During this time of continuing uncertainty, how parish leaders go about asking for financial support has never been more important. So, too, is ensuring that every penny received is allotted in ways that sustain both Christian community and the core operations of each congregation.
We recognize these aren’t simple tasks with straightforward solutions--even in the best of times. Please know, we’re here to help you with questions about stewardship, emergency loans or grants, and any other financial issues you encounter in your parish.
In God’s Peace,
ENCOURAGING CONTINUED FINANCIAL SUPPORT
The financial impact of our shuttered economy grows daily, and while some parishioners may be able to continue--or even increase--their previous level of support, others will not have that ability, and if fact may need assistance.
We encourage clergy and lay leaders to remain in steady contact with parishioners to see what parishioners might need and/or what they might be able to offer.
Flexibility will be a key component of our successful response to the pandemic. Your ability to accept a variety of giving methods, from checks to credit cards to text gifts to direct deposits and fund transfers, will enable you to meet your parishioners “where they are.” So, too, will your assurance that parishioners can give weekly, monthly, or as they are able.
We encourage your parish to adopt online giving. Vanco Payment Systems is the preferred online giving vendor for ACS, Realm, Church Windows, Servant Keeper and other membership systems. It offers online, mobile, text, kiosk, and swipe options.
The Diocese has an agreement with Vanco to provide online giving for parishes with no monthly fee and discounted credit card and ACH transaction fees. Vanco Plan details are available here.
Parishioners can continue to mail in checks to the church for processing or, if they have online banking, can send a check from their bank to the church.
Direct deposit/wire transfer
The parish treasurer can work with parishioners to set up regularly scheduled direct deposits or wire transfers.
Credit card contributions are easy for parishioners to set up using an online giving system.
If you have questions about setting up online giving, please contact Peter Turner, director of information technology, for assistance.
FINANCIAL GRANTS, LOANS, AND EMERGENCY RELIEF
Small Business Administration Loans: We are cautiously optimistic that Congress will allocate additional resources in the near term to the loan programs under the CARES Act. Parishes who have not been able to participate and believe they have a need for these funds should contact their banks for more information and have the documentation prepared in anticipation of another round of funding. Opportunities for parishes include: ability to obtain SBA loans on very favorable terms and have those loans forgiven if employment is maintained at pre pandemic levels; unemployment compensation for those who don't otherwise have benefits; and deferral of FICA taxes for employees for up to mid 2021 or the earlier date on which a CARES Act loan is forgiven.
Donald Crane, Chief Operating Officer for the diocese and the Rev. Andrew Walter, Canon for Strategic Collaboration have created a summary of the CARES Act. Read their cover letter and then the summary. Please contact Don Crane with any questions.
Documents for CARES Act loans: Corporate Status Memo from Diocesan C.O.O. Don Crane, Maryland Vestry Act from Session Laws of 1976, Provisions for DC parishes under Vestry Act, IRS Blanket Exemption 4/9/20