- Introduction: Online Giving Methods
- Who can donate online?
- Set up online giving
- How can people give?
- Editing Amounts or Canceling Recurring Giving
Online Giving is a paid feature.
Introduction: Online Giving Methods
By enabling online giving, your members can easily contribute to your church online, using a link you can easily share. There are three methods through which this can be achieved:
- Via PayPal.
- By Integrating a Stripe account, for credit card contributions.
- Using any other external payment provider and adding a custom donation link within ChMeetings.
Who can donate online?
Everyone can donate using your ChMeetings giving link, regardless of whether they are a member of your church (with a ChMeetings account) or not. Moreover, guests who donate can easily be registered to ChMeetings via your Contributions area. Here are some additional details.
Set up online giving
Enable online giving
To enable Online Giving, please start by going to: Contribution > Online Giving. Next, turn on the toggle to enable the feature.
Configure your payment provider
Online giving (one-time or recurring) is available through PayPal and Stripe. You can configure your payment provider by clicking Configure.
Next, choose your payment provider.
- If you select PayPal, please enter your PayPal email and click Integrate.
- If you would like to use Stripe, please select it and click Integrate. You will be taken to Stripe’s login screen where you must connect to your account.
Note: You can disconnect from your payment provider anytime, by clicking the Disconnect button and confirming your choice.
Select a fund
The funds you select will be displayed to members when they give via your ChMeetings giving link, so that they can select where their donation should go.
Optionally, you can customize your online giving link to allow people to contribute to a specific fund directly. Just copy the link or use the QR code to direct people to the fund you want to collect donations for.
Ask contributors to cover the fees
You can ask donors to cover the processing fees, by turning on the toggle. You can either select:
- A percentage out of the total donation (less or equal to the fees you pay to the payment provider);
- An amount, less or equal to the minimum processing fee.
Add a comments box to the donation page
If you use Stripe as the payment processor, you can choose whether to add a Comments box to your donation page. This allows contributors to provide any additional information relevant to the transaction.
Customize the thank you message
This is the message that donors will see after they contribute. Be sure to let them know how their donation contributes to your church and thank them for their generosity.
Customize the email receipt
Here is where you can customize the email that goes out to your donors, confirming receipt.
Please enter an email from which this message should be sent, then customize the message template.
You can add merge fields to your template, from the Add to Email list:
- Place your cursor in the position where you would like to add the field.
- Select the desired field from the Add to Email list.
- Click the 🕀 sign to enter the field into your email body.
Merge fields will retrieve specific information from within the member’s profile or the donation payment transaction, and add it to the email text when it is sent out. The information will be personalized to each person automatically, so there is no need to change the template when user data is modified.
Click Save Settings when you have finished setting up online giving.
All one-time or recurring payments will be available for church admins to manage under Contributions > Online Giving, under the Payments or Recurring tab, respectively. Amounts are displayed as gross.
How can people give?
Giving using your ChMeetings giving link (one time & recurring)
People can give in their own name or on behalf of an organization via your direct giving link, found within your ChMeetings online giving area. Simply copy it or click the QR code icon to generate a QR code that points to your link. Share it with everyone to start collecting contributions.
Once you have configured online giving, members will have the option to either contribute once or recurringly. They can do so by:
- going to your ChMeetings giving link, selecting the amount and the fund,
- choosing whether they want to contribute recurringly,
- selecting the frequency of their contribution, if recurring.
Anyone can donate via PayPal, Credit Card, or ACH bank transfer via your ChMeetings giving link. ACH is only available in the USA.
Members accessing ChMeetings can manage their payment methods under Settings > Payment Methods.
To enable ACH payments you must be based in the United States and own a Stripe account. There are only three steps to follow:
- Enable ACH in your Stripe account first.
- Enable ACH in ChMettings under Contributions > Online Giving > Giving Settings > Payment Methods.
- Configure whether you want to ask contributors to cover your ACH transaction fees. Simply add a percentage to do so (less or equal to the transaction fee).
Stripe ACH payments cost 0.80%, capped at $5, with no monthly or verification fees. So, a $100 payment incurs a $0.80 fee; any payments above $625 cost $5.
Read more on the Stripe Blog.
ACH verification for contributors
Contributors can instantly verify their bank details when choosing to contribute via ACH. However, in some cases, they might want to manually verify their bank accounts using micro-deposits. They can choose how to verify their transaction while configuring it. Verification data is exchanged between the ChMeetings API and Stripe. Payment security is ensured by Stripe as well.
Below are details about each verification scenario: instant and manual:
Instant verification allows contributors to complete their transactions within the session they have submitted their details. Contributors can log into their online banking accounts to verify the ACH transaction. The donation will only be charged after verification; no further steps are required. If the transaction is recurring, the contributor’s bank account will be debited according to their chosen frequency. The verification process occurs between Stripe and the contributor’s bank.
Instant verification is enabled by default and is the simplest process for your members to contribute online via ACH. However, anyone can verify manually if they choose to do so.
If choosing manual verification, contributors must manually enter their bank account details and wait for their bank to verify the transaction. This is a required security measure to ensure that the account owner is initiating the donation. This process incurs two deposit transactions that will be performed and then canceled, amounting to a maximum of $1.
To verify their ACH transaction, contributors must perform the following:
- Fill out their details on your ChMeetings giving link and check their email. An automatic message will inform them that they must verify their bank account.
- Check the bank account within one or two days of receiving the email. Contributors should find two small deposits totaling less than $1. They must take note of the two deposit amounts and keep in mind that their account balance will increase by the total deposited amount.
- The email guides contributors to your ChMeetings giving page to enter the two deposited amounts once completed. When these are validated, their account will be verified and ready to finalize the transaction.
- Stripe will cancel the two small deposits a few days later. This means the contributors’ bank account balance will decrease by the initial deposit amount.
Member Access to ACH Information
If you have enabled the Member Portal in ChMeetings, ACH details can be verified from within the members’ account under Settings > Payment Methods.
See the Stripe ACH Guide and the Stripe Guide on Accepting ACH Direct Debit Payments to learn more about setting up and working with ACH using Stripe.
Giving using your custom donation link
If you are not using PayPal or Stripe, or you simply prefer not to integrate with a payment provider, you can also add a custom donation link to ChMeetings.
- Go to Member Portal.
- Under Important Links, enter your Custom Donation Link.
- Click Save Settings.
You can share this link with everyone to collect donations. If you have added it to the Important Links section, it will also create a Donate button on your members’ dashboard. Members will see it every time they log into their ChMeetings account.
Editing Amounts or Canceling Recurring Giving
Members with access to ChMeetings who have chosen to donate online, on a recurring basis, can edit or cancel their transactions from within My Giving > Recurring.
To edit the amount to be charged next time, or to cancel the recurring transaction, members must click the Options button on any transaction, then select one of the available options.
If you use Stripe as a payment gateway, you can refund online giving transactions.
You can do so using the Refund option within the Options menu corresponding to the transaction.
ChMeetings lists contributions as gross amounts.
Do you have questions?
Please contact our support team if you have any questions about how to implement online giving for your church using ChMeetings.