Why are contactless giving units needed?

In an increasingly cashless society, and particularly relating to the infection risk associated with cash handling, donating by contactless units is by far the best way to offer one-off giving facilities in our churches. Contactless units can be expensive to buy, but will enable donations you wouldn't otherwise have received, and so are worth the initial outlay in cost.

What units are available?

Parish Buying has a list of recommended units which are suited to churches, which can be found here. There are many options, and the best way to decide which unit is more suited to your church is by looking through the 'Top Tips' suggestions below.

What if we need some advice?

Our Diocesan Giving Advisers are very happy to help you decide which giving unit is more suited to your church, as well as advice on how best to promote it. To make contact with an officer, please click here.

Top Tips

Here are some top tips to consider when deciding which unit is best for your church, and how to best promote them.

  • Consider your budget. Contactless units can seem expensive to buy, but they will enable donations you wouldn't otherwise have received. They are worth the outlay, but do consider the cost against likely revenue.
  • Think about security of the units. Some units come with security features such as the Goodbox Core, but be aware of what you are securing units to. If in doubt, ask a Diocesan Adviser. For some units and tablets, it's possible to buy security chains, and for others the simplest solution is to buy or ask a joiner to make a bespoke box which encloses the unit.
  • Check if you need WiFI or phone signal. Some units require one of these two to work, others will work without by storing information offline, and will load transactions once moved to a place where it is connected online. For some churches it might be cheaper to look into installing WiFi and getting a Sum Up reader than buying a Goodbox with offline facilities.
  • Work out if you need a charging point close by. If you are just using the unit for occasional offices or other limited periods of time, your chosen unit might hold it's charge. If you are leaving the unit out for full days while your church is open, you might need to place your unit close to a charging point in the church.
  • Gift Aid it. All contactless donations under £30 qualify for GASDS, and some units offer a Gift Aid service. A simple idea would be to place Gift Aid declaration forms next to your unit for people to complete when giving by contactless means.
  • Think about location. If the unit is tucked away in a little side chapel, no one is going to see it! Don't be afraid about keeping your unit prominent and visible.
  • Create promotional materials. Eye-catching, colourful posters draw people's attention to your unit. You could consider a tablet-top pull up banner, or a poster on a notice board.
  • Share your story. It's really important to share your story as a church, to help connect in people's minds what their giving is enabling. Next to contactless units you could have leaflets, flyers, posters or postcards which talk about the mission and vision of your church, any ministries you want to highlight, and how you serve your community.
  • Remember to thank people. Gratitude is such an important element in the giving circle, and helps to motivate greater generosity. There are some simple posters which can be downloaded below, and can be placed on a noticeboard. Alternatively, be creative!

Security and Presentation

Keeping your contactless unit secure is particularly important if you are planning on leaving it unattended. Goodbox offer podiums to pair with their Goodbox Core, but there are many other options for your church to explore. As well as increasing security, most of the following ideas also offer a better way to present and promote your units in church.

  • DonationBoxes offer bespoke oak donation boxes, which can be made to your specifications. This could include asking for a floor standing unit which encloses a Goodbox Mini or Sum Up with tablet, and charging cables can be tucked neatly inside. You could also explore a flat top box on which to stand a Goodbox Core, with a coin insert in front. If you are looking for something more simple, you could explore a smaller tabletop box.
  • If you are considering a Sum Up reader with a tablet, we recommend first ensuring your chosen tablet is compatible with the Give a Little app (iPads are not compatible). You can then look into buying a Sum Up charging cradle and a secure tablet stand - these should cost about £30 each.
  • If you are considering a Goodbox Core, they include the facility to secure the unit to a flat surface. Just be aware of what you are securing it to - if in doubt ask an Adviser.
  • If you are considering a GoodPlate, these are much more difficult to keep secure. They can look very attractive and accessible though if placed upright on a podium, like the image shown.