Whether you're just setting up your church finances or you're a large church with well established processes, this article will help you know what Giving is meant to do.
Before getting started with Giving, it's important to understand the key concepts described in the following sections.
Giving is designed to track 100% tax deductible donations only, not sales or reimbursements.
Your organization may receive income from many different sources (such as baked goods sales, thrift store sales, small group members who bought books), but because someone is receiving a physical good or service from these types of transactions, they should not be entered in Giving.
Non-deductible transactions need to be processed in some other system and entered into your general ledger (Quickbooks, Peachtree, etc.) by another means. For event payments, we'd suggest Planning Center Registrations!
Occasionally, you need to collect money that isn't tax-deductible. Maybe you have a coffee shop, or you want to sell some baked goods? Or maybe a youth group t-shirt? Or a book or curriculum?
A good solution for non-tax-deductible payments like that is Stripe Payment Links!
All online donations initiated in Giving are processed by Stripe .
No financial data is stored on Planning Center servers, but is handled instead by Stripe and stored on their PCI Level 1 compliant servers. This allows Giving to adhere to Planning Center's security standards, and keep all financial data safe for your organization and your donors.
An active Stripe account must be connected to your Planning Center account, even if you don't plan on processing online transactions through Giving. If you'd like to use another platform to process online donations, start by checking our approved Third-Party Giving Integrations to see if your preferred platform is listed.
As the owner of your Stripe account, it's important that you keep a record of your Stripe login information. Your login for Stripe is separate from your Planning Center login, and for security purposes, the Planning Center team doesn't have access to it. If you have misplaced your login information, you can reset your password here. If you need help logging in to Stripe, it's best to email Stripe's support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will need separate software to cut checks, manage payroll, balance your books with your banks, and account for sales and reimbursements.
Giving is not to be used for balancing the basic finances of your church like receivable and payable accounts. For an illustration of how Giving works your general ledger, check out this article on Giving and Bookkeeping.
Giving supports online donations given in US or Canadian dollars.
The only exceptions are US churches outside of the main 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico, which are not supported by Stripe, the payment processor for Giving donations.
Giving will not replace your general ledger, but it can replace the multiple systems you use to track donations.
The main value is to save you and your donors from having to use multiple donation systems. It's one system to process donations and track donor history, no matter how people give--card, bank account, cash, or check--or where they give--on a desktop, tablet, text message, or offering bucket.
Giving can also replace any Text2Give solutions for which you might be paying an additional subscription fee.
Giving is designed to collect and manage donations for non-profit 501c3 organizations.
Our system is predicated on that notion that donors receive, as the IRS puts it, no goods or services in return for these contributions except intangible, religious benefits. If this doesn't describe your organization, we don't advise using Giving.
Giving can be used to set up pledge campaigns and track pledge donations.
If your church is asking donors for a long-term commitment to give toward your overall budget or a special project (like a building project), you can use pledge campaigns to track those pledges and view the progress toward your financial goals.