In our nearly cashless culture, paying by credit or debit card has become the defacto standard. And while convenient for most, it’s the church that loses out since the offering plate does not include a credit card swipe options (hmmm, maybe I’m onto something here).
While online giving is increasing, many churches shy away from it for a variety of reasons (e.g. traditions, fear, misunderstandings, etc.). It is with those reasons in mind and the prompting of our customers to develop an online giving option that we set out to build one.
But why would we build one when there are many already available? That’s a good question. Many of them are good solutions, but it is hard to pick one to call the best. Some were simple to setup, but had high transaction rates. Some had lower transaction fees, but required you to pay a monthly fee.
In the end we came up with a solution that:
- Works with your Sharefaith website (ie. little to no setup) with minimal effort and maintenance.
- Has low transaction fees/rates.
- Allows you to pass the transaction fees onto the giver so you do no lose any money.
- Connects to a widely recognized and trusted payment method (PayPal).
- Does not have a monthly fee.
After much research we chose PayPal for a number of reasons:
- It allows you to set up your own account. There are no middle-men, wholesalers, etc.; not even Sharefaith benefits from transactions.
- It is the most popular and trusted online payment method.
- Low transaction fees at 2.2% + $0.30.
- It is simple to set up and to maintain.
- It is secure.
- PayPal is responsible for all legal issues related to credit card usage, and the church simply gets the money being donated.
Pass on Transaction Fees!
One of the reasons churches prefer not to use online donations is because of transaction fees. While usually small, transaction fees take 2-4% from the tithe/offering amount. That’s $200 to $400 for every ten thousand given. Ouch!
While we are personally of the belief that churches should not be strapped with this transaction fee (rather the fee should be passed onto the giver) we decided to give YOU, the church, the option.
Thus our online donation feature allows you check a box that adds the PayPal transaction fee on top of the tithe/offering amount. This means when a user donates $100, their credit/debit card will actually be charged $102.56.
Learn more about setting up the online giving feature in your Sharefaith website.