In a previous post, “Can we talk about online giving?”, I made my case for the importance of embracing and facilitating new forms of giving. We need to connect a new generation of givers with the joy of giving. People my age and younger don’t carry cash and checks. If our churches only accept cash and checks, we miss out on givers who are used to being able to pay with debit and credit cards, PayPal and Bitcoin. They are used to being able to pay or donate on the web, on their smartphone and even via text. I think I am on to a way to hack my Amazon echo so that I can give to a church by just speaking a phrase in my kitchen.
At the end of the post, I invited people to watch the blog and the RioTexas.org website for more information, recommendations, and some tips for getting started. I thought I would be able to get that up in a couple of days. That was May 21. Let me explain.
With no intended offense toward the current providers of online and e-giving solutions, the current marketplace is a little bit like chaos God spoke over to bring the world into existence. All of the providers I reviewed were completely on the up and up. However, there is still no clear set of guiding standards which would allow a normal person to decide which service is best for their church.
So, I have created two new pages on the RioTexas.org website, both found on the “Online Giving” page. The first page defines some of the terms that are thrown around by providers: transaction costs, merchant accounts, ACH, EFT, etc.
The second page does a passable job of comparing the services.
As stated on the web page, you are going to do some of your own research to make a decision. I hope the resources might at least get you started down the road.