Online Donations

What are online donations?

An online donation is a donation that an individual can make using the internet. It is a digital form directly embedded into a parish’s website. In a few minutes or less, anyone can set-up paperless planned monthly donations or make a one-time donation to your parish.  In most cases, after an online donation is made, a tax receipt is immediately generated and emailed to the donor. If your parish has a website, it is highly recommended that you offer this service. Some online donation platforms will even automatically deposit donation funds directly to your parish’s bank account. Please note, however, that online donations are different from direct withdrawals and e-transfers.

Why should we use online donations?

In our digital age, it is vital that parishes incorporate online donations into their websites as part of their overall planned giving strategy and to make it easy for more people to donate. Here are some statistics to keep in mind when considering what donations methods will work for your parish:

  • Over 58% of Americans surveyed will stop using physical cash after the COVID-19 pandemic, with millennials and generations z most likely to not carry cash anymore.
  • Having an online donation option on your website and/or social media and livestream platforms provides a straightforward and easy way for people outside your immediate community, even those from around the world, to support your parish mission.
  • In 2020, according to Canada Helps (an online donation platform), all offline donation methods decreased while online donations more than doubled in usage. 

How do I set it up?

There are various online donation providers. You will need to work with a provider to prove your parish exists, provide proof you are a registered charity, and provide a bank account where funds can be deposited. Each provider is slightly different, but you should expect the process to take between a few hours and one week to set up. 

What are the costs? 

If you have owned a business, you know credit card services can be costly due to initial setup and ongoing usage fees. Online donations function as a simpler and less expensive method where people can donate using their credit card. All online donation providers vary slightly in cost and many often have additional features.

What if my parish doesn’t have a website?

If your parish doesn’t have a website but has parishioners interested in making a donation to your parish online, the Eparchy of Edmonton’s website’s donation page can be used here. The donor simply adds the name of the parish they wish to donate to and the Eparchy will forward their donation to that parish. Interested parishioners can be encouraged to use this as a donation method. 

Dormition Parish: Canada Helps 

Dormition Parish in Edmonton embedded the Canada Helps platform directly onto their website. View their donation page here. Dormition Parish chose this platform because:

  • Setup of this payment gateway is done through the Eparchy.
  • Parishioners can set-up monthly donations where a predetermined amount is automatically charged to their credit card each month.
  • Fees charged to the parish are nominal: 3.75% for one-time donations and 3.5% for ongoing monthly donations.
  • Parishioners can choose to cover transaction fees themselves.
  • Canada Helps has the ability to create an event page where tickets for events can be purchased online.
  • Tax receipts are automatically generated and emailed to the donor.

    St. Josaphat Cathedral and The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish: Tithely

    St. Josaphat Cathedral was the first parish in the Eparchy to implement online donations and with great success. Both St. Josaphat Cathedral and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish use Tithely to support their online donations. To view St. Josaphat Cathedral’s donations page click here. To view Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish’s donation page click here. The main reasons these parishes chose this platform are:

    • Tithely provides the ability for parishioners to set-up monthly donations.
    • Fees charged to the parish are nominal: 2.9% fee per transaction plus and additional $0.30 fee per donation.
    • Parishioners can choose to cover transaction fees themselves.
    • Funds are directly deposited into parish bank account.
    • Tax receipts are automatically generated and emailed to the donor.

    What is your parish doing for online donations?

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