Online Giving FAQs (to post on your website or print)
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The following online giving frequently asked questions could be printed/distributed in a direct mail piece, brochure, or placed on an Online Giving FAQ page of your website.
What is online donations and payments?
Online donations and payments provide a simple and convenient way for parishioners to tithe, contribute gifts for a specific need, or pay for event tickets and programs. There is no longer a need to locate checkbooks, remember weekly envelopes, or mail in funds. Easily give directly on the parish website, or set up a recurring donor account to give automatically and never miss an envelope again.
What are the benefits of online donations and payments?
- Convenient - Give anytime from any device with an internet connection, and even choose to set up an automatic recurring gift account for regular tithing.
- Easy - Never be directed to a separate site or submit multiple forms.
- Effective - Electronic communication confirms all gifts, and recurring gift accounts keep donation records. No more guessing if your gift was received, or misplacing envelopes of checks or cash.
- Efficient - Electronic reporting tracks all gift transactions (from submission to receival) and saves hours of bookkeeping. There is less chance of human error, miscounting, or misplacing donations. Gifts are quickly deposited for parish use.
- Secure - Unlike automatic deduction enrollment, parish staff never have to collect and store financial information of parishioners. Fewer amounts of cash are on hand at Masses and in the parish office.
- Dynamic - Increases ways to promote and receive gifts for needs beyond regular office hours and geographical borders.
How do I give contributions or tithe?
Visit [parishname.org/give] for online donation and payment information as well as a list of current collections taking place. After finding the need to which you would like to contribute, simply complete the short form on the parish website. You’ll need a current email address and checking account or credit card number.
If you choose to make a recurring gift, you will immediately receive an email to create a donor account you can use to schedule and track automatic giving.
When are my gifts automatically taken from my account?
One-time gifts are immediately processed and the transaction should on your bank/credit card statement within a few days.
If you chose to make a recurring gift, your first donation will process immediately. Then, you will receive an email to create an online donor account. Your account allows you to choose the frequency of your gifts as well as a date on which the funds will be automatically withdrawn from a checking account or charged to a credit card. You can also pause or cancel a recurring gift at any time.
Do I receive confirmation or record of my giving?
In order to make an online donation or payment, you must provide a current email address. After submitting your gift, you will receive an email confirmation to the address provided.
If you selected to give a recurring gift, you will receive notification about your gift as well as information to set up your online donor account for future gift scheduling. Records of all recurring gifts are also tracked within your donor account.
Can I give different recurring gift amounts for different needs?
Yes. Whenever a recurring gift option is made available for a fund at your parish, you can schedule a gift to be automatically sent for that particular need. You can also pause or cancel a recurring gift at any time. When multiple recurring gifts are created from the donation page of your parish’s website, each gift will later appear in your online donor account for easy management.
What if my bank account or credit card information changes?
Upon submitting a one-time gift, all information provided will be verified in order for the gift to process.
If a donor has a recurring gift, they will be able to log into their online donor account to make any necessary changes or updates to banking account, credit card, and contact information. Donor accounts also allow donors to update any details to their gifts including pausing or cancelling a scheduled gift.
Is it safe? Are there risks?
The online donations and payments system meets the same security standards as online banking. Plus, your online gifts cannot be lost or stolen. So as long as you are using a secure internet connection, online gifts can have fewer risks than carrying cash and checks. And there is instant tracking and recording of all transactions.
What if I try an online donor account but do not wish to continue using it?
Recurring gift accounts can be set up or cancelled at anytime. In addition, an individual recurring gift can be paused or cancelled completely. If you attempt to cancel a gift after it has begun processing, you will need to contact your parish bookkeeper for a refund.
How do I sign up for an online donor account?
Accounts are created upon submitting an online gift from the parish website. When submitting a gift, select the gift type to be recurring. Next, you will be sent an email notification to set up your new online donor account. Follow the simple instructions within the email to get started.
Always be sure to check email spam and junk folders for that first email notification. If you don’t see an email after submitting your first gift, simply contact your parish bookkeeper to have account setup information sent to you.
What will happen to my weekly envelopes if I give online?
[Keeping envelopes] If you set up an online donor account, you will still receive your supply of weekly and special collection envelopes. This allows you to still see what collections are coming. You can also check the box on the envelope marked, “I give online” and use the empty envelope to still participate in the offertory at Mass.
[Stopping envelopes] Once you set up an online donor account, your weekly envelope supply will later stop. [To remind you of future special collections, you will be enrolled in a monthly email newsletter announcing each month’s special collections as well as other ministry enrollments that are happening. OR Just be sure to check the bulletin for upcoming special collections to which you can give online.] You can also find online giving offertory cards near the church entrances to grab on your way in and use during the offertory at Mass.
Shouldn’t I still have something to put in the offertory basket to show my participation?
[Keeping envelopes] Of course. Continue to show your stewardship participation in the offertory by bringing in an empty weekly envelope. Simply check the box titled “I give online” on the empty envelope. This way the congregation can still show participation in their stewardship of gifts for the Church.
[Stopping envelopes] Of course. If you decided to set up an online donor account, your weekly envelope supply will eventually be cancelled. However, to still show your participation in the offertory at Mass, simply pick up an online giving offertory card located by the church entrances. Use these cards to drop into the offertory basket at Mass.
How will I know my recurring gifts are being received?
Your online donor account tracks all your recurring gifts. To learn more about the status of a recurring transaction, log in to your online donor account at [parishname.org/payments].
How does this help the parish?
Unlike auto-deduction enrollment, with online giving there's no need for the parish to ever collect or store financial account information of parishioners. The processing and reporting through online giving is faster and more efficient for bookkeeping purposes, which saves time and labor on the organization’s end. And with more online gifts, the parish will have less amounts of cash to handle.