Life Pointe Church Giving Envelopes

I’m convinced that one of the chief roles a pastor has is to remove barriers for people to grow. The Apostle Paul answered objections pro-actively by presenting the Gospel to God-fearers, helping them take steps to become Christ-followers.

Likewise, when it comes to stewardship, we should remove barriers people have to biblical stewardship. Among answering cultural, theological, and budgetary objection, we also answer logistical objections by providing a giving envelope people can:

  • take home with them and mail in without applying postage and
  • can give using debit/credit card

life pointe church giving envelope outside

This concept isn’t new. But, I think the design is. The design also helped us to eliminate our debit/credit card giving slip by merging it in with our giving envelope.  What other processes is your church involved in that can be recreated/tweaked to improve on their original purpose?

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17 Responses

  1. Travis,
    How does the debit/credit card thing work? They fill in the numbers and how do you process them? Merchant account?

    Also, about what % give check/cash verses the debit/credit?

  2. We use a merchant account. and process them in the office on Monday.

    I would say that right now our credit/debit card giving probably only makes up about 8% of our total number of givers. But, the amount given is higher. About 2 years ago, we added that because I realized that the only check I ever write is to the church.

    We also provide an option for automated giving via a form our people fill out and take into their bank. We haven’t had the greatest adoption with that. But, I think it’s mostly because we haven’t done a great job and introducing it. We have Sunday this summer during our Philippians series where we’ll talk about stewardship and try to be more intentional with that.

  3. This is the disclaimer under the credit card portion of the envelope as well:

    Life Pointe Church discourages the irresponsible use of credit cards. We offer the opportunity to donate by credit card as a convenience to those who manage their finances this way. We encourage you to prayerfully consider your resources before making a credit card donation of any kind.

    For more information on other giving options like automated contributions, please visit the info booth or visit us online at http://www.life-pointe.com.

  4. Thanks for the information Travis. I really like the disclaimer.

  5. Love this idea. This is an idea that we’ve been playing around with, but we haven’t found the perfect solution. I might bring up this idea. Thanks.

  6. if someone gives with their debit card at your church are you guys charged a % still? I know with our service we only charge a flat .85 cents so it does not matter how large the gift. Last year at my local church we found that 90% of the people that gave were debit givers only. So when you run the math on that our church saved massive amounts in processing those gifts.

    At least something to consider… We are moving to cashless society.

  7. Christopher,

    Who do you guys use? I’m not sure what our transaction fees are. But, with our new website, we might be changing our merchant account over as well.

  8. Christopher,

    Now I see that you are with SecureGive. Hook us up. Give us some tips on how to improve that process.

  9. Stevens Creek uses Securegive for the Merchant.

    Two things to consider in the money world. Unfortunately, the church world has not been categorized differently than the business merchant world. I mean who is going to steal your debit card and give to the church. It just isn’t that risky. That seems to be the point of charging a % to a church.

    Now there are two types of Electronic giving in the church world. An online moto account(online giving)is one and the other is using a card present transaction(or kiosk). Every church that has online giving is an Moto transaction. It doesn’t matter if Bill decides to give with his debit card or his credit card the church is still charged a %. Almost all the merchant accounts that churches use to process money are moto transactions as well. I know that we are the only company that has successfully deployed units in the field that are card present.

    The card present transaction (or kiosk like model)is more secure. The merchant world believes if the card is present than the owner is there as well. So when you have a card present gift it is a flat rate. If you have noticed most grocery stores try to make you use your Debit card and put in your pin. Most of the time you have to hit cancel in order to make it a credit card transaction. Ever noticed that? If you hadn’t try it next time.

    Here is something that will make your head shake a little.

    Stevens Creek Church, my church which in 2007 ran about 1000 attendees per Sunday, recieved around 1.6 million in total contributions. Of that 1.6 million, 20% of that money came from electronic giving. Out of that $317k, 75% of that money came from a card present transaction(the kiosk). The church recieved 3 times as many donations on the kiosk than online giving.
    Here is crazy part….if you look at my prevous post 90% of the gifts on kiosk were debit.

    So to anyone that likes to save money and is good with math and is looking to save on processing. Take last months total contributions received on your online giving URL. I would bet 90% of those were debit gifts and you were charged a %. Imagine if you didn’t have to pay that %. If your church received 3 times as many gifts on a unit in your church and you babied that thing you would be very happy.

    Now at this time we cant help the online moto account. But to help you in the future don’t buy a moto transaction but a card present transaction.

    If anyone would like more statistics or would like to see some reports, I would be happy to send them to you. Let me know and hopefully this was helpful.

  10. We just started using these envelopes last Sunday. We got our first envelope in the mail from a family that wasn’t in church this past Sunday. It was a significant offering that probably wouldn’t have been given. And, it was mailed in without referencing the envelope in anyway. We just put them in the worship guides and that was it. So, that was kind of cool to see.

  11. Thanks for sharing this info Trav. At Daystar we are working on a similar giving envelope, but we will only be allowing giving through debit cards…I think. We teach a Financial Peace University class that basically calls for you to cut up all credit cards and only use a debit card. So, I think it may be a bit disingenuous to teach against credit cards and then accept them. As you know, any time you do anything with money it’s under a microscope. So we’re just trying to decide what is the best thing for this change.

  12. We have people who spend $10,000+ per month on credit cards, including tithe and offering and pay them off monthly so they can earn points. I’m not going to fight that.

    If I was in Cullman, I might have a very different opinion.

  13. Jerry, (or anyone else)

    Do you guys send out giving envelopes quarterly/annually to your database? If so, how is that received?

  14. We have not sent out giving envelopes quarterly, however, we do send out a pretty aggressive “thank you” letter with giving report included. It serves as both a “thank you” and a subtle reminder to be faithful in giving.

    For the past 2 years we have been looking really closely at the way we promote giving at Daystar. We are in a $5M building project and a $1M fundraising campaign (2 year commitments). One thing I have learned is that you don’t really know people until you get up-close and personal about their money. Watch out!

  15. Jerry…we have churches that only have the debit option on their kiosk.

    CHR

  16. Giving envelopes:

    Where do you get them printed. I might want some for our church!

    Steve

  17. We get ours printed out of LithoArt in Miami.

    http://www.printnmore.com/print.html

    Ask for Eddie.

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