A few words about online giving and how it’s done

A new opportunity for giving is now available at First Congregational United Church of Christ of Sarasota! It is called Online Giving. It is a new and simple way to prioritize and expedite your personal plan for giving. First Congregational uses PayPal to process credit card, debit card, and direct withdrawal donations and payments. PayPal handles all of the security necessary for processing the transaction and then transfers the money into the church bank account. Giving online through PayPal is fast and secure and you don’t even need to have a PayPal account to use the service to make single, one-time donations. If you don’t have an account, once you enter your amount and donation details and are transferred to PayPal. Click on “Pay with a debit or credit card, or Bill Me Later” at the bottom of the right-hand column. Simply enter your credit/debit card information in the column on the right and then follow the instructions. If you already have an account, simply log in as usual. Don’t forget to designate your gift by typing the designation in the box labeled “*This gift is for:”

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Online Giving FAQs

Q. What is PayPal?

A. PayPal is an online service for businesses and non-profits to accept payments/donations online. It’s a widely used and safe way for people to send money on the Internet.

Q. Do I need a PayPal account to donate?

A. No — You can simply enter your payment information on PayPal’s secure website and the donation will be sent as a one-time gift to the church.

Q. How does the church get the money I send?

A. After you complete the payment information steps at PayPal, the funds are immediately deposited in the church’s online PayPal account. The bookkeeper will then transfer your donation to the church’s bank account.

Q. Are there any fees or costs to give online?

A. Not to you. The full amount that you choose to donate goes to First Congregational United Church of Christ and is considered a tax-deductible gift. There is a small fee to the church for the processing of credit and debit cards.

Q. Is my information safe and confidential?

A. Yes — Online giving is actually less risky than handwritten checks. An online transaction cannot be lost, stolen, or destroyed. PayPal automatically encrypts your confidential information using the Secure Sockets Layer protocol (SSL) with an encryption key length of 128-bits (the highest level commercially available). When you give through PayPal, the church does NOT see private information like your debit card or bank account number.

Q. How do I know my donation made it to the church?

A. You will receive a confirmation email immediately after you complete your donation. You can keep the email as a receipt for tax purposes.

Q. How is my contribution documented?

A. The bookkeeper is the only person who will receive an email notice each time a contribution is made online. Using the address information you provide, your contribution will be recorded for the church records. Your online giving will also be added to your year-end contribution statement.

Q. Can I designate how my donation is used?

A. Yes — You can specify … If you’d like to designate your donation for the building fund or benevolence, please use the “This gift is for” box. The bookkeeper will see the note on the confirmation email sent to the church and your donation will be allocated to the specified account.

Q. Why do you ask me for my address and other information?

A. This information is needed to confirm that your debit, credit, or bank information belongs to you. It also is the information that the church needs to make sure that your year-end contribution statement is mailed to you for tax purposes. This information is collected by the church and is not shared with PayPal.

Q. Can I use a credit card to give online?

A. When using the online giving system through PayPal, you are asked to enter your credit card information. The use of a DEBIT card attached to a checking account instead of the use of credit cards is strongly advised. If you choose to give with a credit card, we encourage you to remain financially responsible by not accruing any debt and by paying off your credit card statement on a monthly basis.

Other questions?  Contact the church office directly for help.

Ready to give?