Online giving options for parishes
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many parishes are relying on technology to communicate and minister to the faithful. While public Masses and gatherings are currently suspended (up-to-date information can be found at diojeffcity.org/public-health), parishes and churches remain open for personal prayer and assistance during this time.
Some parishes are bringing services online as quickly as possible to ensure parishioners can continue to participate in the life of the parish during what may be a protracted time of cessation of public gatherings. The experts are telling us in times of crisis people want to hear from their pastor and churches more often, including about ways they can help.
When it comes to giving financially to parishes or relief efforts, the Diocese can offer two practical options for our parishes:
- Publish a “Giving Notice” on your website, across social media channels, in an eNewsletter to parishioners, or printed in your parish bulletin, if that is sent out digitally.
- Begin the process of adopting Blackbaud Merchant Services available to parishes through the diocesan agreement.
Publishing a “Giving Notice” or “Online Giving Notice”
People will be turning to our parishes for help in many ways. Parishioners can assist them by continuing to support their parishes financially, and perhaps even increasing, since many parish fundraising events are being canceled, postponed or scaled back. Please remind parishioners of their giving options. If your parish website is currently active, one of the easiest ways to do this is to publish a page titled “Online Giving Notice,” using the sample content below:
Option 1: Mail your tithe, or drop it off in the parish office mailbox.
We would welcome your tithe sent to the parish office by mail or dropped off in the mailbox.
The parish office address is: (Insert parish office address)
If you have any additional questions, you can contact us:
Office Phone: (Insert phone number)
Office Email: (Insert email address)
Option 2: Submit an EFT (Electronif Funds Transfer) or Direct Deposit form to the parish office.
You can sign up for EFT or Direct Deposit by (instructions for submitting EFT/Direct Deposit slip here)
Mailing or faxing this form is the most secure way to share this important information. If you would like to physically drop off this form, you can do so by placing it in the parish office mailbox.
• Be sure to include a link to your EFT/Direct Deposit form.
Option 3: Give to Diocesan Relief Efforts Online
The Diocese has an online giving form that is being utilized to collect donations for relief efforts. If you would like to give, you can do so by clicking the button below and selecting “Catholic Stewardship Appeal” when prompted to choose a fund. This donation will be sent to the Diocese of Jefferson City.
• Link or Button: https://diojeffcity.org/donate
If your parish is using one of the WordPress websites developed by Blackbaud and our diocese, Ashley Wiskirchen, director of parish communication, can relink the “Donate Now” button to this notice page; Please email her and she will respond quickly to help with that.
To see a sample of an “Online Giving Notice”, check out Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Boonville, MO’s website:
Of course, this content can be adapted to run in an eNewsletter, across social media and printed in a bulletin if you have a way to digitally share those files.
Utilize the diocesan agreement with Blackbaud for a Merchant Services account
Please be aware, this process can take from 2-5 business days.
The Diocese of Jefferson City offers Blackbaud Merchant Services accounts to parishes. This allows parishes to direct people’s donations using online platforms directly into the parish’s checking account. There is no charge for the establishment of a Merchant Services account. Blackbaud’s fees are streamlined (approximately 3% of the donation) with no annual fees, fee per transaction, etc. At this time we can not process ACH transactions, but parishioners can use their bank account’s debit card to transfer money from their checking account.
Steps to complete this process:
- Review Blackbaud’s Merchant Services datasheet to learn about this service and compare it to other online giving platforms.
- Collect the necessary information using this helpful checklist from Blackbaud
- Once your checklist is complete, email Helen Osman to schedule a time for a phone call. This is the most secure process for us to collect sensitive personal and financial information.
- Provide input on how your online form should look and function. For example, will your parish prefer a one-time donation box, or desire recurring donations? Or do you have individual funds set up for parishioners to choose from? A sample of how these forms function can be seen at diojeffcity.org/donate.
Once your account is established and your form is developed, we will work with you to embed that onto your parish’s website, or provide you with the URL, hosted for your parish on the diocesan website, to be shared with your parishioners.
Please know that the Communications Office is here to support your parishes during this time, and help facilitate parish digital parish operations as best we can! You can always contact us:
Ashley M. Wiskirchen
Director of Parish Communications
573-635-9127 ex 231
Director of Communications
512-785-3006 (mobile phone, please leave a voice mail)