Maximize Gifts and Reduce Rates with ACH

Maximize Gifts and Reduce Rates with ACH

For the past few weeks, we have been focusing on end-of-year giving. In this final Journal for 2022, we want to share with you one way in which you can maximize giving and reduce your rates.

Americans are in love with acronyms. Our government certainly loves them. Think FBI, IRS, CIA, DIA, and on and on. The military goes crazy over acronyms with WMD, IED, and many others. Each of these organizations use multiple acronyms for shortening long names. You need a dictionary to understand their verbiage. Not to be outdone, the Church has its acronyms in UMC, SBC, PCA, WCA, KJV, NIV, etc. In this post, we want to show you how one acronym can simultaneously increase giving and save you money. That acronym is ACH.

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. Automated Clearing House, or ACH, payments refer to the direct transfer of funds between two bank accounts. How does that work for a church? When members land on your giving page, they can choose to make their gift recurring. There are multiple ways to do this but let’s stick to the ACH process. To set up a recurring ACH giving, your members would give their banking information, routing number, account number, and personal information when they sign up for recurring giving. The processor then takes that information and the amount donated and withdraws that money from the donor’s bank account, directing it to the church’s banking account.

How does this increase giving and save you money? Here are a few reasons.

  • The first is lower costs per transaction. If you have an online platform, you know about processing fees. The fees charged are higher on credit cards than on ACH payments. While the difference might be only 1% to 2% depending upon the type of card used and other factors, over time, that small percentage can add up to hundreds and thousands of dollars saved that can go to missions and ministry.
  • Studies show that nonprofit organizations that focus on ACH donations have higher retention rates than those that do not offer this service. One reason why is that,
  • Unlike credit cards, ACH payment methods do not have an expiration date, allowing recurring donations to continue without interruption.
  • As a result of the above, organizations that encourage recurring donations through ACH payments raise more money than those that don’t.
  • An added value for your office is the time saved tracking down donors whose cards or accounts have expired or been canceled. It also means fewer trips to the bank to make deposits, which saves time.

ACH is a win for the church and a win for your donors. They can set up giving to be automatic and never worry about forgetting to give again. Your church wins by keeping those donors longer and paying less on processing fees.

One of our goals for clients is to help them increase the number of people setting up recurring giving through ACH. We have features to gently promote ACH first over a credit card for cost savings to the church. Our system is easy for your donors to use and set up. We also allow ACH to be used for text giving and for multiple checking accounts to be linked to a donor profile.

Will your members sign up? I first got involved with online giving in 2012. At the time, my parents, lifelong 10% tithers, were in their early eighties. My mom commented that she would be uncomfortable setting up her giving online. I asked her, “Aren’t your utility bills set up to be automatically withdrawn from your bank account?” She replied, “Yes, but I like putting my offering in the plate.” Fast forward to the present day, and my parents, now almost 94 years old, have set up their monthly tithe check to be automatically withdrawn from their checking account. Even though they can no longer attend church, their tithe shows up on the first of every month. That is the power of the acronym ACH.

Let us show you how to put that power to work for you.

This post written by Mark Brooks was posted at

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