Online Giving Conference Call – Part II Q&A
After the call I openend up for some Q&A. Here are the notes: 1) Is online giving directly integrated with the FC website? • Yes, we are completely integrated from website directly to church management; there is no data entry, no middleman, just directly entered into the system • We wanted it to be easy and address any type of tithe, whether it is giving one-time, weekly, monthly, or quarterly and for the users to be able to set up any schedule for any fund as desired-general fund or building fund
2) Church management software is this the same as the checkin system? Is this a proprietary system? • Yes, the same all in one. This handles all of our childrens and volunteers checkin, also handles our HT tracking attendance, contributions, and any activity checkin, all integrated into one system • It is a proprietary system, but this is not software, not run traditionally like Shelby or ACS, 100% web based, no software, no servers • Instead of managing the technology, we just leveraged the internet for this, also our staff and pastors can have all of the information pulled up at their house if need be
3) What would we estimate the uptime to be; would there be time that you would have no access to data? • This is generally a small concern because we were able to save money from a staffing and hardware standpoint, we reallocated some of those funds towards redundant internet connections. We have 3 different types of access, T-1, Wireless, and DSL.
4) Would we recommend having a T1 as opposed to a cable connection? • A dedicated private line (T1) will always be more reliable; however there is a cost of doing business • You have to evaluate the ROM (return on ministry) for your church, each situation is different • We have elected here that the ROM is cost justified for the three methods of redundancy to exist here at FC • Question to ask: How painfully would it be if your system went down?
5) Do you know if FTech provides a server based product? Or do we provide our own servers? Where is the host? • Everything is hosted in their environment, all you need is an internet connection, and you do not need servers • Church size will determine how big the connection will need to be • DSL and even dial up connection is great for 250 and under attendance • However, I would only recommend dial-up for home users
6) Could you please make a distinction between the Ezekiel system for example, and Pay Pal? • Pay Pal just gives you a way to accept funds over the internet, you would still have to build the technical infrastructure around a Pay Pal solution, still build the webpage to give info, how to give, Pay Pal is just the processing agent that allow funds to come from their credit card to your merchant account • Three parties involved with online giving: 1. Processor- person that verifies the card number and that there are funds available on the credit card 2. Aggregator- (middle man) that makes your processor talk to your merchant account 3. Merchant Account- set up with your bank which route funds from processor to middle man to merchant account • Pay Pal is very costly • You can run into challenges with these fees, because you still have to build the infrastructure as well as incur these processing fees • FTech ended up getting us a better deal than we could get with our bank
7) Is Fellowship happy with the solution from Fellowship Technologies? • VERY! The solution is truly a life saver when you look at how it simplifies and makes thing more efficent and effective. I would recommend it to most size churches!