When an offering plate can’t be passed, we need other ways to receive tithes and offerings. While mailed checks can work, on-line giving is even better. Many churches already provide ways to give online. Others are new to this way of giving and still rely mostly on passing an offering plate and mailed checks.
Recognizing the critical importance of providing for online donations, the Conference has created a portal on its website where contributions can be made to any West Ohio United Methodist Church. Click on the church donation link at westohioumc.org and follow the prompts. The Conference will accumulate contributions and forward them at the beginning of each month via ACH to churches that received them. If online giving is new to your church, this will be a good way to start your journey toward an online giving program of your own. The questions and answers below will help you take advantage of this giving option.
Questions & Answers
- Q: When is this giving option available?
A: It’s available now through the Donation link on the Conference website at westohioumc.org.
- Q: What does my church need to do to get started with online giving through the Conference?
A: There are two steps to receiving donations in this way:
- Q: When will my church receive online donations given in this way?
A: At the beginning of each month, the Conference will deposit prior month contributions to your bank account via ACH. The conference will not be writing and mailing checks for this program.
- Q: How much does this program cost?
A: The program is free to local churches with the donated amounts being forwarded in full to the church. Donors will be asked if they wish to contribute $2.50 on top of their church donation toward transaction fees incurred by the Conference. If they do, the conference will retain the $2.50 to offset Conference expenses. If they elect not to, your church will still receive the full amount of the donation with the Conference paying transaction costs.
- Q: How will gift acknowledgement work?
A: Donors will immediately receive an email thanking them and acknowledging their gift. This email, which is the only communication from the conference donors will receive, includes all information needed to report the gift as a charitable contribution for IRS purposes.
- Q: What notice will churches get when donations are made?
A: At the time of the contribution, an email will be automatically generated to the lead pastor of the church, the treasurer and the church financial secretary. The message will indicate the donor’s name and amount and remind the church that the gift acknowledgment for IRS charitable giving purposes has been provided by the Conference. Please contact your district office to confirm correct email addresses for these roles.
- Q: How should donations made this way be recorded on individual giving records?
A: You may show the gift as given “on behalf of” the donor. You may not report it as a charitable contribution for IRS purposes since in this case it is made to the Conference initially.
- Q: Can a donor make a gift recurring?
A: Yes, recurring gifts can be made weekly or monthly.
- Q: What restrictions or designations can donors to local churches establish with gifts through the Conference?
A: All local church contributions will be passed through to the church without designations or restrictions. Donors should contact their church if their gift is for anything other operating fund support or otherwise is for a specific purpose.