Recently, a parish administrator called me to inquire if there was an easy way to transfer credit card information on more than 70 parishioners to Online Giving. It seems he was processing credit card donations from these people manually every month. In addition to all the paperwork he had to do every month, he also carried a huge risk of storing parishioners’ sensitive data in his office. We have had parishes that have been keeping such records for as many as 200 people!
There is no easy way to transfer this information into Online Giving. If the administrator wants to “manage” these accounts himself, he will have to create a separate identify for each person in Online Giving by creating user ID and password for each and keying in credit card or bank information in his/her account. It is undoubtedly a time consuming job that will take several hours or even days to complete.
Before you undertake this work, it would help if you were to ask each person who authorized you to process their donations and charge their credit cards if they would like to manage their own accounts in the new Online Giving program. Send them a personal letter with information on Online Giving (FAQs, Pamphlets, link to OSV’s web site, etc.) and ask them to familiarize themselves with the new option. You will be surprised how many of them decide to log in and create their own giving plan. We frequently hear from people who see how Online Giving works for the first time how easy it is to use. Once they start using it, they like and enjoy the freedom, flexibility and security it provides.
Another benefit of letting them manage their own account is that they start visiting your web site more often. When you see more families connecting with you via the web site, you can add more features and functionality to it and turn it into a powerful communication tool. In case your web site is not fully functional or up to date, OSV can help you with it too.