In the digital age we live in, it can be hard for churches and charities to keep up with how they accept donations. But there’s one Newfoundland church that may have found a solution.
Not a lot of people still carry cash. I don’t and it only really causes me frustration when I need to park downtown and remember that our parking meters are still stuck in the 90’s. Or I really want to buy a giant chocolate bar from the kids fundraising outside of the liquor store when I’m PMS’ing (or every other day of the month, let’s be honest.) Or – and more importantly – the poppies come out for Remembrance Day and I want to make sure I am giving generously. And a couple of cents covered in pocket lint is simply not going to cover it!
Now I don’t go to church, but for those who do, or want to make donations to charities/organizations only able to take cash, it can be difficult and awkward to say ‘no, sorry’ because you don’t ever have cash on you.
St. Mark’s Anglican Church in St. John’s has brought a wireless debit machine to their parish in hopes of modernizing the age-old tradition of the collection plate. They’re calling it the “Giving Terminal” and it’s been met with mixed reviews since it was first introduced. It even has its own meme.
In response to some negative feedback online, the church clarified that the terminal is not passed around with the offering plate. Instead, it’s available in the church’s office for anyone who wants to make a one-time contribution but isn’t carrying cash and the church allows parishioners to set up recurring contributions.
A photo of the handheld machine, posted on the church’s Facebook page on Monday, fueled local news coverage and launched the debate. The funds help the church with their initiatives such as feeding the hungry, community outreach and partnering with other organizations. By making donation easier, the church is simply keeping up with the times.