Best Practices

Increase and Stabilize Giving with Online System

Parish

Sacred Heart Church
Roslindale, MA
Archdiocese of Boston
United States

ParishPay is the largest religious donation and tuition payment processor in the country, serving parishes and schools nationally by providing the infrastructure, technology, and support for scheduled online giving.

"We have about 20% of our regular contributors using ParishPay. It keeps growing."

"I think the process of using the automatic deduction makes us think, 'Well, I can do more than that.'‚Δω

Msgr. Francis Kelley Pastor, Sacred Heart Church Roslindale, MA

The need it meets

ParishPay streamlines paperwork, aids in budgeting, and provides parishioners a convenient method for supporting their parishes.

Where it came from

ParishPay began as a simple idea: to empower each parish in America to accept gifts in the same way as secular businesses, providing improved support, technology, marketing tools, and infrastructure.

Stewardship experts have found that people who commit to gifts on a monthly basis (instead of weekly checks in parish envelopes) support their parish with more of their resources.

How it works

The major program processes automatic monthly recurring gifts from parishioners' bank or credit card accounts to a ParishPay-enrolled parish.

Benefits for the parish:

  • Provides consistency and improves cash flow
  • Increases giving by enrolled parishioners from between 60% to 75%
  • Integrates with PDS and other church software
  • Identifies generous and faithful donors
  • Improves electronic communication with parishioners

Recurring monthly gifts are taken on the 5th of the month or the next business day after the 5th when it falls on a weekend or holiday. ParishPay sends out monthly email reminders to parishioners to let them know about the deduction.

ParishPay can handle all of the second and special collections in a parish, as well as help with collecting capital campaign pledges, ticket sales, funds for auctions, school tuition, and many other types of collections.

The sister company of ParishPay, Smart Tuition, handles tuition payments for schools around the country, which may be an added benefit for parishes with schools.

The results

The intial projection of givers expected to change over to ParshPay was 10%. Sacred Heart started with a little less than that, and now after a year they have over 20% of their regular contributors using ParishPay.

After the first year, those who were using the automatic deduction contributed twice as much as they had when they were using the envelopes.

Key elements

  1. The primary requirement is that a parish activate with ParishPay by providing their bank account number, routing number, and a voided check.

  2. These steps can be completed with a downloadable activation form on the website: https://parishpay.com/images/parish_activation_form.pdf

  3. This form and the required information can then be faxed to ParishPay.

ParishPay sends representatives to major metropolitan areas offering free seminars on using their products and they offer online seminars through the company website.

How to implement it

The parish submits account information enabling ParishPay to set up the program for them.

Parishioners go online and link their accounts to the parish in an online bill pay system.

With regards the cost to the parish, updated information can be found on https://parishpay.com

As a trial period, the first three enrollment months are free.

After 3 months, if there are 10 donors or more, the fee is $1.00 and 1.5% from each parishioner's monthly transaction. If there are less than 10 donors, a flat fee of $50 per month is charged to the parish. This charge is usually only a fraction of the projected increase in donations through the monthly giving system.

ParishPay withholds its fee before transferring the donations to the parish.

For tax purposes, the parishioner is still credited with 100% of the donation. Thus, the parish is technically "charged".

There is no minimum number of parishioners required to use this service and no set up fees.

Submitted by Jo Flemings on August 28, 2008.
Rev. Msgr. Francis Kelley is pastor of Sacred Heart Church.

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