Frequently Asked Questions about Electronic Giving
1. Are we required to give this way now? Can I still give with a check or cash if I want to?
Giving electronically is completely optional. We will continue to collect contributions as we always have, and you are more than free to continue giving by check or cash if you like.
2. Why would I want to do this? How does it help me?
While we all have the best of intentions, sometimes we simply miss our opportunity to give...we run out of checks, forget to bring the checkbook, don't have a pen to write a check, we haven't budgeted properly, we're out of town, we're sick and didn't make it to church, we were serving in childcare, etc. Giving electronically eliminates all of this and helps us to honor the pledge we've made to God and His church.
3. Who is this option best suited for?
It's best for those of us who give a set amount weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly by check. It's also great for members of the military on deployment or those that have erratic schedules and aren't able to consistently give at a worship service.
4. How does this help the church?
Our weekly contribution totals fluctuate depending on time of the month and time of year (vacations/sicknesses). Giving electronically helps to stabilize the budget and allows the church to reliably predict weekly income. The church's overall contribution should also increase due to less contributions being missed.
5. Where does the money go? What are we giving to?
Our regular weekly contribution (tithe) goes toward the church's general operating budget.
6. Can we set up recurring giving for Special Contribution too?
During this introductory period, we have the system configured to accept recurring gifts directed only to the general budget fund. If this changes in the future, we will advise the church.
7. Are the transactions secure? Can anyone hack my banking information?
The system we're using uses 256-bit SSL technology for data transactions. All personal, credit card, & bank information is submitted using 256-bit encryption. It is the industry standard used by banking institutions, Wall Street, etc. There is no stronger form of protection than this encryption and by doing this, we eliminate the possibility that someone might "tap" the line and extract your personal data from it. As a testimony to the strength of 256-bit SSL encryption technology, it has never been broken and according to RSL Labs, it would take a "trillion-trillion years" to crack the code using today's best code-breaking technology.
8. Does it cost me anything to give electronically?
No. The church is charged processing fees, but members aren't charged anything to give in this way. On the website giving portal, there is a box you can check to add 3% to your donation to help offset the processing fees. The fees are standard and paid by all companies and churches who receive credit/debit payments.
9. Should I use the debit card or check option?
We encourage everyone to use the check option because it costs the church 1/2 as much to process electronic checks vs. debit cards.
10. Can I use my credit card instead of my debit card to give (to earn rewards, airline miles, etc.)?
Yes, the system will accept credit cards, but we don't recommend going into debt to give to God.
As always, use credit cards wisely and pay off your balance monthly.
11. Can I give just one-time contributions instead of recurring transactions?
Yes, just click "Give Now" or "Quick Give" instead of the "Scheduled Giving" tab to make a one-time contribution.
12. Is it private? Will anyone see what I'm giving?
Only those who normally maintain our contribution database will see your gift amounts and, as always, that information is kept private.
13. Is this spiritually "ok"? I might feel like I'm not really giving if it just comes out of my account automatically.
That's understandable, but in reality, if we give by check we're already giving electronically anyway.
A check is simply written authorization for the bank to transfer funds electronically from your account to the church account. We'll still pray and give thanks to God during our worship service, and if it helps you can simply write the fact that you're giving electronically on a piece of paper and place it in the contribution boxes.
14. I don't want to "pay" my contribution like a bill. When I physically write a check, I feel like I'm "giving".
2 Corinthians 9:7 says, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." God doesn't need our money and doesn't force us to give.
If we ever feel like we're "paying" our contribution (regardless of the method we're using), we should consider our motives in light of this scripture.
15. What if I need to increase/decrease my level of giving? How do I do that?
Just log back in using the user id and password you initially set up. You have full access to your giving settings.
16. What kind of receipts/records will I get showing that I've given (for tax purposes)?
You'll receive an email whenever a transaction is made and can also print your giving records by clicking on the "My Account" tab.