Friday, June 1, 2012

Increase the Effectiveness of Online Giving; Advantages of Merchant Accounts

It's exciting to hear how parishes are using Online Giving!  Many are incorporating Online Giving with their new Faith In Action websites from Our Sunday Visitor for maximum impact.  We held a customer advisory panel meeting recently and heard an idea to get parishioners to give to special collections.  The parish sends out an email at the beginning of each month explaining which special or one-time collections are available that month for contributions.  This gives them an opportunity to encourage parishioners to give to those collections while also reminding them to sign in to make their donation.  Works great!.  That particular parish has seen steady growth and acceptance of Online Giving.

Also remember to thank your parishioners for using Online Giving.  Oh,  and while you are at it thank them for using envelopes!  This is an opportunity to explain why the parish encourages the use of these tools,  and how they help the parish.  Explain what's printed on the envelope and why.   Note the special box to check indicating "gave electronically"  so parishioners can participate in the liturgy.  Its possible to add other types of gifts to the envelope,  such as prayer or shared time that parishioners would like to note in addition to giving electronically.

Merchant Accounts

If you are evaluating your Merchant Account setup,  then remember to look at the cash flow and the timing of processing for your account.  With Online Giving you are assured that parishioner contributions are processed immediately and funds are not stored in escrow.  You also are assured that your parish risk is minimized.  In an environment where your provider is serving as the parish merchant of record, a problem at any parish is a problem for ALL parishes.  Its compounded if funds are stored in escrow.

As the merchant you also can incorporate other services to support your bookstore or possibly credit card scanners and be confident that you are both compliant and secure.

How are things working at your parish?  let us know!

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1 comment:

Adam Prefect said...

But if my church is serving as the Merchant of Record don't we assume the risk as well as the responsibility? Don't we need to maintain PCI compliance?