“It’s so much easier than I thought it would be,” remarks Chris Gray, Treasurer at St John’s Egham, about online giving. “It’s a hurdle getting started but then it’s straight forward.”
Chris set up online giving for St John’s back in May 2020 when his vicar said that they needed to enter the 21st century and offer people a way to give to immediately should they wish to. Since then they’ve raised £10,000 through online giving.
St John’s offers lots of different ways for people to give to the church. People can support the day-to-day running costs of the church by making a regular gift via the Parish Giving Scheme or make a one-off gift via online giving. “Online giving is a good way to enable people to give to campaigns and make one-off donations before they decide to give regularly to the church,” says Chris. “It’s an immediate response and people use their credit cards all the time, you’re offering them a way to give in a way they’re used to.”
Their online giving provider allows St John’s to run multiple giving campaigns and it has been great for encouraging people to give to one-off appeals. As a response to the economic impact of COVID-19, St John’s set up a Hardship Fund to help people in financial hardship due to the crisis. Half of the £10,000 raised online has been gifts made towards the Hardship Fund. To encourage people to give to the campaign they promoted it during online services, on their Facebook page, website and in the newsletter.
Chris set up online giving through Parish Buying. “The process of setting up online giving wasn’t simple but there were videos on Parish Buying which I watched whilst I was setting it up. Once you’ve done it though, it’s easy to execute.”
Chris points out the benefit of online giving for busy Treasurers, “The administration of online giving is really simple. You can immediately see what campaign people have given to, how many people have given and how much they have given. Additionally it’s easier to manage gift aid with online giving as people give their details when they enter their payment details.”
St John’s’ future plans for digital giving include understanding how best to use the card reader after lockdown and using online giving for course materials.