check out “Pay it Square”

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.

7 thoughts on “check out “Pay it Square””

  1. The one feature I’m looking for is one account with the ability to make several payments and have a balance. $50 deposit in January, $50 per month until final deadline in June.

    A couple I’ve used in the past… eventbrite.com, smartevents.com, &
    squareup.com (not designed for events, but rather a smartphone app for taking credit card payments).

  2. Chris not sure how pay it square works but you could have three events that would equal the total amount. Call the first event: Event Name Deposit, the second Event Name Payment 1, and so on. I know on the event system we use you can make previous events required so they must pay for deposit before they can make payment one.
    Not sure if that would help in your situation but it might.

  3. Marko – I think I’d seen this once before, but thanks for drawing my attention to it again. However, I guess my only question is that when you setup an account, do you have to link it to a church bank account or something? That’s not information that I’d easily have onhand, and I’m guessing setting something like this up would have to go through all the finance people at the church, getting approval, etc…

    But it looks like once that got setup, it’d be pretty cool. But might not be something you could just set up to use in a pinch.

  4. Adam – Hi! I work for Pay It Square. You don’t have to link your Pay It Square account to a church bank account – just a PayPal account. That’s where all of the money that you collect goes. It’s very easy – only takes a few minutes. I’d recommend you check it out – it’s free to get started.

  5. Jeff – so you’d just connect it to your personal account? And then all the money would go into my personal account – and then I’d have to write a personal check to the church.

    Is that correct?

    I wonder about potential issues of abuse if parents are writing checks that go into personal accounts of youth workers…not that anyone would do anything, I just think the temptation could be there for some.

  6. Adam – That’s correct. Once you had the money in your PayPal account, you could have them deposited into the church’s bank account or write the church a check.

    Or, your church could set up a PayPal account (if it doesn’t already have one) It’s pretty easy to do, and you could direct all payments received to the church’s account.

    I suppose that there’s always the potential for abuse. The easy solution would be to simply have the church set up a PayPal account. It takes about 5 minutes.

  7. I can’t believe that this is the first I’m hearing of Pay it Square. As someone that leads several youth ministry groups and has a large hand in my church’s Vacation Bible School program, I’ve just about had it with the “old school” methods we’ve had to use. Thank you, thank you, thank you for introducing me to Pay it Square. I can’t wait to start using it, and I believe my fellow ministers will feel the same way.

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