Our church is dependent on donations from parishioners and supporters and we are hugely grateful for every contribution we receive.
We recently moved over to using Standing Orders as a preferred mechanism for enabling regular giving and encourage all regular donors to use this approach if possible. We see a number of benefits on both sides:
For the donor, the obvious advantage is that one no longer needs to remember to bring cash with them to each service, nor does one need to fill in a Gift Aid envelope (if appropriate) during each service. We provide laminated cards at the back of the church so that our regular Standing Order donors will still have something to put into the bag (thus no possibility of embarrassment during the collection). Some of our parishioners find that it’s a very good way to keep track of what they give to the church and ensure that it remains consistent over the course of the year, which is harder to do if they’re not able to attend every single week.
For the church, the advantage lies in a streamlined process of collections (and Gift Aid reclaims), but also easier and more accurate income forecasting and budgeting, since we have far greater visibility into what our income for the year will be. This helps us plan additional fundraising campaigns well ahead of time to ensure we are able to meet our financial commitments, both in terms of church upkeep and also charitable outgoings.
If you would like to consider setting up a Standing Order, the process would work as follows:
1 – Contact the Gift Aid Secretary to provide you with the Church’s bank account number and sort code.
2 – You decide what amount you would like to donate, and what the frequency would be. We have donors who contribute monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and annually, so it’s really a matter of what’s most convenient for you.
3 – Once you have made the decision, you can contact your bank to set up the standing order (or do so yourselves via online banking). You can obviously amend or cancel at any time, since it’s all done directly with your own bank. If you could include your names as a reference on the payments, that would help us immensely.
4 – It’s not a requirement from our side, but if you could let us know how much you intend to donate on an annual basis (in other words, the amount and frequency) it will help us to budget. We can, of course, always work this out for ourselves by monitoring the bank statement over the course of the year.
5 – Regarding Gift Aid, if you are a tax payer and your donations are thus eligible for Gift Aid top-up payments, we’d ask if you could kindly complete a declaration which will allow us to claim an additional 25% over and above your donation. You can download the declaration form here and hand it to one of the Wardens next time you’re in church.