It wasn’t that long ago when the only method of donating to your church was to use a pre-printed, dated and numbered envelope which you put in the offering plate as it was passed down your pew during worship. Today, there are even more options which we would like to draw to your attention. Please take a few minutes to consider which donation method works best for you now, and then let us know so that we can arrange it.
First, a word about the benefits of receiving a tax receipt. The Canada Revenue Agency allows Registered Charities like Eagle Ridge United Church, to issue tax receipts that can be used by individuals and companies to reduce the amount of income tax they must pay. On average, a tax payer will receive back close to 44% of what they donate to the church on their income tax return. That is a pretty good incentive for making sure that you always get credit for what you donate.
Second, those who process your offering would like you to know that you should not feel obligated to donate every week. In fact, reducing the frequency of donating significantly lessens the workload for the counters and Envelope Secretary who have to process each donation. If possible, we suggest you save up your offering and donate it monthly instead.
There are essentially three ways to donate to Eagle Ridge United Church and receive a tax receipt. It is completely up to you which you would like to use. From our perspective, these options fall into three categories; good, better, best.
Good: Generic Envelopes
The generic envelopes that are available at the offering box are designed for those who are new to the church and for those who have forgotten their own numbered envelopes. However, if you wish to use them periodically for your donations, we are fine with that. The downside of generic envelopes is that you need to write your name and/or envelope number on the front. From time to time, people either forget to do that, or they write an incorrect envelope number, which ultimately means we have no way of crediting you with your donation.
Better: Numbered Envelopes
Once you have donated to Eagle Ridge and we have your contact information, the Envelope Secretary assigns you a permanent number, which then is the only identifier we need to process your donations. If you choose to continue donating through the envelopes, we strongly suggest you get your own numbered set. Simply fill out and tear off the attached form and we’ll usually have them ready for you the next Sunday. You can also email the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or write a note on the communication sheet.
Best: Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR)
By far the simplest and most convenient method of donating is through PAR. By signing up for this service administered by The United Church of Canada, the amount of money you designate is automatically withdrawn from your bank account on the 20th day of each month. Furthermore, you have the ability to designate how much goes to local expenses, the Mission and Service Fund, or any of the other funds we have at Eagle Ridge. The 50₵ cost of this service each month is paid for by the congregation. The obvious advantage for you is that once this is set up, you don’t have to worry about it again, unless you wish to change the amount or cancel the PAR, which is done through a simple communication with either the Envelope Secretary, or your financial institution. The advantage to the congregation is that your donation, along with the 40 others who are currently on PAR, is deposited directly into the church account once a month. This saves a great deal of time for the counters and Envelope Secretary each week. Plus, it keeps our offerings consistent, which is a great help for our treasurer.
You may also donate through PAR using your either your VISA or MasterCard. The cost of this is considerably higher for the church because the credit card companies charge a 2.5% service fee on top of the PAR fee of 50₵.
To enrol in PAR, please fill out the attached PAR AUTHORIZATION FORM and submit it, along with a void cheque to either the office, or to Beth Wertz (Envelope Secretary).
Whatever your choice of offering options, thank you for making God’s ministry through Eagle Ridge United Church a priority in your life. We want you to know that we take our stewardship very seriously and always aim at providing quality ministry with all the resources you entrust to us.