Elders' Sandbox

This is a password-protected area of the FBC web site we will use to provide materials for Elder Review prior to implementation.

Try Out the Online Giving Site

We have set up the online giving portal and confirmed that my contributions are routed to the FBC bank account correctly.  It's now time for Phase 2, were others try it out and offer comments.  I encourage you to go to our Giving Page to try it out.  I will send out instructions in a couple of days, but I bet you can figure it out on your own.

You can donate from your computer or home, either one-time of recurring donations.  The only fund we have set up is the General Budget, but we can set it up to allow people to donate for individual events, or directed donations, if you wish.

Note:  This has been set up by Dave Childs, but, let's be honest, you really don't want MY picture anywhere on the web site, do you?  This has, however, been done with Clayton's knowledge each step of the way.

How it works:For bookkeeping purposes the giver receives the whole $100 as his/her gift to the church, including for tax purposes. But the “cost of doing business” for that transaction is 3% (sounds easier to go flat rate) which is charged once a month to the church, depending on the number and amount of the transactions. 

But there is an option for the giver when giving to include the transaction fee and cover the “cost of doing business” for that transaction.

Online Giving Project Plan

At Clayton’s request, I have researched how we might implement online giving through the firm that hosts our web site, Clover. It is a simple process to set up and I can see how it might be attractive to some of our members. The factors I see in (y)our decision are:

  • Ease of use for our members
  • Ease of use for our office staff
  • Ease of support
  • Confidentiality
  • Net Impact on giving
  • Commitment

Without actual experience, I don’t see any show-stoppers and in fact see no reason not to give it a try. There is no long-term commitment, so we can establish a trial period after which we can expand it or cancel it. The cost is on a per-transaction basis, so there is no risk if we manage it properly. The process I envision is as follows:

Phase 1: Set up and experimentation

This would involve only myself, Clayton, Sue and Pam; I will be the Guinea Pig. I will pay initial fees (over and above my normal contribution), and make some nominal test contributions. I’ll then make my normal contributions online for a month or so. This will give the office staff visibility to the process and allow us to determine if we need to change any of the procedures they currently use. By limiting this phase to just me, we can figure out the procedures we need to maintain confidentiality. If this works out, we move to Phase 2. Would this be something to discuss at the next Elder’s meeting?

Phase 2: Beta Test with a limited number of users

In Phase two, I’d like to see a dozen or so people start using it so we can get a wider variety of experiences and opinions. (Presumably whoever asked for this capability could be one of the testers.) I would add the page to the web site but make access limited to those trial participants. At this point, we wouldn’t need to communicate to the general population what we’re doing since it is still in an experimental stage. Let’s get the answers to their questions before we get them asking questions. If Phase 2 is successful, we can use that experience in the roll out in Phase 3.

Phase 3: Roll out to entire congregation

I assume the Elders would have a better feel for this than I. I can see introducing the subject in Sunday School classes and during church announcements, and having a 10-minute “how-to” presentation after the service over the course of a few weeks. We can have a few people available to provide support, but it would start with me.

Phase 4: Evaluate and decide on path forward.

We should decide up front on a date by which we will have an assessment on the project. I will work with office staff to summarize and present the data to the elders to decide if we want to continue this option.

This is just my view of the implementation. Everything will be done with the oversight of Clayton and the Elders. – Dave Childs