What works best when setting up credit card and EFT giving at church?

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Have churches done research on what is the best way to set up credit card or EFT giving for their church?

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In Canada there is an organization called canada helps and they facilitate online giving among other things. Anyone can go to their site to look you up and donate, but to make it easier there is a "button" you can put on your website. If you are registered there is a 3% service fee and if you are not registered it is 4%. They deposit to your bank account monthly. More info can be found at www.canadahelps.org

Our intention is to enable this with a statement of care that says we don't want them to go into debt while using online giving.

We also are part of the PAR program with the CRC.

Hi Lois --

I was doing a little comparative research for another purpose, and thought I'd share a few cost details I found.

1) CanadaHelps (www.canadahelps.org), for Canadian organizations only. CRC Canadian agencies used this method before we moved to Convio. "CanadaHelps assesses a 3% transaction charge on each donation. This 3% is deducted from the donation before being disbursed to your charity.... There are no monthly charges or set-up/registration costs. There is an additional 1% (for a total of 4%) assessed from donations to charities that haven’t signed up for Electronic Funds Transfer for donations." Canada Helps is supported in part by donations.

2) Network for Good (www.networkforgood.org). One-Time Account Setup $199.00, Monthly Fee $29.95, per Donation Fee 3%. US-based, although they can accept international transactions. No separate merchant account required.

3) MinistryGive (/www.ministrygive.com). Basic service (up to 70 transactions/mo) = $39 per month. $99 one-time set-up fee. They also require a separate merchant account, through which you would pay per-transaction fees.

There are many other options. These are just a few for which pricing information was readily available. HTH.

Great question. I have a guest writer already writing on this topic and there will be a article on this in the Church and Web network in the next month!

Sharon, great info. I'll pass it along to the person that is writing the article.

As Melanie mentioned, the CRC denomination office hosts the PAR (pre-authorized remittance) program as a value-added service for Canadian churches. PAR is a no-cost, administratively effectively way to offer direct withdrawal giving to your local congregation.

Here's a link to the brochure,

http://www.crcna.org/site_uploads/uploads/admintools/ParBrochure.pdf

or email par@crcna.org, for more information.

There is no provision or program to facilitate credit card giving for local congregations.

Our church council recently struggled with a proposal to allow giving to the church via EFT and/or credit/debit cards. We ended up allowing EFTs and debit cards but not credit cards. The proposal was turned down because of a concern for credit card debt and church contributions adding to someone's debt load.

I know that neither the CRC nor the other charitable organizations to which I contribute seem to have any concerns about accepting credit card donations, and in fact they encourage it. (They get their money quickly, directly, and on time.) Does your church accept contributions via *credit card*? How did you get past the concerns that we had?