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.
As your church welcomes 2016, you should resolve to not overpay for your eGiving program. If you are currently using, or hearing sales pitches from, transaction-based eGiving providers, here are five questions you should be asking yourself:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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 2016, 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.
On this Giving Tuesday, we celebrate the generosity of the faithful. It’s likely your members are making charitable gifts today and their donations may include your church. We would like to share some thoughts on equitable fee structures for church eGiving… it will only take a minute!
Consider this scenario:
Maria G. and Bill K. have been longtime active members at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Maria G. donates $20 per week electronically to offertory.
Bill K. gives $50 per week electronically to offertory.
- Should St. Joseph’s be required to pay more for Bill’s gift?
- Is the eGiving company, actually doing more work for Bill’s offertory donation as compared to Maria’s?
Consider fee arrangements that many churches like St. Joseph’s have with transaction-based eGiving providers – I hope you will reflect on the following questions:
- Do your members realize that the more generous they are, the higher the payment is for your eGiving provider?
- Generosity that materializes and grows over a period time is a culmination of reflection; an increased awareness towards the need to give back to God, and recognition from members that belong to the church. Why should any eGiving firm get to share in this recognition by being paid more?
- How much money will the eGiving company St. Joseph’s is using be making when 80% of their donations are eventually processed electronically?
- 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?
Since 2004, Faith Direct has maintained that a flat fee payment model, for the life of the eGiving program, is a more equitable fee arrangement for the churches we serve.
On this Giving Tuesday we encourage all churches not only to consider what is given, but what you are paying to receive each gift. Please give us the opportunity to review your eGiving cost structure and share what Faith Direct can do for your church in return.
Happy Giving Tuesday!
Starting with #GivingTuesday and rolling through New Year’s Eve, December is a critical month for your church’s ministries. It is estimated that charities, on average, receive 40% of their annual contributions in the final weeks of the year – and especially for church members, Christmas is the season of giving.
Faith Direct can share that:
- Over half of year-end donations were made in the last week of the year.
- 20% of these year-end gifts made on December 31.
- The average year-end donation amount was $286.
Is your church ready to accept this generosity?
There are three questions you should ask yourself as church members prepare to make their year-end gifts:
- Does my church offer flexibility in giving? Church offices aren’t always open when people feel inspired to give – especially during holidays, when offices could have limited hours. Make sure you have a Giving program that allows parishioners to give what they want, when they want, whenever they are inspired by a specific ministry or need.
- Does our church let people choose the best way to give? Not every parishioner wants to drop a check off at the church. With a strong eGiving program you can give users multiple ways to make their gift: whether it’s online, by paper reply, over the phone, or with a smartphone app – and whether they want to use a checking account or credit card.
- Do you empower church members to give with confidence? Donors making last-minute offerings (especially large gifts) want to be sure their gift is handled properly, securely and attributed to the appropriate tax year.
Before the year-end rush hits, make sure you have an eGiving program that simplifies donations for your parishioners, so they are able to give their full support to your important ministries.
eGiving is a great way to increase your offertory and expand your church ministries – but only if your program is designed to grow stronger, year after year.
Here’s what an analysis of growth patterns in Faith Direct church clients tells us:
- In your program’s second year, the number of eGivers should increase by 60%.
- Year 3-6 program growth should be another 20%.
- The result? A 5-year combined growth rate of 246%!
Has your eGiving flatlined?
If your church isn’t experiencing similar growth, remember these three strategies to enhance your program and keep it growing:
- INCREASE your communications: Through our full-service program, Faith Direct churches spread the news about eGiving via annual letters and email campaigns, plus regular bulletin announcements as well as online and social media posts. The more people know about the benefits of eGiving, the more likely they are to sign up.
- EXPAND how people can give: You need to make sure your eGiving program allows your church families to give when they want and how they want. With Faith Direct, this means people can sign up online or with paper forms, and they can use our smartphone app to increase their giving or make one-time gifts to the church when they feel inspired.
- STRENGTHEN your stewardship message: Don’t forget to include your eGiving program in annual stewardship drives. Faith Direct churches emphasize that eGiving helps conserve resources, and also provides a steady monthly income to sustain church ministries. eGiving is great stewardship!
As the Holy Father makes his first visit to the United States, he is sharing a powerful message of environmental stewardship – and eGiving is one of the best ways for your church to put Pope Francis’s message into action and protect our natural world. Did you know that pulp and paper production is the third largest producer of air, water, and land pollution? eGiving helps churches cut down on envelopes and checks… which leads to reductions in how much paper your parish uses and wastes.
An analysis of Faith Direct parishes and dioceses shows that overall, since 2004, our program has helped eliminate nearly 40 million envelopes.
Offering your parishioners an eGiving option – and by implementing a program that spreads the news about the importance of eGiving, and inspires as many people as possible to sign up – is one of those “little daily actions” heralded by Pope Francis that can make your parish greener, and have a tremendous impact in the world around us.