E-Giving – Frequently Asked Questions
Q – What is e-giving?
A – E-giving is short for electronic giving. It is an automatic transfer program which allows you to make electronic contributions and reoccurring donations without writing checks.
Q – What are the advantages of e-giving?
A – It is easy to use! It is accessible 24/7 365 days a year worldwide! It saves time and work! It simplifies your life! Helps you to be intentional in your giving plan! You also help the church stabilize its cash flow.
Q – Is electronic giving safe?
A – Electronic giving is less risky than check contribution. It cannot be lost, stolen or destroyed in the mail. You may choose in your profile to turn off account number save. With this option, you will have to enter your account number each time a transaction is made, but either way it will never automatically show on the page. VLC uses an electronic funds transfer service that runs through a secure server that uses state-of-the-art security and fraud prevention systems to protect your transactions and information. Your bank or card account information is not shared with the church or any vendor.
Q – How is my electronic contribution automatically deducted from my account?
A – You may log onto the church’s e-giving site, and give via credit or debit card, or read the agreement and check the box for ACH transactions to make donations via your checking or savings account (like on-line bill payments). Once you authorize the transfer, your specified contributions can be taken out one time, or on a regular basis as you choose. The contribution is transferred directly from your checking or savings account to the church’s account.
Q – When will my contribution be deducted from my account?
A – Within 24 hours for credit and debit card transactions; 72 hours for ach (checking or savings account donations). If you choose to give on a regular monthly basis automatically, you can designate when the donation should be processed.
Q- Can I put amounts in different funds and special offerings, and have them all withdrawn from my account at different frequencies?
A- You can set up to contribute to different funds at different frequencies; However, you will have to do each one separately. Each transaction can have a different frequency and funds. When you have completed giving to the fund(s) for a certain frequency, simply go back in to complete another. You will receive separate receipts for each transaction.
Q- What do I use when I do my taxes? Will I get a statement of everything I gave online?
A- You will receive a statement from the church with all your donation information (online and in person), however, you may print out a statement from the e-giving site for all transactions that were made online through e-giving, using the time period you designate. This can also be used for tax purposes.
Q- Can I look up all my donations online, even those that I gave while at church?
A- No. The only transactions you can view online are the ones that were completed online. Please contact the church bookkeeper for interim statements or questions regarding your giving account.
Q- What do I do if I forget my username or password?
A- If you forget your password, click on the “forgot password” link. You can then enter your username, and your password will be emailed to the email address you registered with. If you have forgotten your username, click on the appropriate link. This will bring up an email message that goes straight to your organization. Let them know you have forgotten your username, and give them information with which to identify you with. You will receive an emailed message back with your username, or, a request for more information in order to verify your identity. Please allow 2 business days for username retrieval.
Q – If I do not write checks, how do I keep my checkbook balance straight?
A – You may either make a notation in your check register at the time of the transaction, or you can make the notation at the time that an email is sent to you acknowledging your contribution. If you choose to contribute at regular automatic intervals, you can easily make the notations for the the entire length of time that you are contributing all at once particularly if you utilize a computer/web app to maintain your account register. Your bank or card statement will also include an itemized list of transactions that will include your online giving.
Q- What can I use to put into the collection basket when it comes around to me?
A- If that is a concern, you may print out your acknowledgement page or the email that you receive when your transaction is processed. You will see that the information is inside an envelope shape…this is to make it easy for you to cut it out and put it in the collection plate but this step is not necessary for the church to properly record your giving.
Q – Without a cancelled check, how can I prove I made my contribution?
A – You have the option of printing or saving either the payment acknowledgement page, or the emailed acknowledgements. In addition, your credit card or bank statement shows an itemized list of electronic transfers. The annual church giving statement is also proof of your donation. Any of these can be used for your tax preparation.
Q – What if I change bank accounts, or get a new credit or debit card?
A – Update the information at the e-giving site under the section “member profile”. If you have set up recurring transactions and you do not update your account information, you may be deactivated until you update your info. This is to prevent your account from being declined over and over.
Q – How much does electronic giving cost?
A – It costs you nothing and saves you time. The church pays nominal transaction fees…the lowest available. Credit and Debit cards cost the organization more than savings or checking account transfers. Because of this, you may choose to give by your bank account to save on additional costs to the church.
Q – What if I try it and don’t like it?
A – You can cancel your automatic deductions anytime via the e-giving website.
Q – What if I only want to give on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis?
A – You can choose these frequencies on your own when completing your e-giving donation. You also have the option to have your automatic deductions run for only a certain period of time.
Q- The computer won’t let me make my donation by using my bank account….the only option is for credit or debit cards.
A- Go back to the main menu, and choose “View the Authorization Agreement”. Read the agreement and check the box to agree. Once that is done, you will have access to the bank ach donation area. You may need to log out and log back in for this to take effect.
Q- How can I set up my E-Giving profile and make a donation to VLC?
A- Click the large green box below that says “Give Online” to get started.