Category Archives: Money

FAQs About Electronic Giving @ Grace Covenant

E Giving FAQ

Q: What is online giving?

A: Online Giving is a method of making a donation to GCPC through a secure website, using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. It is similar to the way financial transactions and purchases are done online. You can access that through this link http://www.gracecovpca.org/resources/giving

Q: Do I have to use online giving to give to GCPC?

A: NO, this convenient way to give is being ADDED to the many ways you now can give your gift, tithe, or other donation to the Church. You do NOT have to change the way you are currently giving to the Church, unless you wish to do so! We will continue to pass offering plates and process checks as we have been doing.

Q: Why would I want to do this? How does it help me?

A: While we all have the best of intentions, sometimes we simply miss our opportunity to give. Giving electronically is another tool to help us honor the pledge we’ve made to God and His church.

Q: Where does the money go? What am I giving to?

A: You make the choice to select the church’s general operating budget, Mercy Ministry, Global Missions, Building Fund or an Other Designated Fund.

You may make give to more than one Fund by selecting “Add Donation”.

Q: How does it work?

A: When you connect with the giving page on the Church’s website, your gift will be processed by Clover Give, a secure financial services provider. On the website is where you provide information about the source of your donation (credit card or ACH transfer from a bank account), the amount, and whether it is a one-time or recurring donation.

Q: Is it private? Will anyone see what I’m giving?

A: Only the financial secretary who normally maintains our contribution database will see your gift amounts and, as always, that information is kept private.

Q: Is it safe to give online to GCPC?

A: YES. In some ways giving online may be safer than writing a check because an electronic gift cannot be lost or stolen. Our vendor’s systems follow Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards, and donor information is never shared with anyone.

Q: How secure is this system?

A: The financial transaction is between you and a very secure system, like many that accept credit card charges, except ours is designed for churches. The Clover Give system communicates with GCPC to tell us your name and the amount of your gift but does not give us any information about your card or bank accounts. Clover Give also automatically processes your gift in the GCPC’s bank account.

Q: Can I use my credit card to give (to earn rewards, airline miles, etc.)?

A: YES, the system will accept credit cards, but we don’t recommend going into debt to give to God. As always, use credit cards wisely and pay off your balance monthly.

Q: Should I use a credit card or bank account option?

A: We encourage everyone to use the bank account option because it costs the church less to process ACH transactions vs. credit cards.

Q: Do I have to “log in” to use the online giving system?

A: NO. You do not have to use the registration and log-in function, but we encourage you to do so.

Q: Will I be charged a fee for this service?

A: NO. The church is charged processing fees, but members aren’t charged anything to give using this method. On the GCPC website giving page, there is a box you can leave checked in order to add 4% to your donation to help offset the processing fees. The fees are common in the industry and paid by all companies and churches who receive credit/debit payments.

Q: If I leave the box checked on the donation form to help offset the cost of the transaction fee, do they get tax credit for the extra amount?

A: YES, the full amount paid by the donor is considered a contribution to GCPC and meets the criteria as a deductible contribution. Always confirm your tax status with a professional.

Q: Is there an electronic giving option available that does not incur a fee?

A: YES, many financial institutions have an option that allows you to initiate an ACH transaction from your account. At many banks there is no charge for those transactions. Check with your bank to set up an online bill pay transaction through their system. GCPC does not do direct ACH transactions from your bank but we do accept checks mailed to the office. Kathy Buhl, at the Church office can provide details.

Q: Can I give one-time contributions? Can I set up recurring transactions?

A: YES, each contribution you make will be a one-time gift unless you check the “MAKE THIS GIFT RECURRING” box on the giving page.

Q: How will I know if the recurring donation has been made?

A: This requires a giver to create an account. Once an account is created a giver may login and view their giving history and see what transactions and their amounts have been processed and which are scheduled for the future, including the planned amount. You will also still receive a contribution report for tax purposes at the end of the year.

Q: How soon after my e-giving donation will the money come out of my account?

A: Normally within 48 hours of your request. US banking rules govern money moving from one bank to another. It takes a little time for your bank to release the funds, and for it to appear in GCPC’s bank account. After this has occurred you will receive a receipt and “thank you” by email.

Q: If I set up a recurring gift and need to change my level of giving, how do I do that?

A: The recurring gift option requires a giver to create an account. Once an account is created the giver may login and view their current recurring gift frequency and amount and make changes to it if desired.

Q: What kind of receipts/records will I get showing that I’ve given (for tax purposes)?

A: Per current IRS requirements, donors will receive a contribution report statement from GCPC  before tax time. Givers should retain this documentation for tax reporting purposes. Always confirm your tax status with a professional.

Q: I have questions or concerns about online giving, whom can I talk to?

A: While most members are already familiar with making some payments online, some will have questions. We welcome the opportunity to help you become more comfortable with online giving. Contact Kathy Buhl at the GCPC church office and you will be directed to the appropriate person to answer your specific questions.

Q: Is this spiritually “ok”? I might feel like I’m not really giving if I set it up to come out of my account automatically by setting up a recurring gift.

A: That’s understandable. When you make the decision to use the recurring gift feature, you have made the decision and pre-committed to give in that way, the system allows you to do so electronically. You will still pray and give thanks to God during our worship service, and if the automatic aspect of recurring giving bothers you, you can write a note that you’re giving electronically on an In Touch With Grace form and place it in the contribution plate​. If the automatic feature continues to bother you because you are not repeatedly making the decision to give and acting on it, then on the date you want to give, you could give electronically in place of a check or use a check.

Q: I don’t want to “pay” my contribution like a bill. When I physically write a check, I feel like I’m “giving”.

A: We have not discontinued to opportunity to give by cash or check during the congregational offering. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” God doesn’t need our money and doesn’t force us to give.

If we ever feel like we’re “paying” our contribution (regardless of the method we’re using), we should consider our motives in light of this scripture.

Q: OK, how do I get started?

A: Go to our giving page http://www.gracecovpca.org/resources/giving and click on “CLICK HERE TO GIVE ONLINE” to begin. That click will take you to a page where you may give a one-time gift, create a recurring donation, or sign in. If you click “SIGN IN”, that takes you to a new page where you can enter an email address and password or register for an account.

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Filed under Money, Stewardship