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New Program Makes Online Giving Feasible for Vermont Episcopal Congregations

The ability for individual congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont to accept online contributions is now a reality thanks to a recently-launched electronic giving, or eGiving program. In an email to clergy serving parishes and vestry leaders last week, Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown and Diocesan Financial Administrator Rich Sagui shared the news, inviting church leaders to consider enrolling in the optional program.

eGiving is billed as a simple and convenient way for the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont to contribute to their local Episcopal church electronically. Vanco, the Diocese’s third party payments processor, has created a preferred pricing for congregations of the Vermont Diocese.

The cost to utilize eGiving is $5 per month for each congregation. A fee of 2.75% is applied to debit and credit card transactions, and a 1% charge is applied to ACH withdrawals from a checking account. There is an additional fee of $0.45 applied to each transaction. Despite the monthly service charge and transaction fees, the cost to participate in eGiving is significantly lower than many other offerings, Sagui said.

He explained, “eGiving can easily be set-up so that the donor has the option of paying the fees, rather than the congregation, and in my experience, many do.”

Vanco provides payment processing services to more than 20,000 churches nationwide and has processed gifts and payments for Episcopal congregations across the U.S. for 20 years. The company offers one-on-one support to facilitate the setup and implementation of eGiving for participating congregations. For example, if the congregation has a website, Vanco will build a customized donation page that can link to it. Or, if a congregation does not have a website, Vanco can host the congregation’s online donation page at no additional cost.

Sagui continued, “Whenever I have had to call Vanco for support I have found their customer service reps to be incredibly helpful, knowledgeable, courteous and polite. I’ve never had to wait long to get the support I need.”

Clergy serving parishes and vestry leaders are encouraged to discuss eGiving with the financial decision-makers within their congregations. Those wishing to obtain additional information or to enroll in eGiving are asked to contact Sagui directly (rsagui@diovermont.org), or reach out to Peter Johnson at Vanco (peter.johnson@vancopayments.com).

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