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Steps for Safer Online Giving Experience

Steps for Safer Online Giving Experience

Donating money to your intended cause has never been easier. There was a time when you could donate money only when someone representing the cause came knocking on your door, or you had to walk down to a local centre.

The internet has given nonprofit fundraising a renewed hope. E-giving is easy, convenient, and by a general consensus, safer too. That is not to say that risks aren’t involved. As is common with all good things, there are a few people who are determined to spoil this experience for everyone. Let this not scare you though.

GiveCentral understands the risks involved and we are determined to make sure this doesn’t deter your goodwill. So, read on! And with the tips we’re giving you, you’ll never have to think twice before deciding to give online.

  1. Know you cause.

This is true regardless of risks involved. But the risks make it all the more important for you to know the cause for which you’re contributing to. Research the cause and the means through which you’re trying to donate to the cause. Learn the particulars and the important dates regarding the cause. With this information, you can be an informed donor.

  1. Know where your money will reach.

It is important to learn details about your recipient. This is not limited to the name and location of the organization you’re donating to, but also includes knowing more about their account details. Make sure you’re donating to a bank account registered to an organization as opposed to a bank account registered to a person. As a general rule of thumb, a bank account registered to a person is something you’re supposed to stay away from.

  1. Practice safe e-giving.

Make sure you don’t enter your card details any other place than required. Don’t send over card details to a third party handler if he or she tells you that they’ll take care of it.

Make sure that when you enter the payment portal, the portal is secured with a “https” encryption. Just observe the URL of the payment page and see if there’s a “https” at the beginning. And if there is, you’re mostly good to go and if there isn’t, you should contact the organization and ask them why their payment portal isn’t secured.

  1. Obtain adequate contact information.

Make sure you know the contact details of the concerned persons at the organization you’re donating to. Write down the name, address, email ID, and other contact details in a safe place before donating money. Establish contact and make sure you know them well enough before you’re comfortable enough to donate.

  1. Be wary of spam emails.

Spam solicitations are very commonplace. And more often than not, spam emails asking for money are scamsters and fraudsters. That is not to say that all of them are. After all, email solicitation are still one of the most ways to ask for money. So when you receive a spam email asking for money, make sure you do the proper research before even responding to the email.

  1. Store receipts.

Once you’ve donated money to your intended cause, your job is mostly done. But there’s one last thing you must keep in mind. Make sure you store a copy of the payment receipt of your contribution, either in digital form or a printout. Make sure you store these receipts in a safe place. You never know when you might need them.

With these tips in mind, GiveCentral hopes you’ll have a pleasant e-giving experience.

How To Evaluate Your Online Giving Solutions

Every year we get a little close to going digital. Just think of it – media is digital, cameras are digital and so is the retail. According to the most recent survey by the Giving Institute more and more donors give online. So, it is important for churches to adapt to these changes too and give their members the option of .

Online payment process

As you think giving an online options for your donors try these three electronic payment types, see what your church members think:

  1. Through their credit card
  2. Electronic Fund Transfer for recurring donation
  3. Automated Clearing House

Evaluating an e-giving solution

As there are numerous programs that offer the service of online-giving, a church should be cautious as to what solution they choose for their congregation.

Here are a few points to remember as you choose the right program:

  1. The frequency of giving: Is the program able to give multiple options for fund transfers? Are there any schedules for recurring donations? The donor should be capable of linking their bank accounts for donation capability with weekly, biweekly or monthly automatic fund deduction capability. Donating frequently should be made easy.
  2. Easy to pledge options: Will the donor be able to pledge an amount for donation and then the payment for the pledge is scheduled over a certain period of time? Can the donor make a down payment on the pledge? Will he/she be able to make a down payment from one account and then charge the rest to another account?
  3. Confidentiality preference: Will a donor be able to remain anonymous?
  4. The process of transaction: What is the duration of the process of fund transfer? How much time does it take for the money to go from donor’s account to bank’s account? How much time does the application processing take these data? And what and how much fee is charged for the process?
  5. Security: Does the program comply with the guidelines of a safe transaction?
  6. PCI compliance
  7. 128-bit secure browser connection for safe data handling
  8. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for information encryption.
  9. End to end data management. Donor’s card details and account information should be discreet. There should be no third party involved in handling the fund transfer.
  10. Price: When buying any product or service the top concern is the cost. Many service providers give unrealistic promises of the increase in the number of online participants in given number of year. But such predictions hardly meet their promise and are very misleading. Much of their charging fees is unexpected and can greatly hamper the collection capability of a church. Fees that are related to the size of the church or factors like how many already are giving and how many will readily switch to online giving, all these matters greatly when you are choosing a software solution. Hidden fees can bury the church in expenses that will make the service exorbitant.
  11. Advertising: Will the vendor also provide the service of promotion? Often the staff at church is not ready to encourage people to donate beyond the walls of the church. So asking the church members to become interested in the new online giving method will require some assistance. You will need a service provider who will help in launching and promoting the program. Many a time the participation in online giving can see a sudden spike but then slows and falls down gradually. The program should be capable analyse giving habits and advise long-term strategies for donation collection.

Online giving should be promoted in every way possible even to members who aren’t that frequent to church. Promoting online giving can be a hard task if the attendance lays low throughout the year. Integration with any social platform can greatly boost exposure of the new giving habit to other members. Attracting potential donors has to be a constant effort. It is imperative to look into expenses of these promotions before you decide on a service provider.

  1. Information: Will the reports of online contribution be available, and in what form? Will the integration of information be automated to enable transfer of data to donation management software? An efficient bookkeeper tracks the donor by funds donated to measure the effective way of using a program. But if the data handling is too complicated a person can falter and margin of error becomes bigger. Also, it shouldn’t be too overwhelming so as to teach a new staff member. The service provider should offer teaching tools and train to help the church staff in organizing data in the most efficient way.
  2. Updates: The vendor should provide frequent updates to keep pace with the changing habits of the donors and to sync with the collection strategies of the churches. The program should be up-to-date and have the most contemporary functionalities. If the application for mobile phones is available then it should provide flexible payment methods and easy donation process. As more people are using smartphones these days, online finance option is now steadily being used by people. Every detail ranging from likeability and functionality of the application to the security provided should be updated as frequently as possible to adhere to changes in need and demand. This will help in maximizing participation in online giving.

Just like you would go to a store to get your groceries, so should you go online to reach your donors for charitable giving.  By going where your donors are you are increasing the likelihood of engaging them not just for that collection, but for recurring long-term charitable relationship. Online giving should be a top priority on your long list of things to do. But remember, we are here to help make your fundraising effort easier. Talk to us by leaving a comment below!

Why Churches Should Offer E-Giving Solutions

Online giving options are simple no matter what your cause is or who your donors are. Not only is it easier but also secure. Institutions of faith and religion are no exception. While traditional way of collecting offerings at churches still stand, the ability to donate online and through your phone remotely has greatly increased collecting efficiency.

Technology is changing habits. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s report, the age group of 18-49 years makes up the major part of the population of our society today, about 63 percent.  And in future, as this generation moves into middle age they will bring along their knowledge of technology to make their life easier. This will have a significant effect on the collection capability of the churches, which for the time being are dependent only on weekly church attendance.

In a survey by the Gallup Organization, based on over 150,000 it was found that only 35 percent of the total attended church weekly. The rest admitted to rarely attending the church and some even agreed to not attending at all for months.  Based on this survey it is hard to agree to the traditional form of donation collection in churches. Right now the attendance to churches is the only guarantee to collecting offerings. Add to that the cost of handling cash, budgeting and lack of collection strategy and giving becomes a challenge.

Here are some of the reasons why your organization should consider e-giving:

Popular consent

The majority of people  use online payment methods for paying bills and other activities. A large majority admitted to writing checks only when donating to a church or any other non-profit which could not offer online payment method. Some churches who adopted online giving saw an increase in the number of donations every year. Though the success of programs likes these depends mostly on how they are introduced and promoted, most people find it more convenient than the traditional method.

Decrease in use of checks

Seldom will you find someone who carries a checkbook to services.  Most of the time rarely do we carry a lot of cash in our wallets. So if the church offers only these two methods of donating, the person will either give nothing or donate as little as he/she has at the given time. We know that with the boom in digital transactions people mostly use their debit or credit cards, or other online transaction methods to manage their finances.

Reliable collection option

Many programs which offer online payments have the feature of Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). Basically, people can transfer funds to the payee on a fixed timeline. How one can use this is by designating the church as the payee and then the payment will happen automatically on a weekly basis or bi-weekly, however, the account holder wants. This makes it very convenient for the church to collect donation throughout the year.  The flow of donation is stable and reliable too. Many churches that have adapted to this trend have seen an incredible increase in donations. Especially families that are traveling during summer vacations like to keep their faith alive and do make the donation even when they are away.  Many people who travel a lot can sometimes feel disconnected to their faith. With this option, it will be easier for such people to make donations from remote locations to their home church and feel connected and faithful to their faith. Time and space become the least concerning factor when using EFT and the church can concentrate on the faith of the congregation any worry less about how to collect donations.

Hike in donations

Online donations gain increased popularity – think of crowdfunding you recently participated in as one example. The ease, convenience and securing are the main three factors.  These will only, in turn, generate more donations.  Churches that offer the option have seen about 40 to 45 percentage of people using their credit card. Donation capability has increased 8 to 10 percent.

Safety

Safety is a major factor in any transactional process. Safety is taken seriously on all levels and are regulated by strict banking guidelines.  Updates and reviews to make sure there are  no loopholes are ongoing. Most importantly banks have necessary guidelines to which a merchant should adhere to. Any software solution you choose has to meet these guidelines in order for any transaction to be made with a bank. So, weather you are making a payment or donating to a church your transaction as well as personal information is treated with utmost security.

Ease of Donation

As mentioned before online transaction gives the great capability to people to donate at their leisure. Many families who can’t schedule their weekly church visit can still schedule their weekly support with electronic fund transfer. They don’t have to be concerned about attending each and every occasion to support their faith. With e-giving, they can donate regardless of their busy schedule. They can also frequently donate as much as it’s affordable to them and predict a budget for their own convenience. Giving the ability to manage how they donate can greatly increase the donations.

Broadening supporter age group

Baby boomers make the majority of donors today. But the younger generation who are also enthusiastic about supporting their faith are large in number. This new age demographic that is tech savvy and uses their mobile devices for most of their finances, will generally be inclined to use online payment methods.  Giving them the option of online payment will only draw them more towards supporting their church.

E-giving is a trend. It is here to stay and will only grow exponentially every year. Church leaders must react to this change in donor behavior and adapt accordingly. Learn more about our online donation management tools  .

What Makes Givecentral Different From Other Fundraising Apps?

What Makes Givecentral Different From Other Fundraising  Apps?

As a non-profit organization you have three main objectives – raise funds, build lasting relationship with your donors  and do that efficiently. Our GiveCentral Go app provides lasting solutions for your nonprofit!

GiveCentral Go does more than fund collection. Using GiveCentral Go you can collect funds securely and efficiently, generate engagement and donation reports in one place.   GiveCentral uses technology to design innovative solutions that promote online giving for the non profit community.

GiveCentral Fundraising App

Why is GiveCentral App Unique?

On the one hand GiveCentral integrates accounting and communication tools in one convenient place, helping managers and administrators save precious time and effort.  On the other hand it makes it easy for donors to support a cause.

How GiveCentral App Works:

Our robust web-based giving tools lets donors like you contribute from anywhere, at anytime, without installing any software. You can make a one-time donation or recurring gifts, or just allocate funds for a chosen category. Payments can be made by all major credit cards or electronic checks and are secured using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. Donors then receive emails confirming their transactions and can also view or save all information related to their payments. GiveCentral makes giving easy, convenient and quick.

Addressing the most pressing needs of administrators, GiveCentral consolidates all collection, fundraising and communication activities in one place, helping non profit organisations raise more money, in less time. From planning fundraising categories to generating reports, this donor management app helps get a lot done easily, including tracking payments that have been received or the ones that are delayed. Reducing paperwork and improving accounting and data management, GiveCentral makes life easier.

Both GiveCentral, our online donation tool, and GiveCentral Go, the mobile app and card reader, use our distinctive approach to accept electronic donations.

Customize It, Use It, Love It!

Compared to other donor management systems, GiveCentral has some of the most sophisticated capabilities. It enables non profit organisations to create a unique online presence through a customizable donation page on the GiveCentral website. This page can be designed to meet your organisation’s specific needs. Also, independent administrator accounts can be used to manage donor accounts, send out communication or make changes to fundraising events. Marketing materials like email templates, donor signup cards and more are available for free, along with ongoing technical support by phone, email and webinars. Our effort is to ensure long term sustainability of organisations like yours.

Mobile Friendly

GiveCentral Go is a mobile app and card reader that allows the processing of credit card and debit card transactions on mobile devices. It can be used with iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android devices, for both real-time as well as preauthorised  transactions. It eliminates the use of POS machines and the need to establish separate merchant accounts for each fundraiser, making fundraising a lot more convenient than before.

What makes GiveCentral a truly unique donor management app, is our unending effort to innovate and do better. Unlike most church apps, GiveCentral is continually evolving. Based on feedback from our clients, we keep improving it.

Our app also lets you learn. Our large resource base of blog posts, press releases, articles, webinars and videos help you stay informed, and efficient.

Do all your fundraising, in one

Easily set up giving categories online for a wide range of fundraising activities – from church collections to scholarship funds, from events and fees to merchandise sale.

Access an unmatched donor management system

Our sophisticated donor management system has features that other church apps are unable to match. From ease in setting up to building lasting relations, GiveCentral partners your journey every step of the way. Generate comprehensive reports, review real time analytics and use these to reach out effectively.

Communicate in new and exciting ways

From requesting donations to acknowledging donor gifts, reach out through customised email messages. Manage recipient lists and link back to your website or social media to keep your community engaged.

Ensure security and confidentiality

With GiveCentral, donor information is never compromised. Personal information is shared with no one other than the recipient organization. Credit card and bank account numbers remain confidential.

Our servers are protected, industry standards for online payment security are applied and information related to transactions is transmitted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.

While quarterly audits are performed by an independent third party to ensure the GiveCentral website meets PCI DSS requirements, internal audits are performed at least once every month.

If you are looking to enhance your fundraising, and work with more efficiency and less stress, GiveCentral is the right choice for you. It is a donor management system that is sophisticated yet easy to use. It is further differentiated from other church apps by having the lowest processing fees in the marketplace.

To take advantage of its superior features, all you have to do, is reach out to us.

Benefits of Giving To Charity and some positive effects of donating.

Benefits of Giving To Charity

In our busy lives, we hardly can find time to help others, even though we so much want to. The empathy of others plight is the great connection that we feel as humanity in whole. But given the fact that we are living such a fast-paced life that this connection we want to feel, takes a back-step. We can’t all volunteer for a charity or organize humanitarian efforts and a regular day, but what we can do instead is support a charity and give in whatever way we can so that they are enabled to do such tasks and dedicate time to making things better in the world.

Of all the things you can do besides volunteering work is to donate to a charity. Although this also can be restrained at some times as money can be too tight at home. But even with a situation like this, there is hardly any reason to turn your back on charitable giving. Because we often give away our money unconsciously, like asking a waiter to keep change after your meal because you don’t need loose change jingling in your pocket.

But when it comes to consciously donating the money we often think of a reason not to. Often excuses like, ‘oh my donation hardly matters for such a huge cause’ or something like ‘the charities are all scams and the money won’t go to the deserving’.

When giving to charities even small donations matter a lot. People are equally aware of the poverty and misery around the world, and some people genuinely feel sorry about it. But most think it is hardly in their power to bring any changes. When the truth is that they hold most of the power.

And I use ‘they’ because we often miss the bigger picture where a whole community comes together to help someone. A collective effort always means success. Looking at the efforts as individually someone’s alone might be discouraging for a person. But when we look at what is possible at the hand of a group of people or a mass of supporters, the task becomes less daunting.

Charitable giving is the only way to solve poverty. Intervening in a poor society in an effective way can help break the cycle of generating one poor generation after another by that society.  Helping a community by providing it with effective healthcare will also reduce any future downfall of society and economy. Medical aids can help in the growth of that community’s financial support. And when this happens, that community will become self-dependant. When giving in an effective charity your donation in accumulation directly correlates to the progress of the receiver not just for today but for generations to come.

But money is the last thing that unites us, what does is the empathy to help each other. Not only is it beneficial for the society as whole but also to each one of us at a personal level. Some positive effects of donating are as follows:-

Feeling of Bliss

In a controlled experiment done by the National Institutes of Health, where the test subject was asked to donate a portion of their salary in whatever way, whatever amount seemed fit and whenever they wanted to donate. With these open parameters, the participants donated at their will. But it was found that with every donation there was an increased activity in the pleasure center of the brain. It is surprising to realize, even by the participants who might have seen giving away their hard earned money away, as a negative thing. But when they realized that their donation was bringing smiles on the receiver’s face, when they realized their little loss is actually a big gain for someone else, their attitude towards the act of donation became positive.

Benefit for Others

You might live in a country or a place where hardships are relevantly smaller than the ones in lesser developed countries. While we can wait for the right charity to come along seeking our help for their cause, people who are in need of your support right at this moment. There won’t be a right time to donate (donate whenever it is possible) and there is no right amount to donate (donate whatever little you can). Your money will help someone and help them to help someone else in return. What we fail to realize is that our one act is just a part of the chain reaction that will create a better community and hence a better world.

Tax Exemptions

Speaking of personal benefits, your donation helps in reducing your taxes. When you file for the tax return every year just mentioning your IRS approved transactions of donation, done throughout the year will help in reducing the amount of your taxable income. This is really helpful as ultimately it will end up in you paying a lot less money in taxes than originally.

Giving is convenient

Donating to a charity is the easiest way to nurture your philanthropy activity.  Yes, you can go ahead and vouch for volunteering for any charitable organization, but with the fast paced world today it is hard to engage yourself in such activities. It can often deter people from helping out. What they don’t realize that donating is equally liberating feeling.

Building Purpose in Life

Often we think about what we are meant to do in our life. Most spend time earning and saving money to survive and live a life of content. But what we don’t pay attention to is our own desire to make a prominent effect in the world and find a purpose.

There are others who have the same feelings and when a charity brings these people to work for a cause, their shared belief in the cause and their humanitarian ideologies will inspire others also. Being able to make an impact with your efforts in the real world will give the desired meaning and purpose to life. The simple act of giving can anchor your life and give a new navigation to it.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Kids often learn from their parents. If you are thrifty your kid will be empathizing towards the need of others. This, in turn, will create a chain reaction of generations to come that won’t care to help anyone else and the world will end up in selfish hands. So do donate whenever it is possible and then let your kid know. Talking to your kid about how your little effort will help someone, will only inspire the next generation and the ones to come after, to care.

Creating a Circle of Motivated People

Sharing the success story of the charity which you support will increase your respect in the eyes of your friends and family. When you become an active part of social charity you not only become an inspiration for your peers but also create a circle of motivated and inspired people who will be encouraged to donate and give to charities.

Helping in any Measure Possible

You don’t need to be a millionaire and make substantial donations to be able to see changes that you want to influence. Remember even an ocean is made of only small drops of water. Your donation might be small but in a bigger perspective, it is an integral puzzle piece that makes the whole charity a success. Even a dollar that you donate can mean a day’s meal for a child in Africa. So the truth is you don’t need much to become someone’s hero.

Improving Your Own Respect for Money

Another good effect of donating on a regular basis is that you yourself get more careful about your finances. When you understand the little amount you donate is capable of initiating big changes and change someone’s life, you realize the value of money. And with time you steadily make a constant effort to be reasonable with your expenses.

So now you know how giving can elevate not just a society in general but also you. One of the best things you would ever do with your money is to give some of it to charity. The emotional value of donating is unparalleled. When you donate money, that money is no longer just a piece of paper. The one who receives it, for them it is a bag of rice or a blanket for cold weather. When you can see our money with that perspective, your meaning of giving will change for forever.

Even if the donating is blissful in a biblical sense, what really makes us happy is the understanding that when donating people on both ends, the one who donates and the one who receives the donation, both are equally benefited.

And this knowledge is the basis of the foundation of a prosperous world. By giving away we solidify our common welfare. A smaller donation has an equal effect as the bigger one. And when everyone realizes the success stories of the donation, our stories become an inspiration to one who hears, which ultimately creates a collective consciousness.

GiveCentral Go – The best way to receive donations online.

When it comes to giving, distance and time shouldn’t matter.

We often hear from our community about the challenge of keeping up with donors and keeping them engaged. All that  while you are focusing on your mission. We heard you and have created GiveCentral Go – an app that helps make progress with your fundraising more efficiently will less stress.

With GiveCentral you can manage all your events and contributions with one tap on your device. Additionally you can connect with your donors instantly whenever they feel compelled to give, with great technology. The church app allows you to receive donations for multiple locations wherever your event takes you, quickly and securely (details transferred via encrypted format) right from your iPhone, iPad or Android Phone.

The entire process takes less than a minute!  Just fire up the GiveCentral Go app, connect the reader via Bluetooth (smaller, sleeker device, with no wires), and accept donations on the spot.

Developed and designed by GiveCentral, the app integrates seamlessly with your GiveCentral Administrator and Donor account. This means:

      • You can now sign-up multiple users or pre-register with user card details
      • Search donor records on your app
      • Access automatically updated transactions records (against a donor, location or event) across all devices, real-time
      • Automatic deposits into your bank account
      • Automatic payment receipts sent to your clients
      • Cancel / Void payments before EOD

With no additional set-up required at your end, GiveCentral Go enables your payments to go mobile, just like your donors. So, let’s get started.

Download here       GiveCentral-Go-Android-App   iOS