|While the Marketing Committee works toward finalization and launching the new Saint David’s website, a new feature has been added to the home page of the current website. This new change is the ability to make online donations to the church. We view this as an evolutionary process, not solicitation. In the same way debit cards replaced the personal check, the ability to complete financial transactions with the church online (from stewardship pledges to flowers to gifts in-memoriam) is just another step forward in embracing technology that supports our church.|
This addition, which you can find under the ‘Give to Saint David’s’ tab on the church website homepage, serves several purposes. First, it allows parishioners who have stewardship pledges to have those pledges automatically deposited with Saint David’s, eliminating the need to bring or send them to church. The online payments can be ‘one-time’ types or folks can set the frequency and dates of donations. Second, it lets everyone make electronic donations of monetary gifts directly to Saint David’s for flowers, memorials, choir and music, or other ministries.
These donations also can be made “in memory of” or “in honor of” to specifically named persons. Third, visitors to the site, or to Saint David’s for events such as baptisms, weddings, or funerals, now have the ability to easily make donations. These individual gifts currently can offset the missing traditional “open plate” Sunday funding that has been lost to COVID-19 and the cancellation of regular in-person worship services.
The Vestry voted to utilize two different applications for this service. Recommended by the Treasurer and Growth Committee, Vanco and Paypal offer different platforms and fee structures, which serve our purposes above. Vanco Payment Systems serves more than 22,000 congregations nationwide, several in Middle Tennessee. For more than 20 years, Vanco’s platform has worked directly with parish offices and administrators. However, Vanco is relatively unknown to people who typically engage in online payment applications. Partly because of that, PayPal was picked as the other option for church donations. PayPal has the convenience and name recognition that Vanco doesn’t have, and the PayPal platform is simpler to use. It is trusted by the more than 300 million customers that have used it, and one report showed that nearly 88 percent of all online buyers use PayPal, according to Statistica.
We encourage you to visit the Saint David’s website and examine the options for yourself. Your feedback would be incredibly valuable to us. Look for the ‘Give to Saint David’s’ tab at the top of the home page or by following the menu icon on your phone and scrolling to the bottom. Committee member Emelie Colmery has put together a video primer for using Vanco on the church’s YouTube page. Watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJg4GCEn-ic&t=82s .
Either option surely will help in the growth and sustainability of Saint David’s Church, along with being a key element in our redesigned website. Stay well and we are looking forward to seeing everybody back on the hill very soon!