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The Virtual Offering Plate

An introduction to the benefits of online giving

Carrying cash seems to be going the way of the dinosaur. The increase in technology and use of alternative payment methods continues to change the way we do things, including how members give back to their places of worship. In order to address the evolving times, many churches are turning to online giving, providing their members with a way to donate that best suits their needs.

Below are just a few benefits of using online giving.

Easy Set-Up

The process for setting up an organization to receive donations online can be easily managed by a technology provider in the cloud. The lift from a church’s perspective is fairly light, as there is no software or hardware to be installed. Online fundraising platforms, such as Qgiv, manage all the security and technology aspects of the system, providing the customer with their own control panel so staff can easily manage online donations.

Safe

The technology is also safe. For example, as part of the PCI compliance process, online fundraising providers implement security standards that are audited annually by a third-party firm that reviews all systems and processes, the way that credit card data is stored and the system’s transaction methodologies. Visa and MasterCard publish lists of providers who have successfully completed these audits, so organizations can verify the security of their technology provider’s processes.

Cost-Effective

Budget is always a concern. The cost to implement an online fundraising system is usually modest and often directly related to the number of donations and the revenue received. In fact, we often see organizations increase their overall giving when [they implement] online payments, or switch to branded, seamless online giving platforms.

Congregant Convenience

Online giving provides church members ease and convenience. With just a click of a button, donors can set up recurring online payments, automatically transferring the funds from their bank account or charging their credit cards. This especially helps during weeks when attendance might be down or the member is not carrying cash.

Givers enjoy convenience and also receive a receipt when making their donation, providing proof of their donation for tax deduction purposes.

To recap, online giving can be beneficial for both a church and its congregation. Members can easily or even automatically give to their church. In turn, the service is easy for a church to implement, use and maintain.

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On line giving is part of the new way of doing business. I object to the use of credit cards as one means of on line transfer of funds as it has the potential of leading people into debt which is scripturally unsound.

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Todd Baylis, President, Qgiv, Lakeland, FL