Online Giving Guide for Parishes Using Blackbaud’s Merchant Services Application

Online Giving Guide For Parishes

Parishes who have entered into the parish website project or have otherwise enrolled in our “Blackbaud Universe” of software offerings have the opportunity to offer parishioners secure online giving.

Our communications team has put together this Online Giving Guide for Parishes to help you communicate the process and usefulness of using these services in your parish. Please consider using this guide to help your parishioners understand how online giving works, the security measures that protect their information, and the importance of continuing their stewardship goals in-person or digitally.

Three reasons to encourage your parishioners to give online

  1. Using the online giving options provided to your parish through Blackbaud’s Merchant Services application is safe and secure for online donors.
    1. Blackbaud is one of the leading non-profit fundraising processors in the nation. It ensures optimal protection of data and assumes liability for any malicious attacks.
    2. Parishioners do not need a third-party account to give or worry that their information will be shared with third-party accounts with lower-tiered security contracts.
  2. Giving online streamlines the process for parishioners, and may make tithing more convenient and available to them.
    1. Parishioners can set up their online gift or tithe on their own time, without sharing banking information with parish office staff or worrying that paper documents with account numbers will be accessed by others.
    2. Parishioners have the flexibility to give one-time gifts of preset or specific amounts, OR set up their weekly or monthly tithe on either a credit card or ACH transfer.
    3. Parishioners can access this giving form from any device with internet access. With the rise of smartphone usage to view websites, this makes giving even more convenient while maintaining the high level of security and protections mentioned above.
    4. With the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic and varying comfort levels of returning to in-person liturgies for vulnerable parishioners, they may appreciate this way of continuing their stewardship goals virtually as they are “attending” liturgies virtually. Remember, you can include your giving link in your livestream or in the comment section if you find that helpful to parishioners!
  3. Setting up parishioner gifts and tithes online can streamline parish finances and help staff predict, collect, and report on parish finances quickly and accurately.
    1. Online donations process automatically, making the collection process for weekly tithes or one-time gifts faster than envelopes or check processing.
    2. Blackbaud’s Merchant Services reports build the capacity of parish finance staff and committees get a picture of their parishioner’s giving levels and habits.
    3. Recurring gifts allow parishioners to incorporate tithing in their family budgets without worry about needing to find cash or remember to write a check each week.

Resources for your parish:

Bulletin announcements:

Tithing to our parish online is safe and easy!

We now have the opportunity to donate or tithe to [INSERT your parish name here] through our parish website. Your gift will be processed through a “tier one” secure system, which we are able to access through the diocese’s agreements with Blackbaud. It’s easy to do, with one of the lowest processing fees of any online credit card service, and our diocesan agreement with Blackbaud assures optimal security and risk management. Visit our website at [INSERT your parish’s giving URL] to complete the form and hit the green button. It’s as easy as that! If you choose “recurring donation,” you can set up your tithe to be drawn automatically from your bank account or charged to your credit card. For questions, call or email [INSERT parish office information or instructions here].

Step-by-Step instructions to set up your gift or tithe online

1. Visit our parish website donation page: [INSERT your parish’s giving URL] (For parishes enrolled in the parish website project only) OR if you have the parish website bookmarked [INSERT LINK] click the golden “Donate Now” button on the top right.
2. Select “one-time donation” or “recurring donation” if you’d like to give once or set up your regular tithe.
3. Select one of the pre-set giving options, or “Other amount.” (For parishes that have multiple funds only) Select the fund you would like your donation or tithe to go to – note that multiple funds may be available to you, such as the “General Fund” or a special campaign at our parish. Call the parish office if you need more information on a particular fund.
4. Fill out the “Donor Information” section with your contact information.
5. Select your payment method, and click the green “Give Securely” button.
6. Fill in your credit card or financial institution information into the secure form, and your online donation is complete!

Shortened For Further/Follow-up Bulletin Announcements

Remember, our parish is now offering secure online giving through our parish website. Simply visit [Parish giving URL] and follow these three easy steps to give your gift online securely:

1. Select “One-time donation” or “Recurring donation” to set up your regular tithe
2. Select or type in your gift amount
3. Fill out the “Donor Information” section and choose your method of payment

Then, just click the green “Give Securely” button, finish with your financial information and your secure online donation or tithe for our parish is complete! If you need help or have questions, please contact the parish office.

Click here to download this guide as a PDF for your parish office to use or reference.

I hope you find these resources helpful. If you have further questions about how Blackbaud Merchant Services or online giving works, I would encourage you to contact us at I would also encourage you to inquire there via email or call my office at 573-635-9127 if you would like to enroll your parish in the online merchant services application.

Until next time!

Ashley Wiskirchen
Director of Parish Communications
Diocese of Jefferson City
Office: 573.635.9127