Churches have a lot of choices when it comes to electronic giving. Some work through their local bank. Others choose platforms like Anedot, Vanco, PushPay, or Tithely. Some use whatever is bundled with their website or church management software such as ShairFaith, Planning Center, or FellowshipOne. How do you make a decision?
In the video, I show you how to actually setup and use QuickBooks Online for electronic giving. Below, I evaluate it as an option.
Using just QuickBooks Online, the fees are not great. ACH (bank account to bank account transfer) costs 1%. Credit/Debit Card costs 2.99%. Those rates are on the high side.
QuickBooks Online somehow works with Melio. This is super slick for paying vendors or volunteers electronically with no fees. If you use Melio to receive donations, the ACH fee is 0% but the credit card fee is 2.9%. That 0% is awesome!
The ACH fee is impossible to beat, but the Card fee is average. Put those two together get you to above average. I give it the plus because ACH giving is hopefully the main source of electronic giving.
Ease of Giving
If you create the giving link through Melio, it’s pretty easy to give by Credit/Debit Card. Just about as easy as buying anything online. The one wrinkle is, you have to communicate that an Invoice # needs to be entered. I would instruct members to use this to communicate if their gift is for the General Fund or some other designation.
For ACH giving, the first time a donor gives this way it could be a pain. My bank wasn’t in Melio’s list so it took several days of waiting for Melio to make two small deposits into my bank account and then verifying those amounts. If my bank was in the list, I think I would have just had to basically login with my online banking. This has the potential of being discouraging for the donor.
The two wrinkles that may be enough to cause some donors to give up is that Invoice # which affects all givers and then the difficulty for certain donors with a bank not in Melio’s list.
It isn’t easy. If you setup a Pledge through QuickBooks Online, you miss out on Melio’s 0% ACH rate. A possible solution that may work for churches that don’t have a lot of new donors is this:
- Paper Enrollment: Have folks fill out a paper like the one linked.
- Make a Spreadsheet: I always like when the answer is to create a spreadsheet. If you put all those pledges in a spreadsheet, here’s the format: https://app.meliopayments.com/orgs/2809849/get-paid/new/batch-csv-explain
- Upload File into Melio: In Melio, if you choose New Invoice, you can upload a spreadsheet saved as a CSV file. That should in send out pledge reminder emails to donors. They would then click on a button to pay online.
This is just too much work. Personally, I want my tithe to be paid automatically…just like my water bill and mortgage. I don’t need another thing to remember to do. Once I make that commitment, I don’t want to have to recommit each month by paying through email.
- QuickBooks Online: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/industry/non-profits/
- Melio: https://meliopayments.com/
- TechSoup: https://www.techsoup.org/
- Estimated Giving Card Template: https://jctaccounting.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Estimate_Giving_Card.docx