The Insanity of Not Protecting Your Givers From Third Parties

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This is part 9 of 10 in a series called INSANITY: 10 Crazy Things Churches Do That Hinder Online Giving. When it comes to online giving, we’ve identified 10 ways your expectations don’t line up with most online giving vendors’ practices and platforms.

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How many times have you read the fine print before blindly checking the “I AGREE” box or implicitly complying to the lengthy terms and conditions of a website or mobile app you wish to use? We have a sinking feeling there’s some icky stuff in there, but far too often we put our faith in organizations we know nothing about.

Likewise, insanity is forcing your givers to agree to a 19-page contract in order to donate to your church and expecting giving to increase.

Fine Print and Implied Consent

User Terms and Conditions are necessary for every organization offering an online service. When you’re working with an organization that seems to serve the church, it can be easy to assume that their legalese is standard stuff that won’t come back to bite you or your givers. 

But what if that’s not true? It’s bad enough when a contract hurts the church; it’s even more troubling when it puts your GIVERS at risk. 

We’ve recently been made aware of this risk in Pushpay’s User Terms and Conditions, a publicly available document. We urge every church to actually read and understand the terms your givers are agreeing to before they make their first donation via the Pushpay system.

It’s true that it’s your givers’ responsibility to click on the tiny hyperlink “Terms” (and then read the 19-page, 9500-word user agreement) at the bottom of Pushpay’s site, where givers are taken for completion of their gift. 

But most, if any, will not. The giving steps do not include an “I AGREE” checkbox to indicate that there are legal terms they should read (and still many would not). They may not see the link at the bottom of their screen.

Or, more likely, they simply trust that the church has their back when it puts a giving platform on its website.

If givers do happen to click and read the contract terms, 19 pages of legalese can quickly bring a meaningful interaction with the church they love to a grinding halt.

Coming to (Pushpay’s) Terms with Your Givers

Through the simple act of giving one financial gift to the church, every giver is implying consent to a binding legal agreement with Pushpay, which includes no recourse for resolving any issue except binding arbitration unless your giver opts out with written notice within 30 days of their first gift.

Other surprising things in the contract include:

  • Pushpay is under no obligation to correct or reverse a payment for a giver.
  • Your givers must consent that ANY posts to their PERSONAL social media accounts which reference Pushpay’s service may be used for marketing purposes.
  • Your givers must authorize Pushpay to obtain a credit report.

Additionally, should you wish to change to a new giving platform at any point in the future, Pushpay will claim ownership of your givers’ account, giving history, and giving schedules data and attempt to deny the church access to it. Pushpay will assert that the legal agreement is between Pushpay and each individual giver. Therefore, your church must receive permission from each giver for their data to be transferred to your church. 

Can you even imagine how much confusion and concern this request would cause?

We’ve outlined 15 troubling areas of Pushpay’s user agreement in our Vision2/Pushpay comparison. These onerous legal requirements are disturbing in an organization purported to be serving the church.

The Vision2 Difference

Vision2 operates invisibly to your giver. All our policies and practices are designed to solve traditional online giving challenges and limits and help build trust with your givers.

 
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REMINDER: You can download a copy of this entire series for free. In the guide we show you how to easily fix each insane issue so you can dramatically improve your online giving returns.

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