Woking parish share their contactless giving story: "Cash is going out of fashion fast, bring it on!"

May 24, 2022

St Dunstan's parish in Woking installed Dona contactless giving machines in their church in 2020 in response to less and less cash being used. The contactless giving machines enabled parishioners and visitors to donate with their credit or debit cards and add Gift Aid when visiting the church. The machines were a particular blessing during the pandemic when cash collections were not possible, and handling cash was a greater risk than usual. Donations made by card are remaining popular with parishioners across our diocese as they are safe, secure, easy and save lots of time for parishioners, visitors and parishes.

Did you know 70% of parishes across our diocese already have a contactless giving device?

Speaking from St Dunstan's parish, Gift Aid Organiser Ian White tells us the success of their contactless giving devices. Ian expresses gratitude to the technology that is available and what it has enabled in the parish as well as thanking parishioners' generosity during recent challenges.

Ian writes:

In March 2020 when the first lockdown started and churches were closed, we considered how best we could maintain our income flow to cover the increasing costs of running a parish. Whilst regular donations by Standing Order, with Gift Aid added, continues to be by far the best way to raise funds to support the church, we also decided to introduce online giving via our parish website.
Several months later, in anticipation of churches re-opening, we investigated and then introduced, the option of contactless and chip & PIN donations. Given that people generally were becoming more comfortable with this methodology in their everyday lives, we decided to try this option and installed 2 of these contactless devices in the church narthex. This proved to be very successful and our parish was encouraged by the response to the introduction of these devices. 25% of donations made on the contactless giving device were Gift Aided during latter half of 2020. In 2021 we introduced a third device and received a significant sum through these, of which almost 50% of donations were Gift Aided. These donations could not have been Gift Aided at all if they were cash donations placed in the Offertory basket. Earlier this year we introduced a fourth device and both the total income and the Gift Aid proportion have continued to increase.
Over the 2-year period we have been using these, we have received a very significant sum from our generous parishioners, with almost 50% being Gift Aided and with an average donation of approx. £14.00 from a total of almost 600 donors, many of whom are regulars. It also makes it simple and straightforward for occasional visitors to donate to the parish and add Gift Aid. This was near impossible to capture Gift Aided donations from visitors prior to having the devices available.
The cost of these devices was recovered within a few months of introduction [for all 4 devices] and as cash is going out of fashion fast, bring it on!
Woking parish strongly recommends all parishes to go for this additional option of receiving donations, as it is a very good way of receiving these quickly and simply and at minimum cost.

If your parish would like to find our more about contactless giving our diocesan Fundraising Officer, Mia Stace is very happy to help. The Fundraising Team have lots of useful materials for parishes as well as offering 1:1 support.


T: 01273 859705

With thanks to Ian White, Joe Dunne, and Fr Peter Andrews for the wonderful story.