Frequently Asked Questions About Online Giving
What is online giving?
Online giving is an electronic payment service where your contributions are debited automatically and electronically from your checking, savings or credit card account into First Presbyterian’s account.
Why online giving?
Online giving offers time and cost efficiencies that makes life easier for both the user and the First Presbyterian staff. You can automate both your recurring and one-time giving; making it easy to fulfill your stewardship commitments, even when you can’t attend church. You can set up recurring donations to support your annual pledge, which helps First Presbyterian manage with a more predictable level of financial support. You never have to bring cash or checks to church unless you choose to do so.
How do I sign up for online giving?
Visit bendfp.org/online-giving-guide/ to learn how.
Why do I have to set up an account and a password?
You don’t have to set up an account if you don’t want to, but First Presbyterian strongly recommends that you do register an account and associate a payment method (credit card, debit card, checking account number) with your account. Having an account offers you some advantages. First, your account gives you access to a history of all your giving for tax and personal organization purposes. Second, an account allows you to respond easily and quickly to support specific programs that align with your personal interests. Once your account is registered, you can choose to login with your smart phone using your thumb print.
Is online giving secure?
Yes, the provider of First Presbyterian’s online giving tool is Vanco. Vanco has a long history of meeting the highest security standards. Your banking and credit card information are stored on a secure server that meets all federal data encryption guidelines, not within any First Presbyterian computer system. Vanco is the most selected online giving application in the faith-based space working with more than 20,000 churches and processing more than $13 billion a year without a data breach in their 18-year history.
How are my contributions automatically deducted from my account?
Once you complete the online registration form, the contribution amount you specify will automatically be transferred from your bank account or credit card to the church’s bank account. You can choose to print a paper receipt or receive an email receipt if giving via the kiosk in First Presbyterian’s lobby, or receive an email receipt if giving via the iPad credit card reader that will be used for special events commonly held in First Presbyterian’s library or lobby during fellowship times after services.
When will my contribution be deducted from my account? Your electronic contribution will be debited on the date you specify on the donation form. However, it may take overnight to see that transaction in your personal bank records, as is common with electronic transactions.
Without check records how do I track my online giving donations?
If you set up an online giving account, and then login to that account when using any of the available giving platforms (smart phone app, First Presbyterian web page, kiosk, give-by-text, or iPad card reader), your contribution will be recorded and available for your review over whatever historical time period you select. For this reason, First Presbyterian is recommending that all users set up an account and enter a credit card, debit card or checking account number to be associated with your account. You can also choose to have a receipt emailed or printed when giving without using an account.
Can I set up recurring donations?
Yes, you can define your donations as either recurring or one-time only. Recurring donations can be easily modified as many times as you desire. First Presbyterian encourages you to set up pledge and non-pledge giving using the recurring option, as this helps First Presbyterian manage with a more predictable level of financial support
What if I try online giving and don’t like it?
You can cancel or modify you donations at any time. We are offering online giving as an additional way to support the good work of First Presbyterian in our community and our world, but all the traditional paths for support are still available as best serves your personal needs and desires.
Can I give online if I’m not a member of First Pres?
Yes, anyone can support the good work of First Presbyterian Church.
Can I change my personal information or the amount or the frequency of my donation once I have set it up?
Yes, you can modify your account information and donation selections at any time. Login to the system using your user name and password and make the necessary changes in the system. (Per IRS regulations, once a gift has been made to the church it cannot be refunded.)
How are my online gifts used?
Every dollar given to our General Fund is used to support the mission of First Presbyterian, creating spaces of grace to cultivate hope, healing and purpose.
Can I designate my gift to a particular department or ministry?
Every dollar given to our General Fund is used to support the mission of First Presbyterian. We encourage this selection for most of your support. However, in support of the various special events that take place throughout the year that support specific missions of First Presbyterian, we will provide the option to donate to specific missions as it maps to First Presbyterian’s Giving Calendar. As the use of online giving grows, we will consider offering more donation choices.
Are there any hidden charges or fees?
No, there are no charges or fees to the user providing the donation. There are small fees paid by First Presbyterian for the use of electronic transfers, as is typical in debit and credit card transactions. When you give from your smartphone you will be presented with the option to add a % and cover these fees for First Presbyterian. It’s the simple click of a box if you choose to do this.
We currently offer online giving, how is the new platform different?
The new online giving tools provide a significant upgrade in convenience, efficiency, security and functionality. You now have the choice of paying by credit or debit card or directly from your bank account through giving platforms that include your smart phone, text message, kiosk, iPad card reader or the First Presbyterian web page. Also, you can set up a recurring donation thereby saving you time while providing First Presbyterian with a more predictable revenue stream to help fun our mission.
Can I give as a guest without creating an account and password?
Yes, donations can be offered without using an account via the kiosk in the lobby or the First Presbyterian web page. At special events, cards can be swiped using the iPad card reader with or without an account. You can request an email receipt be sent to you from either of these giving options, or you can print a paper receipt from the kiosk.
If I sign up to give online are you going to email me all the time?
No. We take your privacy seriously. The account you set up for online giving is private and First Presbyterian receives your donations automatically through our accounting software.
Are you inadvertently encouraging debt by accepting donations with credit cards?
Used within the parameters, debit and credit cards can be an effective tool for payments and purchases. Many people utilize them in place of checks or cash throughout the month, and then pay off the balance in full. For those people, we offer the option of using a debit or credit card to give. You have the option of assigning a bank account number to be used as the payment vehicle for your online giving if you prefer. However, we strongly discourage those who have ongoing credit card debt from donating with a credit card.
Who do I talk to if I have more questions?
You can seek out an Elder (they usually are wearing an Elder name badge) or a First Presbyterian staff member during fellowship time after services, and we will do our best to direct you to someone who can answer your questions. You can also send an email to [email protected] and it will be directed to someone who can help you.