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Online Giving Conference Call – Part I

Some time ago I held a Fellowship Connection conference call about online giving. Here are the notes. FC History Started in ’97 with ACH Debit Processing -FC ran this system for about two years True online giving launched with our new website, in 1999 -Giving grew at constant rate, it was well received Security Issues -Growth lead to challenges: security issues, using the correct resources -Fortunately we were not hacked or exposed at this time, but we were able to see various security flaws Growth lead to staffing -Growth hit heavily which lead to staffing problems, our online giving system existed on the internet, and did not integrate to our contributions system or GL system -Added staff in finance department to work effectively between the two -Adding administrative staff is not typical of FC, and this solution was ultimately not something we wanted to do, even to help grow online giving -We wanted to integrate the systems, which is why we moved to this new system (Fellowship Technologies)

Why Online Giving? Some of key points that are important to FC: Easy Management for Users/Givers -ACH was good, but people wouldn’t adapt well because they couldn’t edit or change their own giving without manually calling the church and the bank -With the new system, they can now change their tithe anytime, which is important to us that they have these options at any time Easy for people to become consistent givers (scheduled tithe) -We are reaching more and more non-believers/new believers – the user friendly system that we have now helps us to teach them to become consistent givers -Results=23% of our budget is given online, and this number is growing every month -40% of these online tithes are scheduled, this number is also growing every month

Questions about Online Giving The question of processing/transaction fees for credit cards -At FC this is a non-issue, we have found that budget over compensates these fees -Fellowship Technologies has negotiated our rates to a very low price The question of online giving possibly promoting people to go into debt? -We believe that tithing is a personal responsibility, we do not encourage anyone to go into debt -FC is a very non-traditional church, we do not have some of the challenges that other churches may have

Key Areas to Focus on Security and Consumer Confidence Take security as a top priority, you may even choose to partner with an organization that can help look at problems -The last thing you want is to make it online giving available and then encountering identity theft, they will possibly stop giving completely if they cannot trust the system Administration to Ministry -FC recommends integration if possible, having the contributions system as a part of the church management system is key for future growth and success -If you intend to create this internally from tech dept – avoid anything that will create islands, these will prove to be: -Costly -Inefficient Promotion of Online Giving -Promotion will influence success rate, promoting it in your current infrastructure is the best route -Membership/Discipleship Newcomers Class, make the information readily accessible, creating forms, informing them -All of our assimilation classes talk about giving as a member, inform of the ways they can give, promote online giving -Our “E2” Discipleship class is solely dedicated to Tithing, what it means to give, biblically discussing tithing, show them how to give, etc -We talk about it in the service, but do not say “how” from the stage, we direct them to the Information Kiosk to get forms or more information -Start with committed core, then it will spread to give on consistent basis -Online giving is great during summer when families go on vacation and may forget - use scheduling Make it as easy as possible for users

How? 3 ways to do it:

“Do-it-yourself” internally develop this system – Hire a developer, this is my last recommendation: they may not be able to integrate it in your church management system, or they may not have the skill set to do it well

Utilize a company like Ezekiel, which specializes in online giving that is web-based, this however will not be integrated with church management system, the challenge is that it is not connected

Fellowship One – this system allows you to have all of the pieces totally integrated and highest security, highly recommended -We built this system in house, with one component of the church management system being online giving, now formed as Fellowship Technologies

Contact Information: Fellowship Technologies Jeff Hook, president and CEO best via email 214-668-9807