How do I sign up?
We have an online giving system on our web site that enables donors to set up contribution schedules that follow a variety of patterns (weekly, every other week, monthly, etc.). To sign up, just set a new contribution schedule and simply select “General Fund” as the fund and “Sustain” as the sub-fund. You may do that on our Online Giving page. If you prefer, you may also mail checks to Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke Street, St. Paul, MN, 55109.
What if I need to cancel my donation schedule before the year is over?
No problem. We assume that everyone who signs up will do so with the intention of giving for a full year, but we realize that unexpected circumstances come up. You can change or cancel your contribution schedule at any time.
What if I just want to give a one time gift?
We certainly appreciate every donation we receive! However, the folks who committed to the fund for sustaining podrishioners did so with the understanding that their extra gift would be an incentive for people to sign up for a regular giving schedule. So unfortunately, we can’t “count” you as a sustaining podrishioner unless you establish a donation schedule. (You might consider breaking your gift into smaller monthly contributions, however.)
Will I have to register to give through your web site?
Yes, but your information is stored in our database and never shared with other organizations. Registering also enables you to review past donations and make changes to your contribution schedule. And we won’t bury you with unwanted email or pester you to give more. We may email you VERY periodically, but you can opt out of those messages at any time.
Will my offering be tax-deductible?
Absolutely. You can track your giving through the web site, and all donors receive a year-end contribution statement from us.
How can I follow the progress and see how many people have signed up?
We’ll update the main Sustain page a couple times a week.
I’m not a podrishioner; can I still donate to Sustain?
While we obviously can’t prevent you from donating, the challenge was specifically set up for podrishioners and that was the understanding that our donors had when they provided the extra funds.
Isn’t the church charged money for online giving? That seems like bad stewardship.
It’s unfortunate that we can’t accept online donations without fees, but we see it as a cost of running our church. It makes things a lot easier on donors, and it also streamlines work for our Finance staff, so while there are costs, there are also benefits.
Is it better to donate with my credit card or using an e-check?
There are two parts to this answer. The first is about the transaction fees that we’re charged for online giving. In general, if you’re donating $20 or less at one time, it’s a better deal for us if you use a credit card. If you’re giving over $20 at a time, the fees with an e-check are less expensive. (Please note that these fees are not taken out of your donation. If you decide to give $50, that’s the amount that will be withdrawn from your account and WH will cover the transaction fees.)
The other part is related to your own habits with credit cards. We don’t want anyone to give using a credit card if they aren’t able to pay off the balance! Too many people in our culture have WAY too much debt, and we absolutely do not want to be the cause of bigger bills that you can’t or won’t pay off! (For more about the topic of debt, check out Greg’s sermon, In God we Trust.)
Where did the extra $90 per sustaining podrishioner come from?
Woodland Hills has always been sustained through the financial gifts of a lot of different families and individuals. But there are some folks who are able to give more, and they’ve offered extra financial commitments as a challenge to our podrishioners.