Who is eGiving Ministries?
eGiving Ministries is a Christian ministry of increase formed to improve Kingdom funding, especially the para-church, with guidance regarding electronic recurring and online giving.
The founders are George and Louise Eusterman, Christians and 30-year veterans (retired 2000) in the health and fitness industry. They were early users of electronic dues for fitness center members in the mid-80s. Learn more by reading the Founder’s Story.
Why not just use my bank for electronic processing?
You could in some cases if your needs were minimal and your vision was small (i.e. you can use your bank to accommodate a handful of givers with monthly ACH). But a bank’s main interest is your deposits (average daily balance) on which they loan money (10X) and make their income. So they will sometimes provide some gateway services (which they may not support well) to keep you as a client. These tools will be rudimentary. A bank is not a ministry and does not provide strategy, marketing or leadership nor do they really understand your support needs.
We believe processing should be bank and software independent because, as time goes by, one or both may need to change.
What about Paypal?
PayPal is limited to an online payment solution. Ministries need more than PayPal provides. Givers need a warm and comfortable environment in which to give (e.g. custom giving pages), and your development staff needs all the data it can get. PayPal is cold and commercial (you can liken it to taking your tithe to Bank of America). Funds need to transfer directly to ministry bank accounts. PayPal holds funds.
Ministries need real human support, but PayPal support is largely automated with canned responses. ACH (checking) giving should be inexpensive and preferable, while PayPal charges a percentage of ACH transactions. All giver information needs to be available with the purposes for each gift tracked. Recurring giving is also a critical component today for ministry increase.
The solutions we recommend significantly improve online giving over PayPal, in addition to answering backend issues and providing a wider scope of giving and giver information, typically for less cost than working with PayPal.
Why recurring giving?
Our experience in the mid-eighties with electronic payments in business is applicable to ministry. Most Americans (approx. 80%) live on monthly budgets. Their effectiveness as stewards is based on monthly faithfulness. As distracting as this culture is, electronic faithfulness is welcome by the giver and mission leaders. We see a 95% retention rate with monthly eGivers over 5 years, which is impossible without eGiving. Its costs are the least and its impact to planning and mission unquestionably valuable.
Could you help me present this to my board/leadership?
We would be happy to do a conference call, a webinar or a board meeting/speaker phone short presentation. We would be glad to do whatever we can to help bring early unity and focus for the mission’s sake. These tools can have a very positive effect on your organization’s funding, and early team buy-in means more rapid growth in eGiving. The two key ministry contacts between eGiving and your organization are your admin and leader/advancement people.
What obstacles will I need to overcome to incorporate EFT into my ministry?
Tools and strategies eGiving offers have become so common place today, even demanded by those desiring strongly to fulfill their call to give. Historically, the introduction of these payment methods into the Kingdom was awkward. “Fear of man is a snare,” and we saw quite a bit of that in the early 2000s. But we also saw those who understood the value of these methods to mission and who did stunning things with these tools. Leadership is everything.
Some board members and leaders may not understand that the web is actually much more secure than U.S. Mail. We all know someone who lost mail, and we may have even experienced that ourselves. Yet who has ever heard of a payment gateway on the web compromised? We have not. The coming generations are capable of excellent stewardship, but most ministries cannot accommodate their payment styles comfortably. Any eGiving progress you can make will be a blessing to the mission. It is especially important for leadership to understand their role in successfully communicating giving guidance to givers that will enhance the mission, not limiting their requests by their own fears. Let us help you. Working closely with eGiving’s resources will help your organization’s integration into this new century’s giving tools.
How does a church use this program?
The eGiving church tools used to have a progressive introduction of features over a year’s time, depending on the demographics of that Body, leading up to member access to giving accounts. As time brought more of the Body into becoming familiar with similar tools for payments outside the church, we have shortened the introduction to having core members and admin get comfortable using the tools themselves, then introducing the feature on your website in its entirety on one Sunday.
Web/mobile access for single gifts, opening a giver account and establishing recurring giving and providing paper forms for non-webbers who would set up a recurring tithe can all be handled in one day. Appropriate leadership encouragement on a regular basis for church members to participate is key. Younger members (under 45) using their own accounts to give by project, payment method and dates increases giving. Non-account single giving also serves those who are not deeply connected. Encouraging electronic FirstFruit automatic giving helps members be successful, while reducing seasonal slumps in cash flow. It is all quite self-explanatory now which means leaders just need to refer to it regularly. eGiving provides plenty of coaching.
What kinds of ministries would benefit from eGiving?
Pregnancy centers and inner-city missions, offshore missions, and traveling evangelists can build a solid support base with eGiving. Radio stations, Christian schools, scout type groups and Royal Rangers, etc., TV ministries and channels, Bible ministries, and global and local charities etc. Really, anybody doing the Lord’s work that needs a support base will be enormously blessed by eGiving.
How does the Merchant Account System work?
Credit/Debit card processing is often a new adventure for ministries. This link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_account explains the system. Your eGiving tools are hard-wired to the Merchant Account gateway, and eGiving processes your cards at great rates while tracking givers and the purposes of giving automatically.