Frequently asked questions regarding church finances during this period.
Latest Insights from Glenmede
Recording of March 25 Webinar, “Policy Solutions, Election and Markets”
Washington policy analyst Daniel Clifton and Glenmede’s Thom Melcher discuss policy solutions for the pandemic and implications for the 2020 election and financial markets.
Although the economic outlook remains uncertain, baseline forecasts show the U.S. economy is likely to avoid a deep recession. . . .
At this time, we are seeing a public health crisis caused by a pandemic — not a financial crisis threatening the economy’s foundations. As a result, we expect the effects should be transitory with an economic and market recovery starting in the third or fourth quarter. History shows that in times like these it remains prudent to stay the course and ride out the volatility, so when markets do recover investors begin to recover what was lost.
—Adam Conish, CFA | Managing Director Endowments and Foundations | Glenmede
Yes, with the understanding that as much of this work as can be done electronically is being done offsite. Phyllis, Tanya, and Manny will continue processing financial transactions and providing reports as usual.
Yes, that process remains unchanged. Please contact Tanya Rainey as usual via email to process withdrawal requests, being sure to include documentation showing vestry/mission committee authorization for the withdrawal, also as usual.
Electronic/online giving has long been recommended as an effective way to sustain smoother cash flow and make it easier for your pledgers and regular givers to maintain steady giving even when they can’t attend church. Now is an opportune time to establish and promote your capacity to accept electronic and/or online donations for the long-term, not just as a short-term measure. And while there are always fees associated with online giving, consider also the money you leave on the table when you don’t accept eGiving in today’s culture. Here are some recommendations:
- Congregation members can go online or by phone to their banks to set up recurring payments to your church by check or by direct transfer if you give them your bank account information.
- PayPal is a simple payment processing company. Accounts are simple to set up and use, and will allow you to accept e-checks as well as credit card payments. Credit/debit card payment processing fees for charitable organizations are currently 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction.
- Vanco Payment Solutions is an excellent and highly recommended resource for comprehensive eGiving solutions – especially for churches. They are the vendor we use for diocesan purposes and can handle all types of electronic transactions from website donation campaigns to mobile app donations to text donations and more. Their “Start” plan has a monthly fee of $10, and credit/debit card payment processing fees are currently 2.75% + $0.45 per transaction. View the March 25, 2020 Webinar Vanco presented to the Diocese of New Jersey.
There are any number of other eGiving solution apps out there – Fundly, Qgiv, FirstGiving, DonateNow, etc. Most have very similar features but widely varying price structures. The two solutions listed above are among the most competitive and secure. There are also many digital wallets out there to facilitate electronic payments – Venmo, Zelle, AmazonPay, GooglePay, ApplePay, etc. Great care should be taken with security should you decide to set up an account with any of these apps, which typically charge around 3% to process credit card transactions.
Certainly anyone working under a Letter of Agreement or an employment contract should continue to be paid in accordance with the terms of their agreement. Moreover, the behind-the-scenes aspects of what your staff does may very well become increasingly important. They may be coping with schedule changes, increased communications, creative adaptations to worship, formation and outreach, and dealing with more rigorous building cleaning requirements. Pastoral care and spiritual support of your congregation during this period of time may also be more demanding. They are a critical investment in the long-term continuity of your ministry.
Contact Canon Phyllis Jones immediately to discuss options for relief and/or temporary support.
We will certainly understand if your monthly Marks of Mission Giving payment needs to be delayed due to the short-term financial impact of the suspension of public worship and public gatherings in your buildings. As we get nearer to year-end, if you determine that the overall impact has been severe enough to impair your ability to fulfill your pledge, please contact Canon Phyllis Jones to discuss your situation.