With our buildings closed and in-person worship suspended we’ve seen churches experiment with live-streaming, YouTube videos, Facebook Live, and other innovative ways to do worship. We’ve seen vestry and committee meetings transfer to Zoom and conference calls, even coffee hours, choirs and book groups make the move to “online.”
As we figure out new ways to “be church” online, we also need to do everything possible to help our members to support our ministries through their giving. And to do that we need to make giving as easy and convenient as possible. That means that we must make it as easy as possible for parishioners to pay their pledges (and make additional gifts) online.
In the past, some of our churches have delayed making the move online for a variety of reasons -- they thought it was too complicated, or expensive, or not necessary. The reality? It’s actually simple, not expensive, and it’s absolutely essential as a way to help keep our ministries funded.
If your church does not yet offer online giving, don’t fear! It is easy and you can make it happen now, even away from the church office. Here’s what a clergy or lay leader needs to do:
- Reach out to Peter Johnson, the diocesan representative at Vanco Payments (vancopayments.com). Vanco is a leading online giving provider, and the “preferred provider” at the diocese, serving both the diocesan finance office and many of the churches. Peter’s email address is Peter.Johnson@vanco.com; his phone number is 952-352-8136.
- Peter will get you started with the application process. To complete the application, you’ll need a voided check and the front page of a recent bank statement, so it’s a good idea to gather those two items before you reach out to Peter.
- Once the application is filled out (it’s easy, and takes about 15 minutes), and it’s sent to Vanco with the voided check and bank statement page, Vanco’s underwriters get to work, and approval should come through in a matter of days.
- At that point, Vanco will build a payment page for you, and provide you with the URL. They’ll help get payment visible on your website and Facebook page, and you can announce this new convenience to members.
Again, it’s easy. It takes a minimum of paperwork, and Peter Johnson of Vanco is standing by to help you.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Cynthia McChesney at firstname.lastname@example.org.