We all are familiar with donating to UUCSR with cash, checks, and credit cards. About two years ago, your Stewardship Team introduced eGiving and Giving By Text, Web-based donation tools. About 40% of the congregation has automated their pledge donations via eGiving. Many folks use Give By Text to contribute to the Sunday Basket without having to hassle with a checkbook or a donation envelope.
The Donate Now buttons on our Web pages take one to the eGiving form. The most common use of eGiving is management of pledge payments. When one sets up an account in this system, all that is needed is a password. All banking information is then available, and pledge payment schedules and amounts can be modified. Records for all donations through the system are available for review, which assists in planning. One has no worries about missing payments while on vacation, and keeping track of checks and credit card transactions is a thing of the past.
Another important aspect of eGiving is very low transaction fees. Credit card fees and check processing charges discount donations. If one chooses to have donations directly withdrawn from checking or savings accounts, the per payment cost is a mere $0.25! Here is a comparison of the cost of a credit card donation to the cost of an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) donation:
- For a recurring $100 per month donation over one year using debit/credit card:
($1200 x 2.75%) + ($0.45 x 12) = $38.40
- For a recurring $100 per month donation over one year using EFT:
12 x $0.25 = $3.00
Check processing fees are skyrocketing. Our bank is again threatening to charge us an additional fee for the large number of checks we deposit. While we are hoping to get this fee waived (and are even looking at making a change in our banking relationship), please help us manage these costs by making your pledge payments electronically by signing up for easy pay on our website – look for the red Donate Now button.
Some folks have arranged for their banks to make a monthly payment to UUCSR. This involves the bank processing and cutting checks, which then are mailed. When the check arrives at UUCSR, we have to process and deposit it. The money is not available until the check clears. Fees are incurred at several steps, and the funds are held up for 2-3 weeks. A graphic comparison between “Online Banking” and EFT-based “Online Giving” can be seen at:
Considering the issues above, your Stewardship Team strongly urges you to automate pledge payments, choosing Electronic Funds Transfer from either a checking account or a savings account!