We look forward to seeing what inspires you!

5 eGiving Questions for 2017

Consider this: Two members of your church make their offertory gifts via eGiving. One gives $25, while the other gives $60. With a transaction-based eGiving provider, you would actually be required to pay more for the larger gift – even though the eGiving company isn’t really doing more work for that gift.

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Now is the time to make sure your church is not overpaying for your eGiving program – espcially if you are currently using, or hearing sales pitches from, transaction-based eGiving providers.  Here are five questions you should be asking yourself:

    1. Generosity that materializes and grows over a period time is a culmination of reflection – an increased awareness of the need to give back to God, and recognition by individuals and families that your church is an effective instrument of God’s work. Why should any eGiving firm get to share in this recognition by being paid more?

 

    1. Do you think that members of your church would be happy with the fact that, the more generous they are, the more money your eGiving provider receives?

 

    1. Beyond processing donations, what practical steps and services do transaction-based eGiving providers include in their platform to merit a higher fee month to month?

 

    1. Is the fee your church pays to your eGiving provider predetermined month to month – or are you paying your provider a larger commission as participation in your program grows?

 

    1. How much money will your eGiving company be making when 80% of your donations are eventually processed electronically – the current forecast for most churches?

 

As you review your eGiving program in 2017, make sure that your church is receiving the most equitable fee structure possible – one in which your costs don’t fluctuate from month-to-month, and that doesn’t charge you more when your church family gives more.

A Finance Council Chairman Talks eGiving

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Meet Vince Guerreiro — Vince is the Finance Chair and member of the Parish Planning and Building Committee of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ewa Beach, HI. Just last year Vince vetted out eGiving providers and shares his thoughts.

Q: How many eGiving providers did you consider, and what was the process like?
A: We narrowed the possibilities down to four providers, and received proposals from all of them — Faith Direct’s was the only proposal that was personalized to our parish and addressed the critical concern of long-term costs as our program succeeded. I created a spreadsheet to make the numbers from all four providers comparable, so the Finance Council members could see the pros and cons of each bidder. Included in my analysis was potential staff and promotional time that I recognized to be key to having a successful program.

Q: What was Our Lady of Perpetual Help looking for in an eGiving provider?
A: Experience mattered — firms may have good intentions, but experience is what counts. A good value was also important, and I believed that a program with a flat fee and promotional strategy was the best solution. Security responsibilities, including who serves as the Merchant of Record, were a real concern for many of us.

Q: Did the church consider doing in house?casestudyimage_hi728
A: 
It’s been said that the lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client, and I feel that’s applicable to eGiving — it’s best left to the experts. We talked with a local bank, but it was just a payment provider option with no other resources or help with marketing. We wanted a wider range of services.

Q: How did you approach the question of costs?
A: Rather than focusing just on up-front costs, we recognized that future growth would ultimately be to our benefit. Younger folks are tech-savvy, and will respond to the program. With other programs, that would mean that our fees would grow. With Faith Direct, as the volume grows, the cost per parishioner drops below the other players in the marketplace.

Q: Since partnering with Faith Direct, the return on your investment is now at 281%. Are you surprised by this level of success?
A: 
I was worried about how eGiving would perform for us, especially since we are home to a lot of older parishioners. But we found that older parishioners are very interested, but they will usually come into the parish office to enroll, which makes the availability of paper enrollment forms very important. Overall, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised.casestudychecklist_hi728

Q: At this point 40% of your parish donors have converted to eGiving through Faith Direct. What do you believe is driving this high success rate?
A: Our Pastor and priests have been very aggressive in encouraging parishioners to use Faith Direct — they used the talking points you provided us to get us off to a great start. It’s very important for the parish leadership to buy into eGiving, and recognize that churches are going to need new ways of giving other than cash or checks. This has been a great partnership: Faith Direct does the heavy lifting and parish leadership helps serve as an advocate.

Q: What has the impact of eGiving been on your enrollees’ offertory?
A:
 On average, those parishioners enrolled in Faith Direct are showing a 23.7% increase in their annual offertory giving. While we can attribute this to the recurring giving consistency that eGiving affords, it also should be an important lesson in why participation levels really do matter.

Q: What advice would you give other parishes discerning eGiving options?
A: Don’t be afraid to ask yourself, “How can our parish not do all the work?” Most churches don’t have the resources or manpower to handle all the facets of eGiving. While fees should definitely be considered, it’s just as important to consider what your provider will do for the parish. Faith Direct takes the work off our hands — other providers would have pushed more responsibility on us.

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June 20th is National eGiving Day

The first day of summer – June 20 – is National eGiving Day.

Most churches see their offertory decline during the summer by close to 10% according to estimates. Here are five reasons why Faith Direct is the best program to bring you consistent church offertory so your church can weather summer’s budget strains:

  • COST: Our pricing is equitable, with a flat managed fee for the life of the program. Unlike many providers, we don’t make your church pay more when people give more.
  • SERVICE: FD_NeGDayJune20_v1px150Faith Direct is full-service – we handle everything from enrollment to processing to program management, so your church staff doesn’t have to do all the work.
  • CUSTOMER CARE: We offer a strong customer service program. If your members have questions, Faith Direct agents are available via phone, email or online chat.
  • SECURITY: We protect the church from liability and security risks. You won’t be left holding the bag if there’s a security breach.
  • MARKETING: Faith Direct helps churches implement a personalized, multi-channel plan that inspires members to sign up. The more people know about your program, the more likely they are to use it – and the most consistent your offertory will be.

Let us help your church achieve consistent offertory during the summer and throughout the year, so your missions and ministries will be even stronger.

LEARN MORE TODAY!