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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.

Ideas to Encourage Online Giving

Ideas to Encourage Online Giving

Your donors want to support you, but they need to know what you need. They know your parish needs money, but how can you best express this to encourage giving?

Here are some creative ideas for communicating your expenses and their effect on the parish community:

Explanatory

These ideas reinforce your message of need with repetition, making your message familiar:

  • Discuss your message of need with your pastor, and ask him to consider weaving this message into his homily.
  • Place an advertisement in your bulletin asking parishioners to contribute to a specific initiative. Include a link they can type into their browser that goes to your GiveCentral page. (Try a link shortener to save space.)
  • Print up flyers with messages of stewardship and place them around your church, activity hall, and school (if you have one). Time and talent are just as important as treasure… it’s not always about the money, but connecting donors to your community events is shown to encourage giving when the time comes.
  • Send an email “newsletter” with messages about your various initiatives. Is your Women’s Club holding a flower sale? Are you raising money to repair the church steps? Is your choir holding auditions soon?

Interactive

These ideas ask your donors to take action on the spot:

  • Make sure to have a prominent link to your GiveCentral page on your parish website!
  • Place giving forms in the pews to encourage them to register for online giving. (Make sure to make it clear where the forms should be dropped off.)
  • Post helpers at the back of church after Mass to distribute registration cards or instruction sheets for online giving.
  • Hold a “Stewardship Table” in the church lobby or entryway to talk to people about online giving. If you can, have a computer or tablet available to help parishioners to sign up then and there.
  • Use social media to convey your message of giving! Facebook now lets you post a donation button (only for Pages), and you can also share links to GiveCentral on Twitter. People love photos, so you can share pictures of your events and the results of your campaigns.
  • Send a short email with a specific giving request. Include a link directly to the fund you’d like them to support on GiveCentral.

Demonstrative

These ideas show, rather than tell, what happens without giving:

  • What if you couldn’t pay your electric bill? Turn the lights and/or air conditioning off during Mass.
  • What if you couldn’t pay your gas bill in winter? Hold Mass with the heat turned low in the church. (Keep Sunday school and day care warm, of course!)
  • What if you couldn’t pay for songbooks? Remove the songbooks from the back of the pews… and consider replacing them with GiveCentral donation forms.
  • What if you couldn’t pay for music? Hold Mass with no choir or cantor to lead the parish in song.
  • What if the church had to close? Lock the doors of the church one Sunday and hold mass outside.
  • What if you had to merge with another church? Have congregations from two parishes attend the same Mass at one church
  • What if you could only afford one Mass? Hold just one mass on a particular Sunday (announced in advance, certainly).
  • What if you couldn’t pay for printing? Conspicuously remove all bulletins and flyers from the church for one week.
  • What if you couldn’t afford landscape maintenance? Consider letting the church lawns grow out, with a lawn sign explaining why.

And as always, remember that your donors want to know where their money is going. Let them know your plans for their donations, and also the outcomes. Show them the great results, and they’ll be encouraged to give again.

Do you have more ideas for encouraging giving? What has worked at your parish? Let us know in the comments, we can add them to the list!