“I wish the offering plate, or on the back of the pew, or near the door, there was a credit/debit card reader, where one could just swipe the card, and have my donations processed” one member said. I also thought; “I often find myself on the road, but want my donations to still be received by the church that I attend. Not wanting to hold several checks or cash until my wife and I actually get back to our church, and not really wanting to send my donations to the treasurer’s home, I am not left with many options.”
In the past 5 years, the option called “Adventist Giving” an option has been growing quietly in the background. At the end of June, 30, 2013, the total giving in the North American Division using “Adventist Giving” on-line option, crossed over $28 million dollars. The Minnesota Conference totals for the same time frame, in which our members used this means of giving, reached $232,029.
When I am on the road and helping conduct various bi-annual reviews of the local church books, and observe which churches currently use “Adventist Giving”, I have come to appreciate this new option in that not only does it give the church member another option to give, but that the accuracy of the church books improves. Tithe envelopes often leave the treasurer guessing as to what the donor wants, even to the point of wondering who the donor is, because of illegible writing on the envelope.
One might ask how the process occurs and what the advantage of this process is. The church my wife and I attend, signed up several years ago, and then put a link on their website. (Any church that doesn’t have a web page can have one set up at no cost, and with very little maintenance, where the general public can see it.) If I want to turn in my tithes and offerings, I just click on the link and sign in. New donors set up a login, password, their address, email address, and the process of whether they want to donate using their checking/savings accounts, or credit card/debit cards. Using the check/savings option only costs $0.16 cents per transaction. Using a credit/debit card, costs about 3% of the total donated. Once the member donates, they have the option of printing off a receipt, or having a receipt emailed to them. General Conference, North American Division, Mid-America Union, Minnesota Conference and local church funds are all able to be processed through this option. Deposits land in the church bank account, and match the reports that the treasurer is able to print off, and enter into the system.
In addition to accuracy of the donations going where the church member wants it to go, another issue is addressed that I hear time and again during audit reviews; anonymity. Church members don’t want their donations known by those who count the offering each Sabbath morning. Using this process, only the treasurer receives the report and enters it into the local church system.
We hope to increasing numbers of churches signing up for “Adventist Giving” and making available this option for their members. Ask your church treasurer if this option has been set up, and where the link is for the local church. If your church doesn’t have this option, ask the treasurer to contact the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to start the process and get the local church signed up. The benefits of using this process, and the ability to know that your donations are not misdirected due to the envelope not being readable, or due to someone being gone, is worthy taking notice of.
Dwayne W Mauk, Associate Treasurer
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