Getting Started With Online Giving
Hello, Partners In Ministry!
Over the past few days, I have received a number of questions regarding how to get started with online giving. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. ABCOPAD has been using a company called MinistryLinq (Formally CashLinq) since 2006. It is a solid company although we recently had some administrative issues with our accounts. Establishing an account with MinistryLinq or other companies with dedicated services can take some time. The company sets up your ministry with a merchant account that is able to process credit card transactions. It can take a couple of weeks or more to set up the merchant account. Then the company creates a secure web page where people can go to make an online payment or contribution. One benefit to all of this is the accounting software that comes with the service. MinistryLinq keeps a record of all donors and transactions making it easy to account for funds coming in online. ABCOPAD is charged an annual fee for this service along with a small fee (a small percent) for each transaction. MinistryLinq provides a secure web page and MinistryLinq keeps tract of the credit card transactions so ABCOPAD does not have credit card numbers or bank account information. MinistryLinq provides that service. While all of this is very helpful, it can take a while to set up an account. Often about 30 days.
If I was going to establish online giving with more immediate results, I would consider using an existing fund transfer service like PayPal or Zelle. Many people have set up Paypal Accounts to make purchases on Ebay. Lots of banking institutions are making Zelle available to their banking account members. Both are safe ways to transfer funds with very little start up cost or expense. (I have not used Zelle personally but have watched Youtube videos on the service and it looks pretty easy to create a Zelle Account). Check it out HERE.
To use PayPal, I would recommend having a church treasurer set up a small bank account with minimum funds that can be used to receive transactions. By doing this, if there is a security breach at PayPal only a small bank account is in jeopardy. Use this small bank account to create a PayPal Account, linking the bank account to the new PayPal account. You will need an email address for the new bank account. Your church treasurer or financial secretary can set up a new email address, perhaps through Google gmail or another service. Once the new PayPal account is established with the email address, anyone with a PayPal account can transfer funds to the church PayPal account. Encourage people to download the app or go to the PayPal website and send donations to the church’s PayPal account.
I have a credit card and a small bank account connected with my PayPal account I use to make purchases on eBay but I have also used PayPal to send people or organizations money.
I hope this helps. If you have questions you can contact me.
One additional low tech idea which Pastor Frank Frischkorn mentioned was to send church members by mail who regularly donate to the church a self addressed stamped envelope along with a note of encouragement from the pastor. In the note let people know the church stands ready to help, but the church also needs their help to maintain ministry. They can send their donation to the church via the self addressed stamped envelope. This is a great time to get creative. Let your church family know we are trying something different. Time to be bold and step out in faith. Let us know how we can help. Join our new Facebook group and ask questions. Know your Regional Staff stand ready to help.
Just in (Saturday, March 21) Rev. Jeff Collins, lead pastor at Christ Memorial Baptist Church in Dover, DE suggested using your online Bill Pay function to send a check directly to the church as a contribution. It is very easy to set up. Here is a link the video Pastor Jeff created to walk you through the steps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMvcv-X7DJ8 Also, let me say thank you to Pastor Jeff who has an online Bill Pay to ABCOPAD. I could see it in the video. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Pastor Jeff for supporting our Regional Ministry.