Stewardship Practices and Online Giving
At a time as this, ministry must continue more now than ever before. Ministry requires funds and we definitely need to be able to do as God has called to serve the least, the last and the lost. We also need to meet our individual need to give. Many people outside your church, as well, may want to give and it is our responsibility to help meet that need also. But, we also want to protect our gracious givers from being exposed to COVID-19 or any other illness. So, we must look at giving to the church in many different ways. Following are some suggestions that you might want to consider:
- In lieu of passing the offering plates in the service, have offering plates at all exits so that people may give to God as they leave the service. Be sure to have your counters practice safety before, during and after counting those funds.
- Those who are not able to attend church or feel that they should not for many reasons may be encouraged to give in one of these ways:
- Encourage mailing the check to the church office.
- If you have electronic giving in place, prepare a new announcement to remind your people of this.
- Quickly work to establish electronic giving if you have not done so. Check with your local bank or vendors that you know can help with this.
METHODS OF ONLINE GIVING
The silver lining in this cloud about electronic giving is simply this. Now we will have ways for people to give to the church that we have talked about but never really had a reason to establish. Now we do. Paying close attention to our stewardship is vital for the mission and ministry of God as well as allowing each of us to give back to God based on God’s generosity to us!
- Set up Bill pay with your Bank –The donor uses the bank’s ‘Bill Pay’ feature to designate the church as the payee and schedules a one time or recurring transfer of funds to the church for a certain amount. What most people do not realize is that the bank actually sends the church a check by mail and the church then has to process it just like any other check it receives during the week.
- Paypal (non-profit) Giving Fund - This is a better option for smaller churches because the funds can only be deposited in one church account and cannot be used for multiple funds. For this reason, it may not be the best option for larger churches that may have multiple accounts for multiple funds. In order to obtain the PayPal giving fund usage, you will need verification of your non-profit status under the umbrella of The United Methodist Church. Click here to download your faith communities’ 501(3) c. This option is completely free and credit card donations do not incur any transaction fees. Paypal immediately sends the giver a donation confirmation. Funds are only transfered to the church once a month, so the money is not immediately available like other options. To view the Mississippi Conference's Giving Fund web page click here.
- Paypal (non-profit) - Make it easier for people to donate on your website in just a few taps or clicks by adding a standard or customized Donate button. With easy, DIY integration, you can be up and running in 15 minutes–no programming skills required. The monthly fee is $0 and the debit/credit card rate is 2.20 percent of the transaction plus 30 cents per transaction.
- Bank Transfer (ACH) – In this case, the donor has to provide the church or the church's bank with their bank account and routing information, amount to be withdrawn from his/her account and preferred date of withdrawal. Such transactions are fully automated and electronic.
- Vanco: for churches with less than $20k/month in donations - The monthly fee is $10, the debit/credit card rate is 2.75 percent plus 45 cents per transaction. The ACH processing rate is one percent and 45 cents per transaction.
- Vanco: for churches with between $20k-$40k/month in donations - The monthly fee is $49, the debit/credit card rate is 2.35 percent plus 35 cents per transaction. The ACH processing rate is .80 percent and 35 cents per transaction.
- Tithe.ly - There is no monthly fee. The debit/credit card rate is 2.90 percent plus 30 cents per transaction. The ACH processing rate is one percent and 30 cents per transaction.