I was in a Zoom call the other day with lots of congregations represented. It was one of the Virtual Stewardship Salons hosted by the UUA. We broke in to separate breakout rooms and I was in a room with folks from seven different congregations. Much of our conversation was about how people can give in these times of separation. So I asked for a quick check in on what platform each congregation was using for their electronic giving.
- Two were using PayPal and neither was thrilled about it but it worked just fine.
- One was using Breeze – because it’s integrated with their database and they were very happy.
- Two were using VANCO and were happy with it.
- And two had no way at all for folks to give online and wanted to figure it out.
Everyone agreed that online giving is imperative in these times.Those without it had it on their to do lists even before the pandemic had us all doing church from home.
Every congregational website should have a clear obvious giving link on the HOMEPAGE.
VANCO is probably the most commonly used online giving platform in UU congregations right now. It integrates with your website as well as has text to give options. VANCO also has the Give+ app, making it super easy to give from your phone. Church database apps such as Breeze and Realm have optional online and text giving possibilities or ways to integrate those things with their databases.
The fees for accepting electronic payments through credit cards via Breeze or PayPal are currently 2.9% of the transaction plus 30 cents. Neither of those platforms charge a monthly fee for payments. (Breeze charges a monthly fee for your database management). VANCO charges monthly fees as well as per transaction fees. Some platforms can support offering an option for donors to pay a small percentage in addition to their donations to cover the fees.
Research posted in NonProfitSource.com tells us that the fees involved in such things are worthwhile because giving increases very significantly with easy access to giving online. According to their research, churches that accepted online giving increased their overall giving by a whopping 32%.