my parent hat
i have two teenage kids. one is in our church high school group, and the other is in our church middle school group. as you can imagine, we’re regularly paying for some trip or activity. and here’s a confession: we suck at it.
almost everything our family does happens online. we bank online. even when we have to send checks, we send electronic checks through our bank. but when the deposit for summer camp is due, we have to find the checkbook, write a check, and either mail it or hope that it will actually pass through our 13 year-old son’s hands to the middle school pastor. it’s all very old school, and not in a cool, retro way.
my youth worker hat
i’ve got an event coming up, let’s say a winter retreat. i need to collect deposits and balances. i need to track all those checks that come in (which i would rather not touch). i’ve got to manually keep track of who has paid and who hasn’t. i’ve got to send our reminder emails to those who i know are planning on coming, but haven’t paid.
the old school thing ain’t working for this hat either.
enter: pay it square.
i recently came across this cool little online tool, and instantly saw how it would be killer for youth ministries. maybe your church is big and fancy and has online payment process abilities. but most of us regular youth workers don’t have that. that’s where pay it square helps.
it’s a slick and easy to use app that allows you to do all kinds of things — all related to collecting funds for paid events. built on paypal (which means the funds are secure and safe), pay it square allows you to create a page for an event and totally customize it. you can manage the whole process from your pay it square account page: sending out information, collecting funds, seeing who has paid and who hasn’t (even if they pay offline), sending out reminder messages (manually or automatically), printing out rosters, and more. no more loose checks or cash, no more handwritten rosters or inputing names and payments into a spreadsheet. oh, and they have great embedding options: you can drop it into a facebook page, or add their widget to your blog or website.
the cost is cheap, too. the standard paypal fees, plus 99 cents per transaction. and you can choose to have that added on to what the payee pays (as a parent, i would gladly pay this small fee to avoid writing and handling checks), or eat that cost yourself.
i really encourage you to give it a try. click through here and poke around. create an account (takes about 30 seconds), and set up a real or fake event — you’ll see how simple it is.
*this is a sponsored post, but i wouldn’t be sharing it with you if i didn’t think it would be super helpful for youth workers.