Digital giving - the 21st-century offering plate

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dcbii's picture


I've been using online payment from my bank for my church offerings for some time now, and I'm far from the only person in my church that does this.  The only time I use a real check is if we have an unexpected speaker and take an offering.  I think that for those older saints who still want to give in a physical form and for special cases, there should just be a lockbox setup in the back (mounted to the floor or wall) for that purpose.  Obviously those in a temporary or rented location will do something different.

Dave Barnhart

Jim's picture

My thoughts on digital giving:

  • One form is an authorized ACH form (would work for recurring donations (or any other transaction) in regular intervals (say the first of the month) of the same amount. My mother uses this to pay her rent at her retirement home. The downside of this: Takes a form to commence, a form to modify, and a form to cease. An advantage: likely no fees 
  • Many digital giving options involve fees. The fees may be transparent to the giver but someone has to pay and it is generally the recipient. A $ 100 donation might only mean an actual $ 97 to the receiving organization. Examples: Secure Give (mentioned in the article) which has "Per Transaction Fees". PayPal would also be like this. 
  • Bank Bill Pay (this is my own choice) can be done ad hoc (eg ... $ xx for a Thanksgiving offering or $ xx for special speaker). The downside is that is is delayed verses immediate. It's not a downside that that deters me but it could be somewhat of a nuisance to the church treasurer. An advantage of bank bill pay is that 100% of the amount goes to the recipient with no fees. 

On check writing: I haven't written a check in the last 5 years.