Updating Modes of Giving
Our pastor has commented that it used to be that during the offering time he used to hear the sound of checks being torn out. So something we are wrestling with is the fact that fewer and fewer people now carry a checkbook. So we've looked at some other options and modes for allowing people to worship through giving. My question is, do any of you have any experience with any of the various "text-to-give" companies that are out there?
We've looked at lobby kiosks but rejected that idea for several reasons. We currently have online giving, but that doesn't strike at the immediacy of the moment we're looking for. We're looking into utilizing QR codes for the smartphonies but that seems like it'd just link them to the online giving site, which would then require inputting CC# info and such.
Do you folks know of any other options?
Is the issue that people are giving less, or that people are using different meduims to give than before?
When I was growing up we used to hear the sound of coins jangling in the offertory bags. . .
Well, LOL the issue is that people are giving less because they aren't giving due to no avenue to give. If you don't carry a checkbook or cash and a plate to collect those things is passed, what is the average person going to do? Fail to respond to the opportunity to worship and cooperate with God with their giving. However, if you are a smart phone user and a QR code are text gives you access to give and learn the blessing and obedience of giving, you'll be much more likely to do that.
Just in case....I don't really want to open up this thread to a discussion of congregant's discipleship or wether they should or shouldn't find a way to give regardless of what churches do. It's a fine discussion if anyone wants to have it but open up another thread for that one please. I'm primarily interested in what others' experience is with other avenues of giving worship.
We are offering automatic debit from checking accounts now. I have no idea how many people are taking advantage of it.
What about linking your QR codes to a PayPal item? A lot of folks would probably already have accounts, which would spare them reentering their credit card info.
We've got an automatic draft too along with online giving through our website and some use them but those are for the uber-committed pillars of the church. We're probably also going to do something with QR codes too as well as text-to-give. Actually, we want to have every cost effective, available option that modern tech. can give us. Just looking for pros and cons for those who have them to give. One of our staff members was formerly on staff for a church of 7000 or so in the Carolinas. The had the kiosks and reported that the people who took advantage of them most were the older traditional people. If I remember correctly, they were doing about $16,000 a month but whatever it was averaged to $1/person of giving through the kiosk. Our impression is that this method is actually on it's way out and at a price tag of 5G per kiosk, a bit cost ineffective related to other tech savvy modes. Thanks for the input!!!
Shalom, moosicman! I have to echo what brother Eric is saying about Paypal. Though it does charge fees for transactions, the vast majority of people have a Paypal account that they would be willing to utilize...at least, those people who are on Paypal do anyway. This might be an effective tool for your congregation. I would steer clear of accepting credit cards, though, as that would reinforce poor stewardship. Ultimately, we must rely on God to provide, of course. And He will!