GIVING: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1. What are the options for giving to the church?
As a supplement to the “tried- and true” use of cash, checks and stock donations, the church is introducing online giving. Options of online giving include using the “Bill Pay” option available at your personal bank, scheduled deductions from your checking or savings account, transfers via PayPal and Venmo, or periodic charges to your credit or debit card.
2. Why offer online giving?
Physical cash and checks will be a choice for giving for many years to come. The church is in no way discouraging this, and will continue to accept such gifts during our worship services’ regular offerings. But today a growing number of people have become very comfortable and even dependent upon online financial alternatives. There are many other benefits to both you and the church, including:
- Ease of contributing when you are not at church.
- Helps the church better match its cash flow with its expenses throughout the year.
- It costs you NOTHING extra.
- You select the timing of payment to meet your cash management needs.
- No need to remember envelopes and checks/cash for offertory each Sunday.
- Peace of mind knowing that the church is receiving your contribution even if you are unable to attend.
- Make payments for other specific church programs such as mission trips or Good Samaritan.
- All contributions are recorded for you in your confidential account, on your bank or credit card statement with date of settlement, and on your quarterly statement from the church.
- Ability to view your contributions history online.
3. Does the church prefer any one of the online options?
Using your bank’s bill pay option results in no transaction costs to you or the church, meaning that 100% of your donation is used for the church’s ministry. This bank option allows you to make one-time payments, schedule periodic and recurring withdrawals from your account, and adjust your giving how and when you desire. Check with your bank to learn how to benefit from this useful and handy feature. Simply indicate First Presbyterian Church, Hickory as your payee and use the following address: 237 2nd Street NW, Hickory, NC 28601. The church’s second choice is transfers that are set up to withdraw funds from your checking or saving account, which result in only minor cost to the church. The option which costs the church the most are credit and debit cards, as detailed in the response to the next question.
4. I’ve heard that credit card companies will charge the church for my using a credit or debit card. Is this true?
Yes, credit card fees will reduce the amount that the church will receive (though you will get credit for the full contribution) by approximately 3% plus a fixed fee per transaction; debit cards charge about ½ that amount. Of the three major credit cards, Mastercard charges the least, VISA slightly more, and American Express the most. Because of the fixed fees per transaction, the church asks that you not use credit cards for charges of less than $10.
5. If the Bible discourages debt, why does the church accept credit cards?
Many people use credit cards in place of paper checks or cash throughout the month, and then pay off their balances in full, thereby incurring no interest costs. Many of these credit cards amass cash rewards, travel points or the like, providing a benefit to the user. For these users, we offer the option of using a credit card. However, for those who don’t pay off their credit cards in full each month, we strongly discourage using credit cards to donate to First Presbyterian Church.
6. Will I be able to make payments to the church for reasons other than fulfilling my annual pledge, such as special benevolences, mission trips, etc.?
Yes, a list of other funds which can receive online donations will be available on the web site for you to choose. The following payments/donations are not listed: payments/donations that are NOT tax-deductible, payments for items being purchased, and infrequent/non-recurring collections. Please CONTACT US with questions and assistance in submitting these types of payment
7. How do I sign up for online giving?
Church members should follow the directions on the DONATE NOW page. Following registration, you will receive a confirmation of registration by email, and provided a user name which you may use in place of your email address. You will also receive an email receipt for your donation. Non-church members wishing to set up an account with the church for possible repetitive giving or access to their giving records should follow the directions on the DONATE NOW page to create an account.
8. How do I donate a memorial gift to the church as suggested in an obituary?
Follow the directions on the MAKE A PAYMENT page found under the Give menu at the top of this page.
9. Is online giving secure and confidential?
The company providing the payment processing is a PCI Level 1 compliant service provider, adhering to a rigorous set of security standards. All payment information is routed to our existing church information system, with the information available only to persons with current access to giving records.
10. How do I keep track of my donations?
If you use your bank’s Bill Pay, records are maintained within your bill pay account and other bank records. If you use online giving for deductions from your checking account or charges to your credit or debit card, you will receive an email receipt for each donation. You may view a history of your contributions online in your online giving account, and transactions will be included in your bank or credit card statement. In addition, the church will continue to distribute quarterly statements of your donations.
11. What if I want to change any of this information, or even cancel my online giving?
Log in to your account and update or delete the information provided.
12. What if I have a question and want to contact a person?
Feel free to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.