Setting Up Online Giving

ChurchTrac's Online Giving is a powerful tool that enables your church to take donations online and have them automatically added to your Giving Screen.

How to enable Online Giving

To get started with Online Giving, click "Settings", then "Online Giving". To enable online giving, you'll need to create (or connect to an existing) Stripe account. It's easy to do, and we'll walk you through that process.

Online Giving

The first time you visit our Online Giving page, you will be prompted to set up your Stripe account. Make sure you have your church's EIN number as well as the church bank account and routing number where Stripe will deposit your funds. Upon clicking "Setup Your Online Giving Account", you will be taken to Stripe.com to complete the process of setting up your account.

If you already have a Stripe account, click the link on the upper right corner of the page to sign-in with your Stripe credentials instead of creating a new Stripe account.

It should only take a few minutes to create your Stripe account. Once complete, you will be redirected back to the Online Giving Screen in ChurchTrac. Now you'll see the unique link that we have provided for your Online Giving page. You can copy this link and add it to your church website or social media page.

A unique QR code is also provided. Your donors can point the camera on their phone at the QR code, and their phone will take them to your online giving page.  You can display your QR code on a bulletin, poster, or projector screen. 

If you also use our Church Connect feature, you'll notice that you have a QR code for that page as well. Since Church Connect includes Online Giving, you only need to use and share the Church Connect QR code.
online giving

The Online Giving page also has several configuration options that you can provide. We recommend that you add a message that you donors will see when they visit your online giving page. You can also choose whether or not to enable guest donations, or if you will require donors to log in before giving.

We recommend that you require donors to log in before giving. First, when donors log in, it is easier for ChurchTrac to match the donation to the correct person in your database. Additionally, donors who sign in have additional options. Signed in donors can save their credit or debit card for future use, making online giving quicker and easier. Signed in donors also have the option to give using ACH (E-Check) and Text Giving. Logged in donors can also set up recurring donations that automatically charge their credit or bank account on schedule of their choosing.

Using Your Stripe Account

Once you have created your Stripe account, you should bookmark stripe.com and log in on a regular basis. In fact, using Stripe's dashboard is the easiest way to see when deposits are coming into your bank account. If you are a church or ministry in the United States, you can log in to your Stripe account and make sure that ACH is enabled. ACH allows donors to give directly from their checking account, with lower Stripe fees of only 25 cents per donation compared to credit card transaction fees.

Categories used for Online Giving

You can specify which Categories will be displayed as Online Giving options. Go to the Giving Screen and click "Categories" on the toolbar. Each category has an option: "Use for Online Giving?" Select YES to have that category offered as an option for online donors.

Fees for Online Giving

Stripe will subtract 2.9% plus 30 cents for each successful credit or debit card donation that is made (including Text Giving), or a flat 25 cents for each ACH/Checking contribution that is made, to cover their processing fees. ChurchTrac does not charge any additional processing fees, nor do we charge an extra monthly fees or setup fees to use online giving. Stripe offers a discounted processing fee for nonprofit organizations. Go to Online Giving FAQS to learn more.

You should never enter or process cards on behalf of your donors. If a donor reports a transaction as fraudulent or unauthorized to their credit card company, then you will be liable for the full amount, plus a chargeback fee that Stripe imposes (~$15).

Plaid Integration

Plaid is a paid third-party service that allows your ACH donors to quickly verify their bank account ownership. Without Plaid, you can still use ACH, but your ACH donors will need to manually verify their accounts using the micro deposit validation method, which can take several days (after the account is verified, donors can give without any delay).

Keep in mind that Plaid is PAID service. If you choose to use Plaid, you will pay them directly. Please reach out to them directly for pricing.

Once you have created a Plaid account, you must connect it to your Stripe account. While logged in to Plaid, click Team Settings on the toolbar, then click Integrations, then select Stripe and proceed with connecting your two accounts. You'll also need to enter your Plaid keys into ChurchTrac. Your Plaid account should be in 'Development' or 'Production' mode ('Sandbox' is not supported).

Text Giving

Donors can give by simply sending a text message. This option is already built into ChurchTrac's Online Giving platform. Donors can log in to your online giving page, add their phone and credit card, then quickly text the provided number when they want to give.

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