Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why Parishioners like to give online

As we have talked with parishes about Online Giving we hear many reasons for using an electronic giving tool. We also hear from parishes that are reluctant to move to an electronic tool.

One big debate centers around those who support credit cards as an option and equally as many who have reasons to avoid supporting credit cards. The debate goes something like: " People use their credit cards as a standard way to pay. Young people in particular do not carry cash and do not use checks. They expect to be able to pay using a credit card". And the other viewpoint: "we do not want to contribute to family debt in any way, so we do not want to provide the option for credit card gifts".

Both of these are legitimate views. Part of the key for the parish is to make it easy for parishioners to give in the way that works best for them. There are other reasons people like these options, some of which are not tied very closely to celebration of the Mass. One I had heard but discounted was that people like to use their credit cards so they can add to their frequent traveler miles.

So imagine my surprise when recently I was sitting in our parish council meeting and the subject of electronic giving was raised ( we live in an area where many families leave for the beach during spring and summer weekends) one of our council members said "we need to be able to use credit cards. My wife and I like that option because it also adds to our frequent flyer miles". Now I know for sure its one of the many factors people consider as part of their contributions!

Regardless of credit card or ACH only, people do say they like the convenience of giving online. What are the reasons you hear about?

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