Online Giving FAQ’s


What are the benefits of online or electronic giving?

The following are some of the benefits that you and UPC will realize by giving online:

  • It gives you an opportunity to determine what you would like to give in advance to the ministry of UPC and include it in your financial planning.
  • Online giving is fast and convenient.
  • You don’t have to remember to bring your check book or cash to church on Sunday.
  • You can give just once or set up a regular, automated schedule for giving, e.g., weekly, monthly, yearly.
  • It helps simplify life . . . no more trying to remember whether or not you have supported UPC this week or month.
  • When you give using a credit card, you will continue to earn credit card rewards, such as air miles, points, and cash back if your credit card includes such a benefit.
  • You can reduce the number of paper checks you write.
  • Giving can occur even when you are out of town or unable to attend a service.
  • Regular online giving stabilizes giving patterns which, in turn, will help UPC better forecast and manage its resources.
  • As more people give online, the administrative processes for receiving, counting, storing, and depositing funds and preparing detailed financial reports are streamlined. This frees up church personnel and volunteers to focus on other ministry opportunities.

What program for online giving does UPC use?

UPC uses an online-giving program operated by PayPal. PayPal is considered among the safest and largest online-payment systems in the world. Currently, PayPal operates in 190 markets and manages over 73 million active accounts. In 2008, PayPal’s Total Payment Volume was $60 billion representing nearly 9 percent of global e-commerce and 15 percent of U.S. e-commerce. You may obtain more information about PayPal through PayPal’s website

Is online giving safe?

Despite the barrage of news about credit-card fraud, stolen pin numbers, electronic hackers, and identity thieves, electronic transmissions are still safer than paper checks. Traditional paper checks not only have account information on them, but they also have names, addresses, and in some instances, phone numbers and even social security numbers. Also, paper checks can be lost, stolen or destroyed in the mail. All credit/debit and Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) transactions are governed by national rules and guidelines between the banks and the services such as PayPal, which orchestrate the transaction between you and UPC’s bank. PayPal adheres to international PCI (Payment Card Industry) and CISP (Cardholder Information Security Program) standards for data protection, and all your giving data is secured by SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption, a security protocol that provides communications privacy over the internet. It is the same technology used by banks and e-commerce companies such as to keep information safe and secure during transactions. Also, unlike online merchants who accept credit/debit cards directly and require you to give your account information to each merchant, PayPal enables you to give without sharing your financial information with anyone else, i.e., UPC does not see or store donors’ sensitive financial information except for the donation amount.

Do I need a PayPal account to use UPC’s online giving?

Not for a one-time gift using a major credit card (see below). You only need a PayPal account if you want to set up recurring payments or if you want to use a debit card or automatic funds transfer from a bank account.

Is there a cost to set up and maintain a PayPal account?

No. There is no charge to the donor for setting up or keeping a PayPal account open.

What payment options are available through UPC’s online giving?

PayPal offers several different options for giving. Through PayPal you can give through the following means:

  • Credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express)
  • Debit card
  • Instant transfer from your bank account (if you have registered your bank account with PayPal . . . this requires opening a PayPal account)
  • eCheck from your bank account (if you have registered your bank account with PayPal . . . this requires opening a PayPal account)

Is it wise to use a credit card for giving?

We urge you NOT to use a credit card for giving UNLESS you regularly pay off the card’s full balance every month. The reason for that is when you carry a balance over from month to month, the credit card companies charge a very high interest rate. In fact, for this reason, it is unwise to use a credit card at all UNLESS you pay the monthly balance in full.

What are the fees for online-giving transactions?

No fees are incurred by you (the donor) for any contributions made using the online-giving system. However, UPC incurs a 2.2% fee plus $0.30 cents per transaction for each donation processed, regardless of payment method. For example, there would be a $2.50 cost for giving a $100.00 donation (2.2% X $100.00 plus $0.30). This fee is a discounted rate provided to charitable nonprofit [501(c)(3)] organizations and is lower than all other options UPC considered.

How does the online-donation process work?

You decide, with God, when and how much to donate. As you go through the online donation process, you will be directed through a few short and simple steps. Secure web forms are used to collect your personal information and donation designations. At the end of the process, you will be given an opportunity to review your entries before you make them final. At any point in the process, you are given an opportunity to cancel the transaction.

What if I change bank accounts or the credit/debit card I use for donating?

The Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) account or the credit/debit card that you use for online-donation transactions can be changed at any time by accessing your online PayPal account.

What if I want to adjust the date or amount or cancel a recurring donation?

Currently we are not able to offer the ability to edit your scheduled contributions except to cancel the recurring donation altogether and then set up a new recurring donation.

To cancel the recurring donation:

  • Log into your PayPal account.
  • Click on “Profile” (under “My Account”).
  • Click the link for “My preapproved payments” (under “Financial Information” tab).
  • Select the “United Presbyterian Church” donation you want to cancel.
  • Click the “Cancel” link near the top of the page under “Subscription Details.”
  • You will be asked if you still want to cancel. Click “Cancel Profile” and the donation will be canceled.

If you wish to set up a new recurring donation for a new amount or frequency, return to our online giving page.

If I have signed up for a weekly, monthly, or other recurring donation schedule, do I receive an e-mail each time the payment is sent?

The default PayPal e-mail notification preferences are set so that you will not receive an e-mail receipt each time an automatic payment is processed. To change this so you receive an e-mail receipt every time a payment is sent, log in to your PayPal account and go to the “Profile” sub-tab of the “My Account” tab. Choose the “Notifications” link from the “Account Information” section and follow the on-screen instructions to change this preference.

Will I still receive an annual contribution statement for the funds I give electronically?

Yes.  If you give through your PayPal account, you will be able to login and save or print reports of your giving history through the “Account Information” tab. These serve as your year end statements for tax purposes.

Will I be provided a receipt for a one-time gift that I give electronically?

Yes. If you provide your email address you will receive an e-mail notification with a confirmation number, the amount, and recipient information.

Can UPC take money out of my account without my authorization?

Absolutely not! You control when and how much money is transferred either through initiating the one-time-giving option or recurring-gift option. Neither UPC nor PayPal have access to your accounts.

Whom do I contact if I still have questions?

If you have any questions about donating online, please contact the church office at and someone will get back to you soon. Also, we welcome any recommendations users may have that will help us improve the online giving process. Please refer to the PayPal website for any specific technical questions you may have about PayPal’s website or program.

How do I get started?

Go to our online giving page, fill out either the ‘One-Time Gift’ or ‘Automatic Recurring Gift’ section, press the ‘Donate’ button, and follow the prompts.