Sustaining Giving during COVID-19

We find ourselves in a challenging and unprecedented time. With the suspension of public worship, churches will be dependent on the generosity of individual giving more than ever as they serve the local communities and seek to be a place of hope, prayer and support during this difficult time. Our mission remains constant to be a beacon of light as we go out into the communities to live out our calling to be Christ in the World.  

Thus, as individuals and churches we may need to re-imagine the ways in which we give, since much of our giving has traditionally been through envelope or cash donations during church services. This means that many people who give in this way are now unable to make their usual offering to support their church in its mission and service to the community.

Whether you are an individual wanting to know how to continue giving as part of your personal church membership or a church officer wanting to look at ways that the church can maintain levels of giving, we hope that the following information about different options will help you during this time of social isolation.

If you have any questions about this document please don’t hesitate to contact Jane Hodgson, Stewardship Officer either by email [email protected] or Tel 07701 364461


For Individuals

Parish Giving Scheme (PGS)

This is the simplest way to give if your parish is already registered with PGS. It’s a direct debit method of giving to a parish. During these unprecedented times the PGS have set up a telephone method of giving that went live on Monday 27th April. You can now use this direct dial telephone number - 0333 002 1271 - to set up donations (standard landline charge).

Alternatively you may request a call back by filling in a form on line via the PGS website https://www.parishgivingscheme.org.uk and PGS will then contact you by phone within 5 working days. You can also look on the PGS website for more details of the scheme and “Frequently Asked Questions”

When contacting PGS you need to quote your unique PGS church code, if a church is already a member of PGS the Treasurer or Stewardship Officer will be able to provide the PGS code and individuals can register instantly. If your church is not a member then they can join at any time by following the simple instructions in the “For Churches” advice section below.

Standing Orders

You may already use a standing order for other things and if you would like to set one up to give to your church a template form can be found here.

https://www.parishresources.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/COFE_02894_GiftAidForm.pdf

Alternatively, you can telephone your bank to set one up directly.

Envelopes

Some people will wish to continue giving via envelopes and if that’s the case it would be really helpful to set aside your usual weekly offering for when the churches re-open and it would also be very useful to back date the individual envelopes for gift aid purposes 

Other Cash Giving

Do you normally give through the collection plate, or give cash in other ways? Why not devise your own way of putting money aside regularly? You may even have an old Piggy Bank tucked away somewhere, or, if you have a young family, why not create something together? Then, when services begin again you can take this along with you as part of celebrating our return.

Charitable online Giving

You may already use one of the charity giving web sites as part of your online shopping. If you do then you will know that this is an easy way to see a small percentage of the retailers’ profits going to a charity of your choice. If you don’t already then you might want to explore Easyfundraising or Amazon Smile (more details in the ‘For Churches’ section below).

There are many charities already listed on these sites (including the Diocese itself under Amazon Smile). If you wish to support your church in this way and it is not already listed why not have a word with your church Treasurer to see about adding it?

It is also possible to give directly to Diocesan funds (which are of course used to provide support for work in the parishes through covering the costs of the clergy as well as other support staff).  You can do this by clicking on the ‘Donate’ button which you will find on the top right-hand corner of our web pages. You can give a one-off donation or set up a regular payment.


For Churches

Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) – Registration

If your church hasn’t joined the direct debit way of giving through PGS then there are special measures in place which means a parish can now join without a PCC resolution, There is also an abridged registration form (Click here for the form) which can be filled out, scanned and sent back to the Stewardship Officer [email protected] along with email authorisation from the incumbent, treasurer and church warden.

The Stewardship Officer will then assign a PGS code and email it to the PGS office to be registered. Once that is done a Welcome Letter will be received. Under normal circumstances PGS packs would then be posted to the treasurer with paper gift forms. As this is no longer possible under the current government guidelines the PGS have set up a telephone method of giving that went live on Monday 27th April. So once your church has joined you can inform your members that they can use the direct dial telephone number to set donations up which is 0333 002 1271 (standard landline charge).

Alternatively they may request a call back by filling in a form on line via the PGS website https://www.parishgivingscheme.org.uk and PGS will then contact them by phone within 5 working days.

Online Giving

Online giving is where a donations platform is linked to your website, Facebook page, and other social media channels. The platform allows individuals to donate using a variety of payment methods. A good donations platform provider will embed a “Donate” button on your website and will automatically reclaim your Gift Aid. Under normal circumstances there are charges for these services but during these difficult times certain providers have offered their services free of charge.


Free Donations Software available during COVID-19

https://www.datadevelopments.co.uk/services/ - Free for 90 days or until church services resume.

https://www.iknowchurch.co.uk/ - Free up until 30th September 


Other providers from Parish Resources and Parish Buying can be found below:

https://www.parishresources.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Receiving-Online-Donations-2020.pdf

https://www.parishbuying.org.uk/categories/giving-and-payments/online-giving

Donate Button - A Church Near You

ACNY are exploring how a ‘Give Now’ button can be added to the parish profiles, and although this will take time it may hopefully be only a couple of weeks. For now, there is a workaround so that if you already have or intend to set up a donations platform for your website then churches can direct donors to it by adding a donations page to their A Church Near You profile.

Guidance on how churches can add this to their ACNY profile is here: https://achurchnearyou.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360007655378-Setting-up-a-donations-page


Virtual Services

A Church Near You have produced a short animation for churches to use during virtual services and more widely online to encourage giving. There are a couple of versions of different lengths for use on social media too. This will be really useful for churches less confident about talking about giving and an added bonus for those who are already doing lots of great things. Churches will be able to customise this video with their own details using ACNY. Video here: https://vimeo.com/410988827

Further online guidance from Parish Resources: -

There is also some new guidance on Parish Resources to help churches get going with encouraging giving online and giving during virtual services.

 https://www.parishresources.org.uk/encouraging-giving-online/


Other Online Giving Ideas

Easy Fundraising

While everyone is on “lockdown” we are all spending more money ordering on-line, so why not set up an Easy Fundraising account for your church and ask members of the church or wider community to consider helping out? It costs them nothing and over time can become a quite significant amount. A small percentage of the purchase price goes from the retailer to your church if you register on the link below. There are over 4000+ shops that are included in this scheme with most of the major high street brands and supermarkets

https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/

Amazon Smile

There are other ways to give such as Amazon Smile although, unlike Easy Fundraising, this is limited to Amazon itself. When you register you will be asked to select a charity. You can select the Diocese, who have set up an account with Amazon Smile under the name “The Lincoln Diocesan Trust and Board of Finance Ltd.” Donations will be gratefully received and, as with Easyfundraising, these are at no additional cost to individuals, but rather come out of Amazon’s profits.


Mobile Phone Giving

Text

In the current climate this option may work well for people who don’t have access to the internet as a way to donate while services are not taking place. 

https://www.parishresources.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Text-Giving-2020.pdf

QR Codes

And there is a free, versatile, and easy set-up option to start accepting contactless donations from smartphone users. It can be posted on a website, social media or sent via email. 

https://www.parishbuying.org.uk/categories/giving-and-payments/solutions/thyngs

NB – During the current crisis please direct all your Stewardship enquiries, wherever you live in the Diocese, to Jane Hodgson (contact details at the top of this page)