Online Giving FAQs

Here are our most common questions and answers regarding ChurchTrac Online Giving:

What is Stripe?

Stripe is a third-party company that provides a merchant account for your church (and a merchant account is needed to accept payments). You will create (or connect to your existing) Stripe account to use Online Giving. Stripe will securely capture the funds from your donor and deposit them into your bank account.


Does Online Giving Cost Extra?

No. Online Giving is included with every paid ChurchTrac Subscription. However, there are Stripe transaction fees associated with Online Giving for both Credit Card and ACH transactions. Stripe charges 2.9% plus 30 cents for credit and debit transactions, and a flat 25 cents for ACH transactions. However, Stripe could give you a better rate as a non-profit or 501c3. Reach out to Stripe to see if they can help you with this.


Can my ministry get a lower transaction fee?

Yes. If your ministry has nonprofit status, email nonprofit@stripe.com with the following:

  • Your EIN, or a letter from the IRS designating your 501(c)(3) status
  • Confirmation of the primary email address associated with your Stripe Account
  • Confirmation that greater than 80% of your payment volume will be tax deductible donations.


When someone gives, does it automatically add the entry to the Giving screen and the Accounting screen?

When a donor gives through online giving, it will automatically create an entry on the Giving screen and assign that contribution to the correct person in your database. The Accounting screen is not updated automatically. Stripe will send a "batch" of contributions together (usually the total of contributions made on the same day) as a single deposit into your bank account, so you'll need to update that manually to match what Stripe has deposited.


Does ChurchTrac (or anyone else) have access to my donor's credit/debit cards or bank accounts?

No one has access to your contributor's credit card or bank account numbers, nor is this information ever transmitted to or saved on our server. Stripe handles all this data and they are fully PCI compliant, which means your donor's account information is safe.


How can people find my online giving page?

We provide a unique URL that can be linked to your website, placed in an email, posted on social media, and more. Donors can also access your Giving Page with the provided QR code or via Church Connect.


How do I enable Text Giving?

Text Giving is an option already built into the Online Giving link for members who log in. It is one of the tabs as a selection option for the Donor to choose from. Donors must create a Giving or Church Connect account to use Text Giving.


Why should I require donors to sign in?

We recommend that donors sign in to their profile when giving online. When signed in, donors can utilize recurring giving, ACH giving, and Text giving. Online Giving is integrated with our Church Connect feature, which allows signed in donors to view their giving history. The Church Connect feature also allows members to view and edit their profile, and much more. If a donor does not sign in, ChurchTrac will attempt to match the donation to the correct person on your People screen, but you may need to match the donation to the correct person manually. 


Can I use Online Giving to manually input card numbers for people in my church?

No. You should NEVER use the online giving platform to process credit or debit cards on behalf of your donors. In fact, you should not collect or have card numbers in your possession at any time for any length of time. You must allow donors to make their own contributions and manage their own online giving.


Do I have to give the donor credit for the full donation amount (including the Stripe fee)?

Even though Stripe's fee is subtracted from the donation before it is deposited into your bank account, you must still give the donor credit for the full donation amount for tax purposes. The amount that appears on the donor's contribution statement should reflect the total amount that was given, even though a smaller amount from that donation was actually deposited into your account.


What is Plaid and how much does it cost?

Plaid is a paid third-party service that allows your ACH donors to quickly verify their bank account ownership. Without Plaid, your ACH donors will need to manually verify their accounts using the micro deposit validation method, which can take several days. Pricing for Plaid depends on the number of authorizations you perform. For pricing, go to www.plaid.com/pricing


© 2020 ChurchTrac Software, Inc.