In October 2020 we're overhauling our plans for Engage. The goal is to make pricing for Engage simpler, cheaper in many cases, and offer better value for all clients.
We're also announcing two new features—Flat-rate Fees and Fee Assist.
This page explains our new plans, Flat-rate Fees, and Fee Assist.
What are the new plans for Engage?
There are 4 Engage Plans available.
|Engage Complete (Additional Account)||$15|
What does each Engage plan include?
Refer to the tables below for a breakdown of the features in each plan. Every Engage plan now includes more features, making Engage even more valuable to your organization and its members.
To use an Engage feature you need to own or license the corresponding CDM+ program. For example, if you have Engage Standard but do not own Roommate you will be unable to create online calendars.
|Feature||Required CDM+ Program|
Online Registration (without payments)
|Congregational Profile†||Search and Call (DOC Regional)|
† The Congregational Profile tool is also available at no charge to DOC Regions who do not want any other features in Engage Standard.
|Feature||Required CDM+ Program|
Everything in Engage Standard plus...
|Payroll Direct Deposit||Accounting|
|Feature||Required CDM+ Program|
|Everything in Engage Payroll plus...|
|Online Registration (with payments)|
|ACH Treasurer Report Payments||COG Regional|
|Online Women's Reporting||COG Regional|
Engage Complete (Additional Account)
$15/month; requires related Engage Complete plan
|Everything in Engage Complete|
How does the Engage Complete (Additional Account) plan work?
Some organizations require a separate merchant account for a specific department or a distinct organization that shares administrative staff. In this instance, an additional Engage Complete plan can be added to provide a separate merchant account.
For example, a church with an attached preschool might need a separate merchant account for their preschool to settle funds into separate checking accounts. In this instance, the church would enroll in Engage Complete for $45/month and add an additional Engage Complete account for the preschool at $15/month for a total of $60/month.
Another example is a Catholic cluster where three parishes maintain distinct checking accounts and legal identities, but a single office administers all three parishes. In this instance the main parish enrolls in Engage Complete for $45/month and two additional Engage Complete accounts at $15/month each for a total of $75/month.
There is no charge to add Engage Standard for related organizations.
Is there a discount for paying on an annual basis?
No. All prices are given as monthly, but you may choose to renew on an annual basis. To calculate the annual price for Engage, simply multiply the monthly cost by 12.
|Engage Plan||Annual Cost|
|Engage Complete (Additional Account)||$180|
What do the new Engage plans replace?
The Engage Standard plan replaces the basic Engage plan and adds Online Registration (without payments). There is no increase in price.
Previously, clients could enroll in a payroll merchant account for $27.95/month and gain access to Payroll Direct Deposit. Some clients also used Engage Standard to give their employees access to payroll history and pay stubs via Engage for an additional $5/month.
Engage Payroll is an even $30/month and adds all the features in Engage Standard to provide a complete electronic payroll system.
Prior to Engage Complete, features like online giving, text giving, online registration, online billing, and Church of God (COG) regional tools were priced as independent packages. Additionally, anyone who needed to accept online payments or use Payroll Direct Deposit paid a monthly fee to our payment processor, Stewardship Technology. Under this pricing, clients could pay anywhere from $42.95/month to $75.70/month.
Engage Complete combines all these features and payments into a single payment of $45/month billed directly by Suran.
Engage Complete (Additional Account)
Clients could pay an additional $10-$25/month for a secondary merchant account based on their configuration.
Engage Complete (Additional Account) moves this to $15/month per additional account and includes all the features of Engage Complete.
How do these new plans benefit me?
The majority of our clients will see a savings in monthly fees with these new plans. On average, clients will save over $5/month.
Some clients will see a small increase in monthly fees, but all clients will gain access to additional features.
For Engage Standard users, you now have access to online registration (without payments) if you own CDM+ Event Registration. If you are interested in adding Event Registration to your CDM+ suite your Engage cost will no longer change if you want to also accept online registrations.
For Engage Payroll users, Engage Standard is now bundled with your merchant account giving your employees a robust self-serve portal where they can securely access payroll history and check stubs.
For Engage Complete users you now have access to features that previously required an additional charge, like text giving, online registration, and online billing.
Engage Complete introduces a flat-rate fee option. Many clients have asked for more consistent and predictable fees for credit and debit cards, and we're thrilled to make this available as part of Engage Complete.
Another popular request is the ability for donors to increase their donation to offset fees related to electronic payments. This was difficult to implement under the legacy fee structure since fees weren't calculated until after the gift was made.
With the introduction of flat-rate fees we can now calculate the processing fees for any donation and give the donor the option to help cover these fees at the time of their donation.
Prior to this switch, clients with a merchant account paid one monthly or annual fee to Suran Systems, Inc. and a separate fee to Stewardship Technology. These separated charges were inconvenient and confusing for new clients.
Moving forward, there is now a single, simple charge for Engage, billed by Suran.
I previously didn't have access to text giving. How do I add text giving?
Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll setup a text giving phone number for you.
When will billing for Engage change to the new rates?
Beginning in October 2020 you will no longer see a monthly fee of $27.95 from Stewardship Technology.
For those paying for Engage monthly, your monthly payment will be automatically adjusted to the new rate beginning October 2020.
For those who renew Engage on an annual basis, your next annual renewal will reflect the new Engage pricing.
What is the flat-rate fee option?
We are proud to announce a new option for fees charged on online donations and payments. As the name implies, the flat-rate fee option offers a flat rate for transaction fees and does not vary based on the amount of the gift/payment or the specific type of card used.
Under the existing fee schedule, fees would fluctuate based on the size of the donation/payment (smaller amounts incurred higher fees) and the specific types of card (cards with more cardholder perks could incur a higher fee). This variance made it difficult to know how much of a given donation the organization would receive.
What are the flat-rate fees?
The fees are calculated as $0.30 per transaction plus a percentage of the donation/payment amount.
|ACH||$0.30 + 0.8%|
|Visa/MasterCard/Discover||$0.30 + 2.9%|
|American Express||$0.30 + 3.5%|
For example, a $50 gift made with a Visa would incur $1.75 in fees:
(50 * 0.029) + 0.30 = 1.75
A $200 ACH gift would incur $1.90 in fees:
(200 * 0.008) + 0.30 = 1.90
How do the flat-rate fees compare to legacy fees?
Previously, ACH donations/payments were $0.30 regardless of the amount of the payment.
Credit cards fees under the legacy fee schedule fluctuate, but our analysis showed they average out to around 3.5% of the donation.
How do the flat-rate fees compare to other merchant providers?
We've put together an Online Giving Fee Comparison guide comparing Engage fees to other providers. In general, our flat-rate fees are competitive with the market.
Keep in mind that online giving and payment solutions are more than just percentages and fees. Features like integration with your membership database, direct posting to the ledger, time saved importing and re-keying between software, and overall value have a very real financial benefit to your organization.
Does the flat-rate fee schedule affect payroll direct deposit?
No. Fees on payroll direct deposits remain unchanged:
Why are you adding a percentage to ACH transactions?
The additional 0.8% fee on ACH transactions is the largest shift in this fee schedule. A percentage-based fee on ACH transactions has become a fairly standard industry practice. Of the 25 other providers we analyzed on our Online Giving Fee Comparison, at least 20 of them include a percentage fee on ACH transactions.
Adding this percentage fee to ACH transactions was required for our payment processor, Stewardship Technology, and their parent company, Paya, to stabilize credit card fees and offer flat-rate pricing.
For clients who rely heavily or exclusively on ACH transactions, we know adding a 0.8% transaction fee would be a major detriment to your income. Our goal with flat-rate fees is ABSOLUTELY NOT to reduce the funds you receive from your donors' financial support. This is one reason flat-rate fees are optional, as explained in the next question.
Do I have to switch to flat-rate fees?
Not at all! You may continue to remain on the legacy fee schedule if it's working for your organization. The only caveat to keeping the legacy fee structure is that you will not be able to add Fee Assist to your Engage account. This is because without predictable fees, we cannot calculate an amount to add to the donation to help offset these fees.
Suran is providing existing clients an analysis of their online donations and payments for the period of September 2019 through August 2020 using both fee schedules. Our hope is this analysis will help you make the best decision about switching fee schedules.
Beginning September 10, 2020 any new merchant accounts will use the flat-rate fee schedule only.
How do I switch to flat-rate fees?
Download Stewardship-CDM+ Schedule A.pdf
- Enter your organization name
- Initial where indicated
- Email the completed form to email@example.com along with your organization name and location
- You will receive a confirmation notice once your merchant account has switched to flat rate fees
Can I switch back from flat-rate fees?
No. Once you change your merchant account to use flat-rate fees you will remain on that fee schedule. It is not possible to switch back to the legacy fee schedule.
Do I need to use CDM+ 11.1 to use flat-rate fees?
No. You can switch to flat-rate fees and use CDM+ 11.0 while version 11.1 is still under development.
What is Fee Assist?
Fee Assist is a new feature in Engage that lets your donors assist with transaction fees so that your organization receives the full donation.
How does Fee Assist work?
At the time of a donation, a donor checks a box indicating I would like to assist with the fees for this donation. Checking this box automatically increases their payment so that your organization receives the full amount of the donation.
For example, a donor makes a gift of $200 using their checking account. The fees on this transaction are $1.90. When the donor elects to assist with the fees, their checking account will be debited for $201.92 (see note), and your organization will receive $200.00. Without fee assist, the donor will pay $200.00 and your organization will receive $198.10.
With Fee Assist the total fees are slightly higher to cover the "fees on the fees". In this example, fees are $0.02 higher so that the organization will receive the $200 base gift and not $199.98.
Is Fee Assist mandatory?
Not at all! First, your organization must enable the Fee Assist option on your Engage account. Second, the donor must choose to include Fee Assist on their donation. This allows each organization and each donor to decide if they want to participate in Fee Assist.
What are the requirements for Fee Assist?
First, switch to Flat-Rate fees. Second, upgrade to CDM+ 11.1 or later. Fee Assist will be available in October 2020—be on the lookout for an announcement when Fee Assist is generally available.
How is a donation with Fee Assist recorded in CDM+?
When you enable Fee Assist on your Engage account, you must select a giving fund into which funds for Fee Assist will be recorded. The contribution record in CDM+ will record both the base donation AND the fee assist amount designated to the fee assist fund you select.
The donor will see the funds they gave for Fee Assist on their giving statement. This donation is tax-deductible since no goods or services are provided in exchange for this designation—it is simply an additional contribution designed to assist with your organization's operating expenses.
On the accounting side, you will still see your expense account debited for fees. However, you will see additional income from the Fee Assist giving fund to offset those fees. Note that Fee Assist does not reduce or eliminate fees—it simply increases your income to offset the fees.
Can a donor choose the Fee Assist amount?
No. Fee Assist will automatically calculate the amount by which a donation should be increased to result in a net deposit to your organization of the base gift amount. If a donor wishes to increase or reduce their total payment for the donation they can simply adjust the amount their base gift or disable Fee Assist on their gift.
Where will Fee Assist be available?
Fee Assist can be enabled in these areas:
- Guest Gifts
- One-time Gifts
- Recurring Gifts
- Text Gifts