online giving faq

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Giving

Q. What are the major advantages of electronic giving by direct debit or credit card?
A. Electronic giving is all about convenience for you and consistency for the church. Electronic giving eliminates frequent check writing and helps members stay on track with pledges even when they are unable to attend services. The church in turn benefits from much-needed donation consistency and a reduction in the volume of check and cash contributions that must be handled and manually processed in the church office.

Q. How does Direct Debit Giving work?
A. Contributions are transferred automatically from your checking or savings account to the church’s bank account on the date that you select

Q. How does Credit Card Giving work?
A. Contributions are posted to your credit card on the date that you select and appear with your monthly credit card statement.

Q. How are my automatic contributions deducted and transferred?
A. First, you fill out an online profile, set up a password, select the payment means, and indicate the amount you wish to contribute on a regular basis.  For Direct Debit, contributions are transferred through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network—the same network already used by families to make mortgage and utility payments or to receive payroll earnings and Social Security income. Direct debit goes by other names including Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), automatic payment, or simply, ACH.  Credit card donations are posted to your credit card account each month on the date that you select.

Q. Do I have to wait until January to set up my recurring donation?
A. No.  You can set up your recurring donation immediately at your current pledge level.  You can log in online at a later time if you wish to increase / decrease your contribution.

Q. What can I use to prove I made a contribution?
A. Your bank statement or credit card statement will show an itemized list of electronic transactions to “Church of the Atonement” that can be used as record of your contributions.

Q. Is giving by direct debit safe?
A. It is certainly safer than writing checks or carrying cash to church. To process electronic donations, the church uses Vanco Services, LLC—an established and highly-regarded company that moves funds directly from church members to the church on the same day without any delay. Vanco processes contributions for more than 10,000 churches and nonprofit organizations.

Q. How much does online giving cost?
A. It costs you nothing and it costs the church very little.  Direct debit is the lowest cost method of transferring funds.  For credit card transactions, you have the option of donating an additional 2.75% to cover the credit card transaction fees.

Q. What if I try online giving and don’t like it?
A. You can cancel your recurring donation at any time by logging into the profile that you set up.

Q. What if my financial situation changes and I need to change my recurring donation?
A. You can increase, decrease or temporarily suspend your recurring donation at any time by logging into the profile that you set up.  To change your recurring donation, click here for step by step instructions.

Q. How do I set up a recurring donation?
A.  Click here for step by step instructions to set up your donation.

Q. What if I want to set up recurring donations but do not have access to the internet?
A. Contact the church office and we will provide authorization forms to you.  We can set everything up based on your instructions.  We can change or stop your recurring donation at any time upon written authorization from you.

Q. What if I want to set up recurring donations but do not have access to the internet?
A. Contact the church office and we will provide authorization forms to you.  We can set everything up based on your instructions.  We can change or stop your recurring donation at any time upon written authorization from you.

Q. Will weekly envelopes still be available?
A. Yes, unless you told us on your pledge form that you do not want envelopes you will receive them.  If you do not want to use envelopes, please call or email the parish office.

Q. Do I still get a pledge number if I donate electronically?
A. Pledge numbers are associated with weekly donation envelopes and if you choose not to receive envelopes you will not receive a new pledge number.  Online donations uses the information you provide in your Online Donation Profile and adds them to donations you make through checks or cash to produce your annual statement.

Q. I’m used to donating weekly.  Is that the best way when doing recurring donations on my credit card?
A. Most credit cards issue statements monthly, so your contribution, whether as one monthly charge or weekly charges will appear on one statement.  We are charged a fee for every transaction, so a single monthly charge is preferable.  Since direct withdrawals from your checking or savings account are processed upon receipt, choose whichever frequency works best for your budget.