Don't Leave Money on the Pew!
Don't Leave Money on the Pew!

Two decades ago, you could be pretty sure that people in your church would carry a checkbook, cash, or at least a spare check or two in their wallet.  Today, it's becoming less and less likely that people carry cash or checkbooks. Yet, the ritual of the offering plate continues, and it is less likely to be filled with spontaneous gifts. Some congregations have been paying attention to this trend, but has yours?  Here are some technical ways to make it easier for people to give to your congregation: (Please note that the services mentioned are not meant to be an endorsement!)

Automated Giving

Members and supporting friends may already have their banks set up automatic transfers for their pledge payments. But you can make it easier for them by enrolling in a turnkey electronic payment service such as VANCO. One small congregation has created special "I give electronically" cards that members and friends who pay electronically can put in the offering basket.

E-Giving

Other congregations have set up PayPalSquare, or similar e-giving accounts, and make tablets available for people to give using their credit or debit cards.

Text-to-Give

Still other congregations (especially those with online streaming) have subscribed to a "text-to-give" service where participants can use their cell/smart phones to send their financial gifts. Here is a partial listing of popular services:

Service Fee
Tithe.ly   $19/month  
GivingFire   $49/month  
Txt2Give   $25/month +1% $60/month +0%  
EasyTithe   $0/month+3%  +$0.39 Flat $29/month+2.6%  +$0.30 Flat  
GivingFuel   Free for 1st $5K $59/month
Givelify   $0/month+2.9%  +$0.30 Flat  

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding apps such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo seem to be quick and easy ways to raise money for a project or concern.  But they also have significant fees that reduce the amount of funds that actually go to your campaign. There is an alternate UU crowdfunding app called Faithify that has a much smaller financial transaction fee that means that more money goes to your campaign!

-Rev. Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region, UUA Congregational Life

About the Author

  • Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) has served as a Congregational Life Consultant in the Central East Region since September of 2010. She serves congregation in Northeast Ohio and Western New York. She is part of the LeaderLab Design team providing Leadership Development resources and other trainings to congregations.

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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