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By Rev. Marty Levesque

Social distancing has meant that the church has had to change and change rapidly. We are no longer able to gather each Sunday for worship physically. So many of us gather around our computers and watch live streams or pre-recorded YouTube videos.

This has also meant that the finances of parishes have been deeply affected. Simply put, the plate cannot be passed. Many have chosen to take this opportunity to sign up to Pre-Authorized Giving, while others mail cheques for their offering.

Thankfully there are online solutions that can be quickly integrated with social and web platforms. CanadaHelps is a popular and easy solution as a web portal for charities. In one quick stop, you can set up a page for your parish and integrate the online donation platform with your existing channels.

The downside to CanadaHelps is the fee structure. CanadaHelps applies a 4% fee to any onetime donation and 3.5% to any monthly donation. That means if I donate $100 to a church I will get a tax receipt for $100 but the church only receives $96.

PayPal Giving Fund is another solution. It is the charitable arm of Paypal. First, you will need to open a PayPal account for your parish and then link that with PayPal Giving Fund. Once approved, you can accept donations to your charity through PayPal Giving Fund at 0% fees, which means my entire gift goes to the charity of my choice.

It is a little more complicated to set up than CanadaHelps, but the time put in today will reap rewards in the future from the fee-less base service and the assurance that every cent goes to the parish and the building of the kingdom of God.

Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo.