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ATMs: Automatic Tithing Machines

How can you pass the plate to people who don't carry cash? You can't. So the next big wave may be the "Giving Kiosk" in your church's lobby.

"A lot of people no longer carry cash or a checkbook," says Marty Baker, pastor of Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia. So he installed two ATMs in 2005. The experiment has been a success.

During the first year, the kiosks processed over $100,000 in donations at Stevens Creek. In 2006, that number increased to just over $200,000, representing more than 25 percent of the church's total income. Even more impressive is the fact that giving as a whole increased 18 percent since the ATMs were installed. "It's a safe, convenient way for people to donate to their church," Baker notes, "and it meets people where they are today."

These positive returns encouraged Baker to launch SecureGive, a for-profit company that produces and maintains several different versions of the giving kiosks. "We knew that if this concept and technology was so beneficial for our ...

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