FAQ
Open your heart without opening your checkbook
 
Electronic Giving is the term used to describe secure, encrypted automatic methods for making contributions on a regular basis without the need to write checks, carry cash or prepare envelopes. Although Direct Debit Giving is the original and most popular form of electronic giving, the term is now widely used to describe Credit & Debit Card Giving and Online Giving as well. The following discussion provides a few frequently asked questions and is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Please feel free to ask any questions you have in advance of participating in the program.
 
Frequently Asked Questions About Electronic Giving:
 
Q. What are the two boxes for Online Giving?
A. One is designated for “One-Time” gifts or tithes that can be given whenever you feel led to make a contribution. This can be done by direct transfer from your checking account or it can be done through use of a credit or debit card. The other box is through the Member Portal and is for “Recurring Gifts” and allows you to set up an account to make on-going tithes, offerings or contributions on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. basis.
 
Q. How does One-Time Giving work?
A. One-time giving provides you a way to securely make a single contribution through whatever means you select (Credit or Debit Card or Checking, etc.).
 
Q. How does Recurring Giving work?
A. Recurring giving provides you a way to establish on-going contributions that are securely transferred automatically from your credit or debit card, checking or savings account directly to the church’s bank account.
 
Q. What are the major advantages of recurring giving by direct debit?
A. Recurring 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 are my automatic contributions deducted and transferred?
A. First, you log-in your information through the Member Portal and then establish the amount you wish to contribute on a regular basis. You then select the method of contribution that you’d like to use: Credit or Debit Card or Bank Account info for Checking or Savings. Checking or savings contributions are then 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.
 
Q. When will my contribution be debited from my card or account?
A. A debit to your card or account on the date(s) you select when you set up your account. You can determine the preferred frequency (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.).
 
Q. How will I keep track of my contributions?
A. Since your contribution is made at a pre-established time, you simply record it in your check register on the appropriate date. Electronic contributions will appear on your bank or credit card statement. Additionally, with each contribution you will be given the opportunity to print a receipt for your records.
 
Q. What can I use to prove I made a contribution?
A. Your bank statement will show an itemized list of electronic transactions that can be used as proof of your contributions. Also, after your transaction is posted by the church you can view through the Member Portal.
 
Q. Is giving by direct debit risky?
A. It is certainly less risky than writing checks or carrying cash to church. To process electronic donations, the church uses Vanco Payment Solutions – an established and highly regarded company that moves funds directly from a church members account to the designated church account.
 
Q. How much does direct debit giving cost?
A. It costs you nothing and it costs the church very little. It is the lowest cost method of transferring funds
 
Q. What if I’d like to use my Bank Debit Card?
A. You may establish your Bank Debit Card as a form of payment to complete your contribution. This is completed online and is a secure, accepted form of payment. There is a small processing fee charged to the church by the banks for processing your Debit Card. This fee is equivalent to around 1.5% of your total contribution. You may want to take that into consideration when electing to use this method of payment.
 
Q. What if I’d like to use my Credit Card?
A. You may establish your Credit Card as a form of payment to complete your contribution to the Covenant. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. There is a processing fees charged to the church by the banks for processing your Credit Card. This fee is equivalent to around 3% of your total contribution. You may want to take that into consideration when electing to use this method of payment.
 
Q. What if I try electronic giving and and don’t like it?
A. You can cancel your authorization at any time by managing your giving through your account in the Member Portal.