November 29, 2015

All this talk about online giving got me curious.

I’m not the one who pays the bills at home so I’m not well versed in paying bills online.  (Shopping online is a whole different story though...)  However, I am the one responsible for bringing the Sunday envelope to Mass.

I’ve been known to forget the envelope from time to time.  (I know! They give me one job and I blow it.)  Despite all good intentions, every once in a while I miss a week, and then there’s the weeks we are away that are missed as well.  I’d like to do better.

And, the idea of never having to hunt down my envelope AND the check book AND a pen while rushing out to the car where my family is waiting impatiently certainly holds great appeal to me.

When putting my work hat on, the idea of the parish receiving a known amount on a regular schedule...well, what’s not to like?  Consistent giving is good for our money management, budgeting and forecasting.

So I went to our amazing website at straymond.net and clicked the big green button that looks like this. 

I clicked it and found another green button that says “Create a New Account”.  Another click and I was filling in data like crazy.  Easy questions…name, address, account number, etc.  If you plan to fund your giving through a checking account, you’ll need your bank routing number as well as your account number.  The routing number is on the bottom left of your check.  For credit cards, you’ll need the card number, expiration date and the security code. 

When I was almost done, I had to prove I am not a robot by picking pictures of chairs.  Some folks have been asked to pick jewelry or other such ordinary things.  This is an extra security step that is built into the program.

Once I got the account set up (a process I’ll only do once), I went to “Give a New Gift” and a screen popped up  showing all of the different ways I can support the        Cathedral of St. Raymond. 

With each listing (which correlates to all of the different envelopes we have in our packet) I was asked a series of questions.  What amount, what frequency, when do I want to start paying and what account or credit card?  It was amazingly simple with a very comforting “Cancel Gift”  button there in case I made a mistake. 

Start to finish, the whole process took me less than 15 minutes, including time spent hunting for the check book so I had the routing number and giving the dog a treat.

Easy, painless and I am in complete control of my giving.   It’s a winner in my book.

The question we have gotten a lot this week is “this means I won’t get envelopes, right?”

Not so quick.  The company that runs the online giving program also produces our envelopes.  So they don’t work too hard to make it easy for you to discontinue your envelopes. Can you blame them?   But, if you call the  rectory after you’ve enrolled, we’ll happily take you off the envelope list.  Sorry for the extra call!

One last thing:  if you are one of the 169 wonderful  parishioners who use our Automatic Offering Program, please call Mary Wheaton at the rectory after you’ve enrolled in online giving.  She’ll close out your Automatic Offering account and destroy all our records.  If we don’t do this important step, you could have duplicate gifts.

Please give this a try!  Even a small gift, given  consistently will make a difference to our parish.  We know we have been at least $100,000 short for each of the last four years.  We need to close that gap for the good financial health of our parish.

Happy clicking!

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez

straysdevelopment@yahoo.com

815-722-6653, extension 242

 

 

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