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“To cover fees, or not cover fees, that is the question.”
While Shakespeare never debated the benefit of giver-covered fees, it is a debate in churches. And for good reason.
Before we look at the “why” behind giver-covered fees, let’s break down the “what.”
What’s a processing fee?
A processing fee is an amount it costs to process or facilitate a gift. Processing fees apply to credit/debit transactions and ACH transactions—they just work a little differently.
For credit and debit cards, a processing fee is the amount charged by the credit card company that issued the card. Most card processing fees are around 3% plus a small fixed amount for each gift (For example, Faithlife Giving’s premium rate is 2.49% plus 30 cents).
For ACH transactions, a processing fee is usually a smaller percentage with a fixed amount. (Faithlife Giving’s premium ACH transaction fee is 1.0% plus 30 cents per gift.)
Every time you swipe a card or make an ACH payment—even when you’re buying groceries— someone is paying a processing fee to your bank or card issuer (Visa, Mastercard, etc.).
The question here is this: should a church pay the processing fee for online gifts, or should they make it optional for a giver to cover the fee as part of their gift?
2 views on gift processing fees
Theologically, churches vary greatly on giving. Because of that, there are multiple positions on questions like whether to cover fees or not.
While churches don’t follow a set of cookie-cutter philosophies, we can still talk about the two main camps churches fall into when it comes to allowing people to cover their own gift processing fees.
- Churches should make giving as easy as possible.
(That means to stop giving people too many options.)
- Churches have a moral obligation to keep 100% of gifts in house.
(That means direct opposition to processing fees.)
No matter where you fall in the discussion, Faithlife Giving could be a great fit for your church. That’s because our goal is not to tell you how your church should give but provide you with a giving platform that supports your goals and mission.
That’s where one of our customers’ favorite features comes in.
What’s a giver-covered fee?
If your church is using Faithlife Giving, you have the ability to enable givers to cover processing fees. This means that your regular givers can increase their gifts to the same amount that the church would pay including the fees. In simpler terms: your church gets 100% of what your giver intended you to receive. (Side note: the entire gift, even the portion covering the fees, is tax-deductible.)
It’s fun to see how giver-covered fees are working out for churches using Faithlife Giving:
- Over 70% of customers with Faithlife Giving have giver-covered fees enabled
- Nearly 30% of customers had 100% of their fees covered by givers
For our customers who made it optional for givers to cover fees, givers choose to pay them 60% of the time.
What makes Faithlife Giving different?
Faithlife Giving allows givers to pay the processing fees in addition to their gift amount ensuring your church receives the full gift amount.
Or you can choose to cover the fees as a church. Either way, Faithlife Giving gives you peace of mind, so you can focus on serving people.
Learn how Faithlife Giving makes giving an enjoyable, painless experience for your church.
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