Many churches in the Bible belt have done away with whatever shame they have about receiving contributions and have placed a sort of reverse ATM in their proximity. Take note of SecureGive, which installs units that allow donations with debit or credit cards.
Crass? Maybe so. But easy and effective. What if one of these was delicately placed in the lobby of a theater in the city? Would that be a turn off? Would it be economically unfeasible? (Would the costs outweigh the benefits?) Would it raise donations?
Increasingly, checks are being replaced by online banking and direct deposit. Being able to make a donation, immediately after a great performance, with a debit card... it sounds like the future to me. Strangely enough, its being used more by Pentecostal churches than it is major not-for-profits.
Love to hear some thoughts about this sort of unit at...say...New York Theater Workshop. Or the Access. Or the Cherry Lane.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.