Online Donations (ChurchCenterOnline.com)

ChurchCenterOnline.com is your donor's interface for Planning Center Giving. It's a unique web address where people can give and administer their recurring gifts, payment methods, and view their giving history. Here's an example of what it looks like:

Video tour

While this video is for you, the Giving Administrator, we've also made a video guide aimed at your donors

Processing fees

Online donations are processed by Stripe. Read about Stripe's fees.

Create a subdomain

When you sign up for Giving, you'll be asked to establish a subdomain (unless you already established one.) If you select something like firstballard, then your subdomain would be https://firstballard.churchcenteronline.com

Keep it short and memorable! Your church name or your church website's domain name are both good options.

Linking from your church website

If you have a "Give" or "Donate" button on your church website, make sure it's linked to the "/giving" page. Example: https://firstballard.churchcenteronline.com/giving

Disabling online donations

There's no direct function for disabling online donations. However, you can make all your funds hidden from the donor interface. By hiding all your funds, you're essentially making it impossible to donate online. Read more about hiding funds.

Reports for online donations

Remember, all donations are stamped with various properties. Since "Online" is a stamp, it's easy to get at the numbers for online donations for a donor or across your entire Giving history:

Password-less login

Email authentication is something that’s starting to be adopted by more services (like Medium and Square Cash). It has a few advantages over traditional passwords.

The big advantage is better security. Passwords are neither secure nor simple. The vast majority of people re-use their passwords even though we all know we shouldn’t. Practically speaking, most people don’t have a strong, unique password for every site or app.

The second advantage is that it completely removes the need for donors to go through an account creation process. If they donate and they have an email, their account is just created for them on the fly. We already ask donors for their email address (so we can issue them a receipt).

The downside is that it’s slightly slower. We say “slightly” because most of the time people donate online, they’re doing it on their own computer or, most likely, their own phone. And on these devices, a donor is typically already logged into their email so the process is pretty quick. It definitely takes longer if you’re using someone else’s phone or a public computer but our data indicates that the vast majority of donors aren’t.

Medium wrote a great article about this type of account authentication that’s worth reading if you have the time.

Log in FAQs:

Will donors need to do this every time they give?

Not at all. Once they're logged in, they'll stay logged in for a number of days – just like you'd expect with Gmail, Facebook, or any other web application. If they haven't visited the site in over 14 days, we'll ask them to log back in.

When do the log-in links expire?

There are different expiry times depending on the type of email that is sent to donors. After the link expires, the donor will have to enter their email and complete the email loop again. 

Here are the different expiry times:

  • Regular log-in emails (where the sole purpose of the email is to log in) expire after 30 minutes.
  • Receipt emails and notifications about recurring donations (success notifications, failure notices, etc) expire after 2 days.
  • Statement delivery emails (where the donor can click "Download statement") expire after 2 weeks.
  • Confirmation message about ACH verification ("bank account verification initiated") expire after 2 weeks.
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