Contactless Giving at St Andrew's Castle Combe

First published 7th May 2020

St Andrews Church Castle Combe has recently started using the Goodbox Core to help it fundraise through contactless giving. Michael Constable, treasurer at the church (pictured with his wife Sally who is Churchwarden, alongside the Goodbox), reflects on its impact: 

The PCC decided to purchase the Goodbox Core following the success of Christian Aid initiative for their fundraising last summer.

  • We do not have wi-fi in the church but the unit picked up a signal to transmit data from the machine back to Goodbox.
  • The Goodbox is plugged into the mains electric as the battery in the unit only lasts 8 hours prior to recharging.
  • Goodbox were very efficient and assisted with the setup and artwork following us supplying 4 portrait photos relating to St Andrews. (helps with screen saving of the unit)
  • The data from the machine is updated hourly and recorded on the website available for viewing. Goodbox produce very useful information showing amount donated, when and in what denominations. At the end of the week the balance less their commission of 2.5% (in our case) is transferred to our church bank account.

We have sited the unit by the main entrance door and secured it to a wooden plinth. The church is open every day from early morning to dusk but is not manned. Visitors use the machine for donations or the purchase of booklets, postcards etc.

The default setting was set at £3 which could be changed from £3 to £30 quite easily by the donor. This default setting was increased for the Christmas period to £5 and appeared successful so we have not changed it back to the lower setting.Donations and payments we have received varied from the £3 minimum up to the £30 but now the most popular payment is £5.

There are appropriate notices using the “contactless logo” around the church informing people of the availability of this method of payment.

From our experience some people do prefer to use the machine rather than cash. We have met people who wanted to buy something but did not have the cash so were pleased to use the machine. We do not pass the machine around for service collections but it has been used for retiring collections at weddings.

The use of the machine has helped us with security by removing donations and payments from the church immediately and not sitting in church boxes (although emptied very regularly). There is just the risk of the loss of the unit but it is worthless to members of the public.

It is difficult to say how much we have benefited from having the machine. The machine has been well used at times and we have covered our investment and it has definitely helped our fund raising efforts.

The machine is appropriate for our church with a good footfall of visitors throughout the year.

Reaction and summary: We were surprised how well the visitors are able to use the machine and change the amounts. There has also been a very positive reaction from visitors in this new approach to giving in the church. We are pleased with the unit but are sure there will be advancements in the improving technology and new units will become available in the future probably at a reduced cost.

It has been a most important additional incentive to help us with the much needed fundraising.

We are happy to try and answer any questions with our limited experience.

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