Online Giving Setup¶
See the video below for a quick walk through of how to configure your giving pages. Below the video are more detailed steps for the setup.
Steps to Configure Giving Pages¶
Setup for your online giving pages is done in several locations within TouchPoint. The steps listed below walk you through the process. At the end of this article is a video demonstrating some of the steps.
- Step 1 - Establish a merchant account
You will need a merchant account with a payment processor so your donors’ online transactions can be processed and the funds automatically deposited in your church’s bank account. For information about the payment gateways that are possible and how to configure them in your database, see Configuring Payment Gateways.
If you have already been offering online giving through TouchPoint, you will have already completed this step.
- Step 2 - Edit giving email templates
When you set up a Giving Page, you will configure the confirmation email that is sent for each of the following events:
One Time Giving
Recurring Giving Setup
Recurring Giving Cancelled
Recurring Giving End Date (only needed if you allow an End Date for one or more funds)
Recurring Pledge Setup
Recurring Pledge Cancelled
Go to Administration > Communication > Email Templates. There you can modify the templates or create new templates modeled after these. Read more at Emails for Online Giving.
- Step 3 - Configure funds
There are five settings for funds that determine how they can be used. These settings can be configured on the Fund Management page (Administration > Fund Management) when the fund is edited.
Allow End Date - When this is enabled, donors will be allowed to specify an end date when they schedule a recurring gift to this fund. When this option is disabled, recurring gifts to the fund will continue until the donor removes the schedule or the fund is closed.
Notes - When this option is enabled, donors can enter a note, such as a memorial, with their gift to this fund.
Pledge Fund - With this box checked, the system will begin treating this fund as a pledge fund and tracking pledges made towards it. This Fund is now able to generate a Pledge Fulfillment Report. It will also appear in the Giving > Pledges Tab of a People record. The Fund will appear on the Pledges Report, on the Contribution Statement, and in the Footer of the Online Giving Page.
Available For Pledging - Enabling this option designates the fund as one donors can pledge toward in the Online Giving Pages.
Pledge Start Date - This is where we indicate when a particular Fund may begin accepting Pledges. If a congregant sets up a recurring pledge to a Fund with a Start Date configured, the new pledge will not start calculating until the Start Date. Read more about Recurring Pledging Frequencies at Recurring Pledges.
- Step 4 - Adjust administration settings (min/max, notes, cover fees, recurring frequencies, reCAPTCHA).
There are several administration settings related to online giving. These can be found on the Finance tab (Administration > Settings).
Online Giving - this section contains settings for notes, minimum and maximum fees.
CustomNote - If Notes are enabled for any fund, use this setting to customize the text in the Note field on the One Time Gift tab.
Note Default Open - If Notes are enabled for any fund, this setting will automatically expand the text box on the One Time Gift tab.
MinimumGift and MaximumGift - These settings determine the smallest and largest gifts that can be made online. If no entry is made in the MaximumGift setting, no limit is imposed to how large the gift can be. However, the payment gateway or the donor’s bank may have limits in place. If no entry is made in the MinimumGift setting, the smallest gift that can be made is $1.01.
Donor Covers Fee - In the Donor Covers Fee section are six settings to configure prompts for the donor to pay the fees associated with the gift.
The formula used for calculating the fee is
y = x/(1-r) + fwhere
yis the final charge,
xis the base amount,
ris the percent fee, and
fis the base fee.
When using Donor Covers Fee and Pledges, the fee paid will not count towards the donor’s pledge balance.
EnableDonorCoversFee - When this is enabled, all giving pages will present the donor with the option of covering the fee.
DonorCoversFeeOnByDefault - With this enabled, the option to cover the fee is selected (checked) by default. The donor does have the option of deselecting (unchecking) this before making payment.
ACHFeeBase - This is the base fee you want to recoup when the donor makes an ACH payment and elects to cover the fee. It should be a dollar amount, such as 0.30.
ACHFeePercent - This is the percent of the transaction you want to recoup when the donor makes an ACH payment and elects to cover the fee. It should be a number, such as 0.5.
CreditDebitFeeBase - This is the base fee you want to recoup when the donor makes a bankcard payment and elects to cover the fee. It should be a dollar amount, such as 0.30.
CreditDebitFeePercent - This is the percent of the transaction you want to recoup when the donor makes a bankcard payment and elects to cover the fee. It should be a number, such as 1.75.
Recurring Frequencies - These settings are found under the Recurring section. By default, donors are offered four options for frequency when setting up schedule, recurring gifts – Weekly, BiWeekly, SemiMonthly, and Monthly. Two of these frequencies can be disabled so that they are not offered as options – BiWeekly and SemiMonthly. In addition, two frequencies can be enabled so that they are offered as options – Quarterly and Annual. These options are controlled by the following four settings in the Recurring section:
EnableAnnualRecurring - Set this to True to include Annual as an option for recurring gifts or to False to remove it as an option.
EnableBiWeeklyRecurring - Set this to True to include BiWeekly as an option for recurring gifts or to False to remove it as an option.
EnableQuarterlyRecurring - Set this to True to include Quarterly as an option for recurring gifts or to False to remove it as an option.
EnableSemiMonthlyRecurring - Set this to True to include SemiMonthly as an option for recurring gifts or to False to remove it as an option.
RecurringGivingNotify - Also on the Recurring tab, you will use the dropdown to indicate the people who should receive recurring giving notification emails (for gifts processed or failed).
reCAPTCHA - This setting is under Administration > Settings > System. When enabled, payment pages are protected by reCAPTCHA against certain types of fraud and abuse by malicious bots.
- Step 5 - Customize the Shell(s)
If you have not done so already, you will need to customize one or more shells for your Giving Pages. For more information, see Standard Shells for Online Registrations or Giving Pages and Default Shell for Online Registrations.
- Step 6 - Configure giving pages
You can configure multiple giving pages and, for each, specify the funds to include and what types of giving to offer (recurring, one time, pledge). You can designate a default giving page (or, if you have multiple campuses, a default page for each campus).
To create a Giving Page, go to Administration > Setup > Online Giving and click the
+ Add Giving Pagebutton. To edit an existing Giving Page, click on its name. The Setup page has a tab for details and another for communications (settings for confirmation emails).
On this tab, you configure the Giving Page by entering details such as name, types of giving offered on the page, available funds, etc.
Page Name - This name will be displayed at the top of the giving page, so enter a descriptive name so that the donor has a clear understanding of the purpose of the page.
Page URL - The public URL for the giving page will begin with your church database domain followed by
/Give/. For example
https://mychurch.tpsdb.com/Give/. By default, the URL will end with the name you set for the Giving Page. This ending will be appropriate in most cases, but can be modified, if you wish. However, please be aware that the URL must be unique and cannot be changed later. This prevents abandoned URLs. If you want to change a URL, you can disable the page and redirect it to a new giving page with the new URL.
Giving Types - Select one or more giving types that will be allowed on this Giving Page. You can include any or all of Recurring, One Time, and Pledge.
Page Shell - Select what shell to use for this Giving Page. The drop down list will include the HTML content files that have the Keyword Shell.
Default Fund - From the drop down list of open funds, select the primary fund that gifts from this page will go to by default. If you do not want your giving page to default to a fund, you can leave this field blank and the drop down list will include a search box. This can be helpful when displaying many funds, such as the case for missionaries.
Fund Options - From the drop down list of open funds, select any additional funds that donors can give to on this page. Each time you select a fund from the list, it is added. To remove a fund, click the x to the right of its name. On the Giving Page, these funds will be in a drop down menu in the order in which they are added. You may also decide to reorder the list of funds (on the public-facing page) by sorting alphabetically versus sorting by how the funds were added to the Fund Options box.
You can rename the dropdown text on the Giving Page from Select Fund to something else using the Translation file.
Entry Point - From the drop down list of available Entry Points, select the one that should be assigned when a new record is created for a donor that gives on this Giving Page. For more information about entry points, see Entry Point, Origin and Interest Point.
If you don’t already have an Entry Point created for Online Giving, create this first before you set up the Giving Page. It will be required to complete the Setup.
URL Redirect - If you choose to disable this Giving Page, you can enter a fully qualified URL here to direct donors to if they try to visit this page.
Campus - Optionally, from the drop down list of campuses, select the campus with which this Giving Page is associated. When a campus is assigned, in conjunction with the Main Campus Page toggle described below, you can set this Giving Page as the default page for the selected campus.
Main Campus Page - When a Campus has been selected, enabling this setting will make this Giving Page the default for the selected campus. This will control which giving page a donor receives when clicking the link on the Giving tab or their profile or from the Giving History page in the mobile app.
Show Pledge Summary - With this enabled, pledges and their balances will be displayed below One Time and Recurring giving for logged in donors. The pledge summary is always displayed below Pledge giving.
Require Login - Set this to True to require login for one-time gifts.
On this tab, you configure communications about this Giving Page, including optional instructions to display at the top of the page, designating from whom email confirmations should come and the templates to use.
Top Text - Optionally, enter text here to be displayed at the top of the giving page. For example, you can enter instructions for donors on how to use the Giving Page.
Email From - Confirmation emails will come from the person (or ministry record) selected here. Optionally choose additional recipients to receive a notification as well. Recipients must have at least the Access role.
You can create a people record and user account for your contributions ministry (Example: Church Contributions) and use that record as the Email From record. Give that record the appropriate email address. You can use either the address for the person handling contributions or a generic address such as
Contributions@MyChurch.orgthat is monitored by that person. Create a user account and assign the Access role in order for it to show up as an option in the list.
Confirmation Emails - For the remaining settings, choose an email template to be used as the confirmation email for that particular giving activity. The drop down list of available templates will include those that are limited to the role GivingEmailTemplates. The options on this page will be determined by the giving types selected on the Details tab.
Pledge Confirmation Email - Select the template for the confirmation of a pledge.
One Time Confirmation Email - Select the template for the confirmation of a one time gift.
Recurring Confirmation Email - Select the template for the confirmation when a donor schedules a recurring gift.
Recurring Cancellation Email - Select the template for the confirmation when a donor removes a scheduled gift.
The Title of the template will be the Subject of the email that is sent.
After configuring the Giving Page and saving, the new or edited page will be listed on the main Online Giving Setup page. If you are ready for the Giving Page to be used, toggle the Enable flag to enable the page. You can also, if desired, set the Giving Page as the Default page—the Giving Page donors can access from their Giving tab or from the mobile app. This system-wide default is overridden by any campus defaults you have set.
- Step 7 - Publish Links
The list of configured Giving Pages on the main Online Giving Setup page includes the public URL for each of the pages. These links can be posted on your church website or otherwise distributed to potential donors.
Additionally, the links can be given the following controls:
Set a Default Type When a Giving Page has multiple giving types available, you can control the one initially selected by appending, for example,
?type=pledgeto the end of the public URL. The options for the three giving types are:
onetime or once (
?typecontrol can also be used to set an initial frequency when the donor visits the Giving Page. To specify a default frequency, use one of the following. Whatever control you use must be one already available on the Giving Page.
?note=Donation reason here) - Use this URL string to pass a note to a giving fund on your giving pages. Enter the specific note where it says
Donation reason here.
Set a Default Amount If you want to have a suggested amount already entered when the donor arrives on the Giving Page, append for example
?amount=100to the end of the public URL.
Change the Default Fund To change the default fund for the Giving Page, append for example
?fund=10to the end of the public URL where “10” is the fund ID you want as the default. This would be used to highlight a fund, different from the default, for a special campaign. You can, of course, modify the Giving Page if you need to change the default fund permanently. Whatever fund you specify must be one of the funds already available on the Giving Page.
When you are using multiple controls, precede the first with a
?and subsequent controls with
&. For example,
If you want some ideas for what to put on your website regarding online giving you can click here to go to Bellevue’s giving page. There are some links for General Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions.
If you have been using online giving prior to becoming a TouchPoint client church, you may want to check out the article below, which contains suggestions and a sample email to send to your current online donors. This article also contains a sample email suitable for sending to all your members, regardless of whether they have given online in the past. Each sample presents a different method for creating your own user account.
Saving Accounts for Online Giving¶
A savings account normally works seamlessly for online giving. However, some banks have special requirements.
If a Recurring or one-time giving fails and the donor is trying to use a Saving account, and he has verified that the account and routing numbers are correct, it may mean that the account can not participate in ACH transactions. Donors should contact their bank and ask if the bank will allow saving accounts to participate in ACH transactions. The bank may need to flag the account for this type of use. Once the bank does that, the donor can set up his recurring giving using that Saving account and/or make one-time gifts.
Another reason could be that the bank requires notice during the transaction that the donor is using a Saving account instead of a Checking account. We have seen this happen once and have a solution.
The donor will contact you to let you know that his transactions are failing, that he wants to use a Saving account for his giving, and that his bank has told him that they require a flag inside the transaction itself indicating that the account being used is a Saving account.
When this happens, complete these 2 steps.
- Step 1
Navigate to Administration > Setup > Settings > Finance > Online Giving and set the Use Saving Accounts settings to True.
Administrative Settings for more about adding Settings.
- Step 2
Create an Ad Hoc Extra Value on the donor’s record as indicated here:
Go to the specific donor’s people record Profile > Extra Values and then click the Show Ad Hoc Values button.
Click the green +Add/Update Extra Value.
Select Checkbox as the Type.
Enter AchSaving as the Name and select and check the box beside Checkbox Value.
Then click Save.
This will embed a flag in ACH transactions made by that person using that account letting the bank know that it is from a Saving account.
If another donor has the same issue, just add the this Ad Hoc Extra Value to his record as well. You will already have the Setting in your database.